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Become a Streetsblog Superhero and Support Media That Makes a Difference

We’re about halfway through our spring pledge drive, and we need more readers to shed your mild-mannered identities, don your superhero capes, and give to Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

Readers who’ve contributed to our spring campaign call Streetsblog a “trusted source of news” that produces reporting which “makes a difference” for safer streets. Every day our team is working to produce stories that keep you informed about what needs to change to make our city work better for walking, biking, and transit. Who else is going to hold City Hall’s feet to the fire on parking reform, or track the progress of badly-needed street safety overhauls through the city’s most torpid Neighborhood Councils?

Please join the readers who’ve given so far and keep Streetsblog and Streetfilms going strong with a tax-deductible contribution today. You’ll be making a difference for media that makes a difference.

And, if you give before Friday at midnight, you’ll be entered to win this sweet rack-mountable bag from Po Campo:

Po-Campo

Thanks as always for supporting Streetsblog and Streetfilms! Your regularly scheduled posts will resume shortly.

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Be a Streetsblog Superhero and Give to Our Spring Pledge Drive

We’ve all seen the graphs: Driving and car ownership have passed their peak in America, while transit ridership and biking are on the rise. On the ground, however, city buses still move at a crawl, bogged down in traffic. Most streets remain too dangerous for most people to feel comfortable biking on them. And the traffic death toll continues to put our cities to shame compared to our global peers.

Streets aren’t going to fix themselves. Every street redesign is a fight, and every proposal to shift subsidies away from cars and driving meets stiff resistance. If you follow Streetsblog and Streetfilms, you know it takes a lot of smart, committed people to make change happen. By connecting people to information about what’s going on with transportation and planning policy in their communities, we’re accelerating the transition toward safe, efficient, equitable streets.

We need our readers to pitch in so we can keep on delivering the high-quality reporting and videos you expect. Please make a tax-deductible contribution to our spring pledge drive and help us reform the cars-first status quo on our streets.

Every month more than 200,000 people come to Streetsblog and Streetfilms. So for this pledge drive we’re asking you to step up and be a superhero. Out of hundreds of thousands of readers, we need just 400 donors to reach our goal — will you be one of them? We now accept both one-time gifts and recurring donations (think of them like a monthly subscription payment to Streetsblog), and you can direct your contribution to support the Streetsblog site of your choice.

As always, we have a few extra reasons for you to give. If you make a donation before Tuesday at midnight, you’ll enter a drawing to win this nifty hip pack made from recycled bicycle tubes, courtesy of Montrose Stitchery:

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Thank you for reading and for supporting Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

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Party with Streetsblog and Mike Bonin, Honor the Work of Paul Backstrom

streetsie_2013
Tomorrow night, Streetsblog Los Angeles will be holding its first fundraiser or 2014 and honoring the service of Paul Backsstrom, the transportation deputy to City Council Transportation Chair Mike Bonin and his predecessor Bill Rosendahl. The details of the event, which will be held in the Brentwood home of Joel Epstein, can be found after the jump.
You can RSVP on Facebook or EventBrite. While the event is a fundraiser, we don’t turn people away if they can’t/don’t want to pay the suggested donation.
Event’s at Joel’s are always fun. The crowd is usually around thirty people giving everyone a chance to talk to the people that make Streetsblog (and Santa Monica Next) happen. This year’s RSVP list includes some of the leadership from So.CA.TA., a handful of members of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, a staffer from the California Bike Coalition, in addition to Backstrom, Councilmember Bonin and his staff.
There’s still plenty of time to RSVP, right up until 5:45 pm tomorrow. Joel’s address will be provided with the RSVP.
Read more…
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Give to Streetsblog for a Chance to Win a Sleek New Bike Lock

We’ve got another great reason to donate to Streetsblog’s year-end pledge drive – give before midnight Sunday, and you’ll be entered to win a sleek TiGr titanium bike lock:

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One of these sleek bike locks is going to a reader who gives $50 or more by Sunday at midnight.

With the implementation of the city’s bicycling backbone network imperiled by car dealerships and the AAA in South Park, pearl clutching homeowners and their pet Council Member in West L.A., and the status of lanes on Lankershim in the Valley in question; next year will be a key one for bicycling and Livable Streets policy in Los Angeles.

Streetsblog needs your support to counteract the misinformation and hold city leaders to their promises on livable streets and a better Muni.

Also, don’t forget, everyone who gives $50 or more before the end of the year will also be eligible to take home a new Public C7 or V7 bicycle. We have bikes to give away to two lucky readers:

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A huge thanks to the readers who’ve contributed so far — every donation brings us closer to our goal!

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Give to Streetsblog, Win a Chance to Win a Public Bike, Close Out Our 5th Anniversary Year on a High Note

As Streetsblog L.A. closes out its 5th Anniversary Year, it’s important to note how far we’ve come. I don’t just mean Streetsblog L.A., which will have literally ten times the annual budget we had when we launched, but also how far we’ve come as a city. In 2008, there was no talk of dramatically expanding the city’s bicycle network, Measure R hadn’t passed and was considered a long shot, CicLAvia was just a funny word, and the city refused to install the safest crosswalks.

A lot of that has changed, but as recent setbacks in Westwood demonstrate, there’s a lot left to do. Even as the streets begin to transform from car sewers to Livable Streets, new fronts open up from Hyperion, to Lankershim, to Measure R++, to Eagle Rock.

And while we fight the good fight in Los Angeles in 2014, our reach has broadened all the way up to Sacramento where a new writer will keep an eye on Jerry Brown, the legislature and Caltrans. Back home, a new reporter joins me and Sahra in doing the same with Eric Garcetti, LADOT and the City Council.

