Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times weighed in on the debate over whether or not the city should, or shouldn’t,repaint the fading Spring Street Green Buffered Bike Lane. The editorial calls for the lane to be repainted, but only after the city tries to find a shade of green that works for the filming industry per their representatives at Film L.A.
It’s always nice to call for a compromise, but one thing the Times is missing is that the current state of play is a compromise. The city, with the full support of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, originally planned to paint the Spring Street Lane going south green AS WELL AS the Main Street lane that runs on a parallel street green going north. Film L.A. managed to squash this second part of the proposal. If every time the Spring Street Lane is up for painting the city “compromises” then advocates for safer streets will see the the lane getting less useful every time it’s up for painting.
Maybe it’s time for advocates to call for painting the Main Street lane green as well, so we’re not starting from the current state of play with any “compromise” reducing the value of existing infrastructure. I will add that when discussing the editorial with some of the city’s bike advocates, off the record because this was an off-the-cuff conversation and not a policy of their organizations, it was repeatedly suggested that a good compromise should involve the city using the kind of paint that won’t fade in just one year.
Even with all of the press on the terrible impact that the green paint has on filming in L.A.’s historic core in Downtown Los Angeles, we still don’t have a great idea of data backing the argument that the lane with its current paint is bad for filming. We know that they claim that the paint and its reflective surfacing makes it harder to edit. After we showed the world that taking the lane out really isn’t that hard in post-production, the story changed a little. Now its the reflection, not the paint itself, that’s really super hard to edit out.
So here’s our challenge, we’ll show you our data and ask that you do the same. We can show the benefits of both green bike lanes and the Spring Street lane in particular, with data. If you tell us the extra cost of this editing and what percentage of a budget it would be, people can decide what is worth more. Also, could you please tell us cost be of temporarily covering the lane and editing the covering in post production? Without this data from you, we really can’t gauge the seriousness of your argument.