Greig Smith: Neighborhood Councils Should Have Final Say on Bike Projects

A new motion by Valley Councilman Greig Smith would require the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to create a public outreach plan whenever new bicycle projects are proposed and would require the approval of the local Neighborhood Council before any new bicycle infrastructure would find its way onto the streets.

Council Member Greig Smith
Council Member Greig Smith

Why does Smith single out bicycling for a need for greater community outreach when LADOT has an abysmal reputation for public outreach when it comes to any of their “road improvements?”  Apparently Smith is upset with some of the changes in his district, such as the new bike lanes on Reseda and Wilbur Boulevards.  The resolution references the confusion created by the road diet on Wilbur Avenue as a reason for his resolution.

It should be noted that Wilbur Avenue underwent a road diet, where a four lane road was converted to a two lane one because the road was under capacity and the wide street was encouraging speeding traffic.  After the diet, there was space for a bike lane, so they put one in.  In other words, the bike lane followed the road diet, not the other way around.

I expected bike advocates to be outraged, but instead they surprised me by rejecting the story arc I had already written in my head.  Outside of their annoyance with Smith’s focus on bicycles most seemed supportive of forcing LADOT to engage local constituencies before moving on bike projects.  Apparently, LADOT’s history of opaqueness is a much greater concern than anti-cycling members of Neighborhood Councils throughout the city.  As Joe Linton put it, “I think we actually do really well with Neighborhood Councils.  Many of the NC’s are frustrated that they can’t get bike stuff in their areas.”

Or, as Stephen Box, who is both a powerful advocates for cyclists and Neighborhood Councils, put it:

Avoid using the word “bicycle” and the cycling community will have allies throughout LA.  Lose the word “Bicycle” and enhance the Smith Proposal so that any “improvements” including crosswalk removals and speed limit increases goes to the community first. Even at the last Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, the LADOT again repeated that “LA is built out and there is no room unless motorists lose a travel lane or parking.”

It is imperative that this topic stay on LADOT performance and that the win-lose paradigm end.

Now is the time to force the LADOT to own cut-through traffic, engineered conflict, neighborhoods under siege, kids that can’t walk to school, increasing speed limits, traffic fatalities, and all of the dark side.

Now is the time for the cycling community to own “transportation solutions” and stop being the adversaries in NC battles.

Instead of Smith’s motion being a divider between cyclists and neighborhood activists, it could end up being a unifier.  One Neighborhood Council Board Member who is sympathetic to bicycle infrastructure wrote that while he understood cyclists’ concerns, it was still a good thing to get Neighborhood Councils involved in the planning process.  He also argued that if this process is put in place for bikes, it could eventually go into place for other types of road projects, creating a “backdoor M.O.U.”

The issue of a “Memorandum of Understanding” between the LADOT and Neighborhood Councils has been a long and contentious one.  Basically, an “M.O.U.” is a statement between two bodies on how they interact and communicate.  It seems a simple matter for a city agency to put on paper a policy for how it communicates with Neighborhood Councils, but LADOT has resisted at every turn.  Neighborhood Councils have M.O.U.’s with other city agencies including the DWP.

It appeared as though the LADOT was finally going to step up, after being embarrassed at a City Council hearing for their poor outreach, and sign an M.O.U. in January of 2009.  Eleven months later, LADOT General Manager Rita Robinson went to a meeting of Neighborhood Council leaders and walked back from the MOU before it was signed blaming the budget and a the City Council for her inability to promise her department could do basic outreach.

When I asked Council Man Bill Rosendahl’s office why they would second this resolution, they responded that a second doesn’t always mean there is support for the motion, just that it deserves being discussed.  This motion is seconded by both Rosendahl and Paul Krekorian, two council members who have emerged as strong defenders of cyclists rights.  Just like Box and Linton and a handful of other advocates, they think it’s time to talk about how the LADOT runs over communities in their haste to “improve” our streets.

  • MU

    I’m no expert on “councilese”, but it sounds to me like this would mean that DOT is still in the driver’s seat. They propose bicycle infrastructure and the NCs get to thumb up or down. More “transparency” and “outreach” are generally good things, but I don’t see how this really helps. I agree though that if this covered all road “improvements” it would be an improvement. But since it is bicycle only, it seems to me that this just makes the case that bike stuff is some special burden that shouldn’t be “forced down our throats”.

