Let the backlash against sustainable transportation practices begin!
Throughout the summer Streetsblog has reported on the Road Diet the LADOT has placed on Wilbur Avenue in the Valley community of Northridge and the backlash the Diet has caused. City Councilman Greig Smith was so incensed that the Diet was placed without community input that he’s proposing legislation that would require local Neighborhood Council approval before any transportation project moves forward. Recently, the project has attracted more high-profile coverage in the Los Angeles Times, on KNBC (above) and in City Watch.
Throughout 2009, one of the hottest topics amongst transportation reformers and neighborhood groups was the disturbing trend of speed limits being increased on local and arterial streets throughout the Valley. Then Assemblyman Paul Krekorian tried to change the state law which was causing the speed limits to increase, but many reformers argued that a better remedy would be to change the design and striping of streets to encourage slower, safer driving.
Of course, now that the LADOT is actually redesigning and striping streets to encourage safer driving, the backlash has begun.
Unfortunately, the debate is being presented in the media as a “car v bicyclist” debate as Wilbur Avenue received two bike lanes after the street was narrowed from four lanes of car traffic to two lanes with a turn lane. However, there’s a lot of other, more accurate ways, to view the conflict caused by the Diet. After the jump, we’ll take a look at the framing of the debate, and how it will effect the way people will react to the debate. Read more…