Next Steps…

Friends,

When I sat down with Aaron Naperstek and Mark Gorton nearly three years ago to discuss bringing Streetsblog to Los Angeles, we weren’t certain how it would work. Not only is Los Angeles a completely different beast than New York City, in so many ways, but Streetsblog isn’t your typical transportation blog. While a lot of people identify L.A. Streetsblog as my project, it never would have happened without the vision and support of Aaron and Mark. I owe them a large debt of gratitude.

In many ways, L.A. Streetsblog has exceeded expectations. Last week, over 1,300 people per day read L.A. Streetsblog, which was ahead of our expectations. Amongst those reading are politicians, media personalities, staff at City Hall and Metro.

But one way that L.A. Streetsblog hasn’t yet had the success of its brother blogs in New York and San Francisco is that we haven’t yet found a local source of funding to support us.

As you all know, money’s tight these days. And without a local source of funds, it’s too tight to continue funding our operations in Los Angeles. Nearly 100 people have donated to L.A. Streetsblog since we began our fundraising campaign earlier this year, and those funds will be used to keep me on a part-time basis for another couple of weeks and to pay for freelancers. Looking at my calendar, I think the last day we’ll publish in Los Angeles will be July 23.

After that, there will be a brief hiatus, and then myself and a team of names that you would certainly recognize will be returning with a new locally produced, written, edited, and funded website. We don’t have all the details worked out yet, but when we do we won’t be shy about sharing them.

I want to stress that this isn’t a divorce of any sort between myself and the folks in NYC. There’s a lot of good people working at Open Plans and there wouldn’t have been an expansion of Streetsblog to L.A. without their technical and creative support and, of course, the financial support of Mark Gorton. OpenPlans even offered to continue the technical support and keep L.A. Streetsblog open until I could find a funder, but it’s time this project sinks or swims on it’s own.

I’m taking tomorrow and Monday off to decompress a little. We’ll be back Tuesday to write about everything I missed over four days.

Thank you for your continued support and I welcome any ideas or contributions that will help get our own local transportation blog off the ground and on to the web. I can still be reached at damien@streetsblog.org, but you might want to write down thedaymen@gmail.com as well.

  • Wow.

  • It’s a really sad announcement… Streetsblog has been a unifier (to the extent possible) in L.A.’s green transportation fractious circles… and a critical media outlet in the times of nearly no Times… and a game-changer for the visibility of the bicycle transportation movement.

    Looking forward to seeing what new emerges and what role I can play in contributing to it.

  • Those of us who support liveable streets are indebted to Streetsblog L.A. and thank you, Damien, and everyone else for your hard work over the years.

    I am also looking forward to seeing what new emerges and how I can support it.

  • Streetsblog LA has been my goto morning read for quite awhile now. Damien has always done a good job and in my view has been very balance in his approach. The regular comments add to the conversation and streetsblog LA will be missed. I will definitely subscribe to your new endeavor and hope you are successful.

  • I’ll raise the issue at tonight’s Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Transportation Committee meeting how the Committee and chapter can be involved with this new venture–maybe financially and intellectually…

  • I’ve had a feeling lately and this morning’s post confirmed it. Thank you, Damien, for all the fine work you have done. I, too, wish I had discovered Streetsblog LA earlier. For what it’s worth, I will follow you in your new venture, whatever that turns out to be.

  • Streetsbloggers,

    I appreciate all the love you’re showing here; but I promise this is going to turn out just fine. Just give me some time to work out some details and it will be like this never happened. All the well wished make me feel like we’re at a funeral.

    TOPP/OpenPlans deserves a lot of thanks for all the support they’ve given for the last two and a half years. Let’s give them some love. And if folks want to be involved in what we’re working on, just drop me an email. The addresses are above.

  • Thanks to TOPP/OpenPlans too!

  • UrbanReason

    Even before I lived in LA, streetsblog LA has long been one my most frequented and trusted sources of information and is (in my opinion) the best blog about these issues in the city. (And I mean this with great respect to the other guys – there area really some amazing blogs and organizations out there). A city with such a pervasive mono-modal mentality needs you guys more than ever so I’m very glad to know you’ll be forging on. Looking forward to what’s next.

  • Derek Powell

    I’m donating today anyway.

  • What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.

    Just keep blogging :)

  • Spokker

    No, Chewie, I wrote that.

  • @ Spokker

    Glad to see your sarcasm gland still works

  • Keep rockin Damien! Let us know how we can help whatever comes next. Big thanks for all the work you’ve done with StreetsblogLA, and to the NYC TOPP folks for helping to push forward something that now can’t be stopped…

  • Without this blog, our voices go unheard. This is the commons for a lot of L.A.’s brightest thinkers and advocates for a more livable city.

    Honest debate, the documenting of events that nobody else would report – all of this pushes the movement forward.

    There has to be a way to sustainably cover this stuff. BikePortland has managed to do it. Why can’t LA’s intelligentsia do the same?

  • Thank you Damien for all of your work on Streetsblog LA, which has played a key role in strengthening both the bicycle movement in LA and our broader movement towards sustainability.

    There’s a critical need for a blog like LA Streetsblog in Los Angeles. Count me in to continue supporting your next project, both with my own financial contributions and any other support I can provide. I encourage other LA Streetsblog readers to do the same.

    I’m actually going through old Streetsblog posts today to pull photos and stories into a presentation that I will make next week to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy here in Mexico City, which has worked tirelessly to bring sustainable transportation to Mexico. I’m hoping some of the current work in LA will not only inspire folks down here, but help shape their work moving forward.

    Thanks again and ride on!
    Ron

  • Erik G.

    I second what Ron just said.

    And I finally got a Round 2it and sent you some cash via the buttons in the upper right corner. I look forward to seeing you on the other side, but am sorry to see the streetsblog network fall apart as I think it adds insight and information about what is going on elsewhere.

    For example, I just stumbled on this SF Streetsblog post about (TAP contractor) CUBIC shenanigans regarding the TransLink/Clipper card:

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2010/05/26/mtc-confident-on-civil-rights-policies-clipper-card-rollout-begins/

    It is always handy to know what other cities within the same regulatory set-up are doing about the issues covered by Damien.

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