  • If the NC’s should have final say on bike projects, do they also get final say on speed limit raising? Do they get the final say on peak hour parking restrictions? Do they get the final say on road widening projects? Do they get the final say on large developments?

    Grieg Smith, STFU.

  • Roadblock

    What ubrayj said.

    Also, this is only giving the NC power to thumb down a bike project not to create one.

  • Carter R

    A closer working relationship between LADOT and the NCs should be a really good thing. If there’s any cause for concern, it would be the possibility that some important piece of the backbone bike network might get deleted because some NC decided to put up a huge fuss.

  • Aaron

    I don’t buy the positive spin on this for a second.

    Now, instead of just having one bureaucracy standing in the way of bike improvements (ok, maybe not the most charitable framing, but still…), we’re talking about giving a ton of little bureaucracies (all with their own biases and interests) veto power over any bike improvement (and at the very least the power to slow down any progress)? I call bullsh*t. Even if many NCs are receptive, day to day, most cyclists ride through a number of different neighborhoods. Bike infrastructure is a city-wide issue and there should be city-wide control to ensure a decent city-wide network of bike infrastructure, not isolated bike friendly pockets in some neighborhoods (especially now that the centralized authority is finally getting serious about bicycle improvements). This proposal is just a way for NIMBY’s to protect their precious car lanes and resist change. Any cyclist should be opposed.

  • Roadblock

    Carter R that is a huge concern IMHO as well. This motion should only be passed if it refers to all infrastructure changes not just bicycle infrastructure.

  • Roadblock

    Aaron makes a great point.

  • I think the message from folks I talked to last night was that cyclists are going to have a stronger message with the Council, if this ever actually comes up for debate, if the message is “let’s give N.C.’s more power over all transpo issues” rather than “this sucks.”

  • Aaron

    Damien, that’s an awfully optimistic take on how receptive NCs will be to cyclists’ message. It’s one that I don’t share.

    Putting up another barrier to cycling infrastructure improvements, even if it’s one that cyclists (naively?) think they can generally overcome, is a loser for cyclists. I don’t need to know much more than the context in which the proposal arose–from a neighborhood freak-out that cyclists were going to “take” a motorist lane–to know that this is exactly how the scene will play out again and again in the future. Just as we have a huge range of bike-friendliness among the various cities in LA county, with some cities being extremely bike unfriendly and opposing any bicycle infrastructure, we can expect more of the same on an even smaller scale if cycling infrastructure veto power is handed over to the NCs. Has the cyclists’ “stronger message” resonated yet with some of the anti-bike city areas in the area yet?

  • MU

    I think NCs have a great role to play and should be given more say. But to give them veto power over transportation design sounds like a bad idea in general. Transport needs to be planned on a larger scale to work effectively. Otherwise you end up with big arterials that turn into secondary streets, then back to arterials, etc. Or bike paths that only run through one neighborhood and then abruptly stop, making them much less useful.

    I understand the argument that DOT is so useless that shifting any of their power somewhere else is a good idea. But to give over bike planning or all transport planning over to every neighborhood sounds to me like a recipe for nimby nightmares.

    Parking, speed limits and other issues that more directly affect the neighborhoods without really impacting the overall system however, seem like good candidates to give more local control.

  • la rider

    I’m gonna have to veto adding another hand to the honey jar. Both LADOT and NC can barely manage themselves. Asking both to work together is increasing the likelihood of anything getting done exponentially. LADOT has finally started moving, turtle like, but moving. This is why shit doesn’t get done in America. China built 8-13 lines in Beijing in 8 years. We can barely get bike lanes in the same amount of time. There is something to be said about absolute power vs inefficient ‘democracy’.

  • Is it too late for Stephen Box to change districts?

  • joe

    When I emailed CM smith about that woman that got run down by the DWP truck in Lake Balboa last year, his offices response was to email me the victims criminal record as evidence of her guilt in the accident.

    That sold me on him right there.

    Btw, Council member smith is not running for re-election, But his chief of staff Mitch Englander is running. So you all can vote against him instead.

  • Carter R

    Given all the concerns expressed above, most of which I agree with, it seems like a better thing to do for the bike infrastructure cause would be to set up a mechanism that would allow Neighborhood Councils to recommend/propose/ask for *adding more* bike infrastructure to their neighborhoods (lanes, sharrows, paths, racks, etc.).