While we’ve had our share of success attracting foundations and major donors, the lifeblood of Streetsblog has always been the readers who join us every day. Please make a tax-deductible gift to Streetsblog and Streetfilms so we have the resources to hold the next administration accountable and keep L.A. and all of California moving in the right direction.

Our audience has helped sustain our reporting, commentary, and videos for several years. Thank you to everyone who’s supported our work — and please keep it coming, because your contributions are essential to producing influential Streets Media.

For extra motivation, thanks to our friends at PUBLIC Bikes we are giving away one classy C7 and one beautiful V7 bicycle to two lucky readers who give $50 or more. We’ll hold the drawing after December 31, and the first name out of the hat gets first pick. Feast your eyes:

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Thank you for giving and making Streetsblog and Streetfilms a valuable, high-impact, community-supported resource.

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Bid While You Can: Streetsblog’s Online Auction Ends Tonight at 9 PM

There are just over 12 hours left in Streetsblog’s first online auction, with more than a dozen items up for grabs. Whether or not you win an auction item in the end, your bids will help Streetsblog and Streetfilms produce media that makes the case for safer streets, effective transit, and livable neighborhoods. So why wait to snipe at the last minute?

Prizes include a new Breezer bikeRickshaw bagsphotographs by Peter Lika hand-painted Belle helmetCleverhood rain cape, livable streets-themed signs by Smart Sign (they really make a statement in your apartment) — and a lot more.

Auction item winners can specify which Streetsblog outlet you’d like to direct your donation to, or make an open-ended contribution to our areas of greatest need. The auction is over at 9:00 p.m. Pacific on Halloween. Happy bidding!

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Are You Getting Excited for ARTCRANK? We Are.

We’re closing in on ARTCRANK the one night art poster and beer party that will take place on Saturday, November 9 at Space 15 Twenty, 1520 North Cahuenga Blvd from 4-10 pm. We don’t have copies of all of the posters yet, but ARTCRANK just released the official logo for the party which you can see above.

Streetsblog Los Angeles is the “cause partner” for the event, meaning a portion of the proceeds come right to us.

To help us out, all you have to do is show up and you can get a souvenir Widmer cup of beer with a two fills for just $5.  You can also buy some cool art, or just come and hang out. While Streetsblog L.A./Santa Monica Next gets to keep all of the beer proceeds and some other cash from the event, this is also one of the biggest bike parties of the year. Most of all, have fun.

Also, we’re still looking for volunteers. There are 16 volunteer shifts we need to fill. We’ve filled four. Contact me at damien@streetsblog.org if you’d like to help. Read more about ARTCRANK LAX right here.

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Help Out Streetsblog Los Angeles, Enjoy Good Beer, Buy Unique Poster Art

ARTCRANK 2012 | Time Lapse from ARTCRANK on Vimeo.

If you were among the hundreds of people that joined us at Orange 20 for ARTCRANK last year, you should just skip right to the event details at the end of the post. You already know you’re coming back. It was that good of a time.

If you didn’t, read on, and make your plans. See you then.

In short, ARTCRANK is a bike poster show. The basic concept is to recruit artists from our host cities and ask them to create posters about bicycles. ArtCrank started in Minneapolis in 2007 and will host its second-ever show in Los Angeles on November 9. In addition to the poster show, you can buy a cup of Widmer Beer for a mere $5 (with refill). All proceeds from beer sales come straight to Streetsblog thanks to a generous donation from Widmer.

There are other ways you can help Streetsblog at the event including special poster sales or volunteering to lend a hand. We need volunteers from the 5-8 and 8-11 shifts to help man the bar, the door, help with poster sales, etc. All volunteers get an ARTCRANK shirt a bottomless cup of beer and my eternal thanks. If you want to volunteer, email damien@streetsblog.org for more details on volunteering.

Who: ARTCRANK LAX 2013,
What: A bike poster show and beer party
When: November 9, 5-11 pm
Where:  Space 15 Twenty, 1520 North Cahuenga Blvd.
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Thanks Everyone for a Great Time in Santa Monica

The SM Next team of writers and advisors, not pictured Tyler Hakomori and Barbara Filet Image: Marybeth Newton

Thanks everyone who came out to our Santa Monica fundraiser at Juan and Sirinya Matute’s. We raised nearly $1,000 (in addition to the over $2000 from the KickStarter) making it a successful event. Plus the view was amazing, the food was fantastic and the attendees were the best company one could hope to have on a Sunday.

A special thanks to our sponsors: Juan and Sirinya, Pocrass and De Los Reyes LLP Attorneys, Bike Center, New Belgium Brewing and the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

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Thanks, Josef, for a great Streetsblog LA Fundraiser!

Photo: Josef Bray Ali/Flickr

Friday night, Juan and I ventured out to the Flying Pigeon, a bike shop owned by livable streets activist Josef Bray-Ali in Cypress Park, a neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles.  Josef and his friends graciously hosted a fundraiser in honor of Streetsblog.

Thank you to everyone who came and made gifts to support Streetsblog and its mission of connecting people to news about sustainable transportation and livable cities!

About 15 people came out for a short tour on bikes of Highland Park, the neighborhood north of Cypress Park, led by Josef. This was a treat, as I have not spent much time in the greater Highland Park area since I was four years old, when I commuted by school bus to preschool at San Pascual Elementary in Garvanza. (And since I was four, the only thing I clearly remember was how the bus always turned left at Echo Park Avenue, past the former Pioneer Market, to go north into Northeast LA).

I got to ride in the pedicab with Josef’s kid and his kid’s friend – what a treat!

On our tour, we learned about Highland Park’s origins as a hub for rail-based surface transportation. It is equidistant from LA and Pasadena, and there were both heavy rail tracks for the transport of goods and rails for streetcars (to move humans). The legacy of rails still remains in bits and pieces throughout the streets of Highland Park. Read more…