Somebody Walks in L.A.: A Brooklynite Writing for GOOD Magazine
For those that have missed it GOOD Magazine is running a series by Ryan Bradley about walking in Los Angeles. Bradley, a Brooklyn resident, basically sets down at LAX and heads out to conquer the city by foot. Once you get past the idea that a progressive online publication can just drop a New Yorker off in L.A. and expect them to write intelligently about our transportation issues, you discover that Bradley has some interesting things to say.
Everyone gets the joke there, right?
In addition to providing an interesting narrative about his own 70 mile trek through Los Angeles, and some of the connected cities such as Culver and Beverly Hills, Bradley makes several good policy points as well. For example, from his introduction post, Bradley makes the case that things are getting better, that the tide is turning, in L.A.
But the truth is people do walk in L.A. And bike. Fully 12 percent of all trips in Los Angeles are by bicycle or on foot—that's more than Austin or Portland. In sheer numbers, L.A. has more bikers and walkers than Washington, D.C., or Chicago, or even San Francisco. And it happens to be far safer for biking and walking than all three, according to a 2010 Benchmarking Report by the Alliance for Biking and Walking. I lump walking and biking together only because, until very recently, so did everyone else. In the 1990s biking and walking were "alternative," like rock music. Fifteen years ago, Los Angeles spent "about $1 million" a year on pedestrians and bike services. This year Los Angeles has earmarked $36 million on walking alone. Could it be that this western cow-town, this place that's synonymous with self-reinvention, is reinventing itself?
As of the moment I'm typing this, there are three parts to the series, with more coming. You can find the entire series, or at least what's been published so far, at the Walking in L.A. page on GOOD's site.