    That way you avoid the problem of giving the authority to shoot down badly needed city-wide infrastructure, while still increasing local control and giving the option to create bike-able neighborhoods even beyond a certain baseline of infrastructure. (I feel an editorial coming on…).

  • Stephen Box told me this once (I’m paraphrasing), “In L.A., everyone in City Hall tells you ‘No’. You need to find the person that has the power to say ‘Yes'”.

    Smith is interested in giving another group the power to say “No”, with no power to say “Yes”. This is asinine, stupid, absurd, ridiculous, and an affront to the powers that he is elected to wield.

    On this issue, bicycling doesn’t even enter into the conversation – it is simply a stupid idea, a bad way to govern, and an insult.

    What a dumbass.

    Tell me, Griegy-poo, who can say “Yes” to a bike project to make it happen? Show me the person or team or department, and I’ll be fine with this bullshit measure you propose. Who can give us a bike lane if we ask for it and build the coalition of support for it? Every d-bag and paper shuffler in city hall has 1 million excuses about why it’s not their responsibility. So, you work there, tell us, who is responsible for saying “Yes” to bike projects?

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, Allow me to introduce a brand new innovation to LA’s City Hall, the Department of “Yes!” Follow me and let’s go change the world!

  • I just had a long conversation with Stephen Box about this. This motion can actually work for the better of communities IF it includes NC veto power over ALL adjustments to the traffic grid. That includes speed limits crosswalk removal anti gridlock zoning etc etc… not just “bicycle projects.”

    As Damien points out, this isn’t a bicycle project it was a road diet that includes bicycle lanes. I’d be curious to know how this motion would have impacted an infrastructure decision such as a road diet…. if enacted would the NC have the power to veto just the bike lanes of the road diet?

  • Aaron

    Roadblock, I’m still not buying it. As a cyclist, I don’t want to see the bike lane OR the whole package (road diet + bike lane) vetoed, and I don’t see why cyclists would want the NC to have either power.

    Sure, I can see why, independently, neighborhoods would want more input into a variety of infrastructure changes.

    But that just doesn’t align with the interests of cyclists here.

  • MU

    cyclists are going to have a stronger message with the Council, if this ever actually comes up for debate, if the message is “let’s give N.C.’s more power over all transpo issues” rather than “this sucks.”

    Damien’s point is well taken as a tactical approach. But let’s be honest, do you think the Council will give NCs veto power over all DOT’s changes to road configuration? I can’t see that happening unless NCs suddenly become some powerful and feared force in the city.

    To Roadblock’s question…I read the motion to imply that if the DOT defined the project as a road diet that ALLOWED for a bike lane (two separate projects), then the NCs would have just had a veto over the bike lane. If DOT defined it as a diet IN ORDER to put in a bike lane, then NCs could veto the whole project. DOT would still decide what happens.

    Unless someone out there really thinks NCs are suddenly going to be given veto power over all of DOT, I just don’t see any upside here. Seems to me we’re arguing over tactics to make sure this doesn’t happen.

  • telling the neighborhood councils that they shouldnt have input over their neighborhood’s traffic grid is a tough sell… In the broader picture there should be both city wide authority and local authority over traffic grid issues. this motion only gives veto power over a specific type of infrastructure… if we are going to give veto power to NC’s then they should be able to veto crosswalk removals and speed limit increases too.

  • Aaron

    Limited NC input into the traffic grid is the status quo. It’s a status quo that, when the LADOT is becoming a positive force on cycling (and pedestrian!) issues as it is now, is vastly beneficial to cycling interests. Cyclists have absolutely no interest in disrupting the status quo to make it harder to build bicycle infrastructure.

  • @aaron I’m not convinced the LADOT is on the side of cyclists in practice…. I’m open to evidence though… is there any evidence that they are now promoting cycling?

  • let me rephrase… the LADOT has been putting in a mile or two of bike lanes here and there… I’d like to see more evidence on the ground to be convinced that they’ve changed their attitude…

  • Aaron

    I’m going based on the draft bike plan, the Mayor’s public statements, the new sharrows, the excellent LADOT bike blog, the bike summit, talk of loosening restrictions on bikes on the metro system, the LAPD’s efforts to reconcile with cyclists, etc.

    Obviously, there’s still room for improvements on many fronts, and–I know, many of these examples are city and LADOT is county–but from where I’m standing, these developments over just the last few months show that the political will exists on a city and county level for centralized improvements in bike infrastructure.

  • Aaron

    Moreover, that political will is exactly what Smith and his NIMBY’s are trying to trow a wrench in with the proposal. They want to slow down and at times override the improvements.

    If anyone wants to support a broad NC oversight power over any neighborhood traffic grid changes as a matter of principle, then be my guest.

    But cyclists shouldn’t be duped into thinking that this is anything but a negative when it comes to their interests.

  • Aaron,
    LADOT is City, Metro is County.

    But to avoid anyone feeling like a bike lane project has been sprung on them at the last minute, LADOT Bike Blog now has Project Pages for bike lanes and bike paths.

    http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/more-changes-for-ladot-bike-blog-project-pages/

  • Aaron

    Thanks for the clarification, bike blog! I think your recent reporting on sidewalk riding in other LA county cities may have been what threw me off.

    Keeping all of the different level entities straight can be tough (another reason not to throw a whole other layer of bureaucracy into the mix).

  • @aaron you are right there is a lot to give hope… we have to remember that for some people “improvements” are actually seen as “degradations.” Perfect example is the Wilbur road diet. Poeple living on Wilbur thought overwhelmingly that haveing the traffic calmed on their street was a good thing. Yet the people who like to use wilbur as their speedway cut through from chatsworth street to nordhoff are quite pissed. still others just off wilbur also saw the road diet were skeptical of the benefits.

    at the end of the day LADOT did not seem to engage the community at all…. shouldnt there be some kind of communication? if there is opposition or want for a better solution from the community shouldn’t there be a way to get it?

  • MU

    at the end of the day LADOT did not seem to engage the community at all…. shouldnt there be some kind of communication? if there is opposition or want for a better solution from the community shouldn’t there be a way to get it?

    Roadblock has a very good point here. However, even in the theoretical proposal that expands G. Smith’s motion to all road changes, this is still only a one way communication. DOT tells NC what they’re going to do. NC approves or vetoes. I’d be all for a proposal that says that DOT has to engage the NCs in decisions and requires them to take input/proposals from the NCs. But just adding another layer of people who can veto things doesn’t seem really like communication to me. You can always find someone to veto something. It’s advocating for things that takes real involvement and consensus building.

  • Aaron

    @roadblock–I think you’ve actually highlighted the competing interests here pretty effectively. Neighborhoods wanting more control should support the proposal, as it will give them more of an outlet for playing a role in infrastructure changes. From that perspective, I’m sure it’s quite sensible and anyone who wants to take a principled stand in favor of local neighborhood control over the traffic grid should support it.

    But cyclists wanting more bicycle infrastructure (or pedestrians favoring more pedestrian infrastructure or anyone wanting to change the current infrastructure’s car-dominated status quo) need to realize that this will inherently place another barrier in the way of getting that infrastructure built. Personally, I strongly favor getting more lanes striped even over the objection of those who might prefer as many motor vehicle lanes as possible.

    For what it’s worth, as Joe Linton suggested, of course I think that cyclists are on the right side of the argument about what is good for neighborhoods (based on safety, benefits to business, etc.), so I think cyclists certainly SHOULD be on the winning side of any local debates that might come up. But I realize that the right side doesn’t always win, that people have preexisting car-centric biases that are hard to dispel, that fighting dozens of little battles (at the city level AND at every hyper-local level) is far harder and lengthier than just fighting one (convincing the city, which we’re already making great strides at), that every layer of bureaucracy adds time and complications, and that empowering every neighborhood to veto projects will almost undeniably result in less bike infrastructure.

  • It’s my understanding that the strongest objections to the Wilber Ave road diet were coming from people complaining to the Northridge West Neighborhood Council and the Beckford Ave Elementary School PTA, along with councilmember Smith telling the LADOT not to put the changes in. The objections were NOT with the bicycle lanes, it’s with the possibility of congestion on Wilber Ave by taking away two travel lanes and also the traffic moving over to the next street which is Vanalden Ave. Wilber Ave has such a low volume of traffic that two travel lanes and a left turn only lane can suffice without impacting the flow of traffic.

    Wilber Ave was a precursor of things to come in implementing bike lanes in Los Angeles. There is certainly going to more objections from people who live the closest street from any potential road diet street and they will fear an influx of cars diverting over to their street. Another PTA will likely object just like one did for Wilber Ave. There will also be strong objections from homeowners about taking away parking in front of their residences.

    Wilber Ave was an easy road diet conversion. Many of the ones on the bike plan will be much more difficult and the bicycling community needs to anticipate backlash from all corners and not just from drivers.

  • we have a huge range of bike-friendliness among the various cities in LA county, with some cities being extremely bike unfriendly and opposing any bicycle infrastructure, we can expect more of the same on an even smaller scale if cycling infrastructure veto power is handed over to the NCs

  • Great conversation! I remember being there (with Box) for the first round of the MOU sessions with DOT, and it was painful going – a classic case of engineer tinged with trepidation and then, as Box says, a dollop of “No!” I was never hopeful about the second round.

    For my take on the Caltrans7 meetings, head on over to http://tribuni-plebis.com/comment/221-advocates.

  • Great discussion!

    I don’t support the motion as written… but I can very much relate to how Councilmember Smith is feeling on this. The LADOT slammed an unplanned, uncommunicated project in – bicyclists had no idea it was coming, neighbors had no idea it was coming, parents at nearby schools had no idea… and Councilmember Smith had no idea. What an insult! If I were him, I’d be pissed off… and I would want to reign in this sort of bike project.

    While I am glad to see bike lanes on Wilbur, this kind of opaque haphazard arrogant implementation process for one bike facility can court a backlash, making it more difficult to implement other bike projects. There should have been a dialogue with neighbors about how road diets are shown to produce safer streets – for everyone – drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

    I definitely want to see more bike facilities in L.A. … but, just as much, I think bicyclists need to work with Neighborhood Councils and Councilmember Smith and get the LADOT to be transparent and participatory in the way they implement change in our neighborhoods. Every day, decisions made behind closed doors at the LADOT adversely impact safety, quality of life, and the environment. John Fisher’s LADOT has long treated these decisions as if they are entirely technical. It’s sort of a “trust us, we’re experts” attitude… and it’s resulted in streets that are unsafe and inhospitable… and a gridlocked system that nobody is happy with.

    Let’s work with Councilman Smith to change the process… and when we change the process, we’ll see different results.

  • Realwoman

    The MOU was shelved due to staff departures. The Council approved the Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP), under which positions vacated by early retirements were swept, meaning that Departments lost the authority to hire anyone to fill those positions. Further,departments had no say over who would retire. If an employee made the decision to leave, they were not to be pursuaded otherwise. The City needed to get people off the payroll – and they did.

    Many of the employees who retired under ERIP in DOT were in positions tasked with writing and implementing the MOU, including the DOT’s Council Liaison, several Division heads, and a majority of Senior Engineers in field office.

    On the topic of NC’s having veto authority over traffic control devices in their areas: while we all want to know when a new stop sign is being considered – or a stop sign is being removed – we have to ask ourselves if NCs are willing to take on the liability that goes with overruling these determinations. If a sign, signal or crosswalk is installed/removed due to NC objections, the NC would be responsible for this decision. I don’t think that NCs are ready to accept financial responsiblity for these decisions.

  • @Realwoman writes:

    “The MOU was shelved due to staff departures.”

    The first MOU was developed several years ago. Mark and I both worked on it, along with Enci and members of Neighborhood Councils such as Hollywood United, Silver Lake, Mar Vista and NW San Pedro. It was facilitated at USC’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development as a Civic Engagement Project. It was a tremendously rewarding experience. Unfortunately, the efforts of many were derailed at the Rose Garden Ceremony by the new LADOT GM, Gloria Jeff, who refused to execute the agreement with the Neighborhood Councils.

    (http://soapboxla.blogspot.com/2008/08/citywatchla-they-never-promised-us-rose.html)

    “The Council approved the Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP), under which positions vacated by early retirements were swept, meaning that Departments lost the authority to hire anyone to fill those positions. Further, departments had no say over who would retire. If an employee made the decision to leave, they were not to be pursuaded [sic] otherwise. The City needed to get people off the payroll – and they did.”

    The City of LA’s ERIP program will be trotted out as an excuse for all future Departmental failures, yet the LADOT somehow has the staffing sufficient to send PowerPoint presentations on the road, to Sacramento, to Chicago, to Chattanooga…but can’t do outreach in the NW Valley? The ERIP defense is simply insufficient and does not excuse failed outreach and communication.

    “Many of the employees who retired under ERIP in DOT were in positions tasked with writing and implementing the MOU, including the DOT’s Council Liaison, several Division heads, and a majority of Senior Engineers in field office.”

    The MOU was crafted by members of the participating Neighborhood Councils and LADOT staff. It was completed twice, the second time with the participation of LADOT’s GM Rita Robinson. The departure of staff does not alleviate the LADOT from its basic obligation to communicate with the Neighborhood Councils. Other Departments that were equally impacted by the ERIP program still operate under agreements to communicate with the community. The LADOT’s objection simply reveals their cultural disdain for the public participation process.

    “On the topic of NC’s having veto authority over traffic control devices in their areas: while we all want to know when a new stop sign is being considered – or a stop sign is being removed – we have to ask ourselves if NCs are willing to take on the liability that goes with overruling these determinations.”

    Liability? This from a Department that fought all the way to the CA Appellate Court to have Bike Paths declared a recreational facility, unencumbered by pesky liability such as that found on the streets of LA. This “liability” argument is a complete farce, contradicted by reality. What’s the track record for Neighborhood Councils being sued for Planning and Land Use liability? What’s the track record for Neighborhood Councils being sued for opposing Measure B? What’s the track record for neighborhood activists being sued for fighting to defend an endangered crosswalk?

    “If a sign, signal or crosswalk is installed/removed due to NC objections, the NC would be responsible for this decision. I don’t think that NCs are ready to accept financial responsiblity [sic] for these decisions.”

    Unsupported by reality. This threat is old and tired and it is a complete insult to the people of Los Angeles who deserve better but who are continually marginalized by a Department that considers outreach optional.

    The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment is a Charter Department. The Neighborhood Councils were created by the people of LA and the City Charter provides for their existence and support.

    By contrast, LA’s Department of Transportation is an Ordinance Department, created by City Council ordinance. It did not require a vote of the people to create it and it does not require a vote of the people to simply absorb it into one of the other Charter Departments such as Public Works. If there is a budget crisis, perhaps the simplest solution is to look for opportunities to consolidate.

    (http://soapboxla.blogspot.com/2010/03/citywatchla-end-of-road-for-ladot.html)

    If the Department of Transportation has the time to argue for its limitations, perhaps it’s time to look for efficiencies that would support the public participation process in the development of Great Streets that work for all modes.

    To put things in perspective, even LA’s City Council has issued directives instructing the LADOT to communicate better…with the City Council! It happened in 2007 during the Call for Projects, it happened again during the first round of the Bike Plan, it happened during a Safe Routes to School audit, it happened when the parking meter rates were raised, it happened when the City Council wanted a survey of parking assets.

    Neighborhood Councils are empowered by the City Charter to monitor the delivery of City Services (Sec. 910) and to meet with officials (Sec. 910) Regardless of how one feels about Neighborhood Councils, the fact that the LADOT feels so comfortable violating the City Charter speaks volumes.

    From Street Services to Planning, other Directors and General Managers are somehow able to navigate the budget crisis and meet with the public to discuss the delivery of city Services. If the LADOT doesn’t have the time for the public or for training that would directly impact LA’s Complete Streets commitment, it’s because the public simply doesn’t count.

    (http://soapboxla.blogspot.com/2010/06/ladot-bikeways-misses-another.html)

  • minibikebar

    Ever hear Death by Democracy! Be careful for what you wish for. One anti-bike person on the NC/council person with influence can undermine bicycle infrastructure under the pretense that he or she knows what is better for their NC/community. I don’t need another layer of bureaucracy for bicyclist to jump over to get more bike facilities in the city.
    I want bike lanes, road diets, plan, sharrows and I don’t want NC involved they are unskilled and a waste of my taxpayer’s money ($40,000 annually) per NC. I would prefer that money be used for bicycling education, promotion, facilities and changing the laws. It seems LADOT is finally getting it: advocate for more positive change.
    Don’t waste your time and energy on NC’s. We need watch the politics that affects us as bicyclists and it is not with the NC’s.
    And Soap, why is it that every time I come back from Haiti (gone for 6 weeks) you are still anti LADOT which sounds more and more anti- bike. Don’t kick the bee hive or the negativity will send us back in the dark ages. If Smith removes the bike lane I will blame you! Come on bicyclists support bicycling infrastructure any way we can. Don’t get too marred in the process.
    I only have 3 weeks before I’m off to Haiti, again building schools and the best surprise I got is I can attend one of the bike plan meeting. How nice of Planning to changed the dates to fit my schedule!
    Once, again going on a nice long, long ride! Enjoy yourself on your bike there is no better place to be.

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