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Posts from the "Cartoon Tuesday" Category

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Metro Announces 405 Widening Really About Creating First Freeway Separated Bike Lanes

In a surprise announcement, Metro revealed this morning that the much-hated 405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project will not add one northbound carpool lane as advertised. It will instead add protected bike lanes, aka cycletracks, to both sides of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass.

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Thumbs up for Metro’s ExpressBikeLanes! Photo: Stephen Hebert/Facebook

Say hello to L.A.’s ExpressBikeLanes.

“It’s no coincidence that the Crimanimalz rode the I-10 on their bicycles at the same time we we doing final planning for the Sepulveda Pass Widening Project, and it got us to thinking…maybe bicycles do belong on freeways,” explains Doug Winning, the head of Metro’s Highway Department. “We only had one widening in the queue, so we made some quick adjustments to our plans to create L.A. County’s first highway cycletracks.”

Winning went on to clarify that the new plans for the project were in the plans for “years” and were not the result of the toll lane project’s decreasing popularity, inflated budget or way-over-deadline timeline. They certainly aren’t part of an attempt to blame bicyclists for the wildly unpopular and expensive project that even the local Metro Board Members, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Mike Bonin, believe is a mistake.

Which is not to say this announcement didn’t come with some controversy. Motorists who had their traditionally congestion-free commute on the 405 interrupted with a pair of Carmageddons and sporadic lane and ramp closures are now angry that they won’t be given a chance to risk being ticketed while driving solo in the carpool lanes.

“In truth, we didn’t even have to close any part of the freeway. That part was just for kicks,” Winning continued.

The announcement drew criticism from the Los Angeles City Bicycle Coalition of Cyclists.

“I’m not sure that cycletracks on a freeway with a steep incline is the best idea,” explains Eric Trojans, the LACBCoC. “And what’s with the transponder requirement?”

Trojans is referencing the one requirement that cyclists have to meet to ride in the new ExpressBikeLanes. Cyclists will be required to attach a transponder to their windshield that will notify Metro that there is a cyclist in the lane.

The transponders are free to rent, provided the cyclist rides both ways in the ExpressBikeLane at least 17 times per fiscal year. The fiscal year begins on May 3 and ends on May 4 of the following year. If a cyclist is worried he will not be able to make that many trips, he can link his ExpressBikeLanes transponder account with his or her LAUSD teacher I.D., a Mega-Ball lottery ticket, or a defunct TAP account to avoid transponder fees. Read more…

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Cartoon Tuesday: There Auto Be a Law

My favorite editorial cartoonist in the country is the one at The Onion. True, the cartoonist never agrees with me on any subject, but that’s sort of the point of The Onion, isn’t it? Click the picture to see what Livable Streets program is under editorial fire this week.

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Cartoon Tuesday: Bike Critters

Many of you know Streetsblog editorial board member Joe Linton from his writing on Streetsblog or BIKAS. Those of you that have been around the block also know him from his work over the years with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange, CicLAvia, Livable Places or a host of advocacy groups concerning the L.A. River.

What fewer know is that Joe Linton is also a heck of an artist.  So much so, that he’s been tapped to judge an art contest that combines two of his favorite things: bikes and animals.

Today on BIKAS, Linton announces and promotes the Santa Monica Museum of Arts Tour da Arts 2012 Bike Critter contest.  If the term “bike critter” isn’t illustrative enough for you, you can see exactly what they’re talking about at the slideshow above of last year’s entries.

Read more about the Bike Critter contest here and check out the entire Bike Contest Guidelines here.  The Tour de Arts is August 19.

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Cartoon Tuesday/Ad Nauseum: Brought to You by Acura


Did The Media Treat Bachmann Unfairly Because She’s An Insane Woman?

For years, Streetsblog has chronicled some of the most ridiculous car advertisements that appear in print or television. We’ve also tried to occasionally lighten the mood with the “Cartoon Tuesday” series. Leave it to The Onion News Network to give us a chance to do both at once.

In an otherwise ho-hum report on whether or not Michelle Bachman’s presidential campaign was hampered by her insanity, David Barrowdale, whose opinions are sponsored by Acura, is forced to give them from the inside of the car itself. If only all newscasters were required to do the same when their news shows only prevent half the picture on transportation policy before heading off too commercial.

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Cartoon Wednesday: Congested Values

The Onion’s editorial cartoonist “Kelly” has a reputation for holding bizarre or downright insane views on issues ranging from America’s place in the world to child support for deadbeat dads.  This week he offers his take on transportation planning, bike lanes, and freedom all in one fell swoop.  Click through to get the punchline, and remember, we’re laughing AT not with him.

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Cartoon Tuesday, American Voices, Harassing Cyclists

For the rest of the jokes, Click here.

This week, The Onion’s “American Voices” asks three average Americans their views on L.A.’s recently passed cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.  As you would expect from The Onion, the comments aren’t pretty.  Of course, these three have been answering these questions for quite some time now.

But I have faith that Streetsblog readers are funnier than Onion staff writers, so take a crack at writing your own ridiculous commentary on the law, and leave it in the comments section.  If we get enough comments, we’ll make a poll out of it to crown the winner of a LA Streetsblog t-shirt.

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Cartoon Tuesday: The World’s Best Anti-Sprawl Video

Via our friend’s at NRDC Switchboard comes “Built to Last” an award-winning video by John Paget that the makes the case for “Smart Growth” without ever using the term.  The film id in two parts, a “problem” section that identifies what is the greatest threat to the earth (CUL-DE-SACS!).  The second part identifies the solution, smarter planning resulting in density, walkable communities and places that don’t require a car to do basic things.

I know the concepts of New Urbanism and Smart Growth are old hat to most people reading Streetsblog, but the snappiness of the film production makes it easy to watch and understand for folks that don’t think about urban design in their day to day lives.  So take a second to watch the video, then send it out to your friends and family.  As Kaid Benfeld said at the Switchboard, “…this is a great little video that should be spread far and wide”

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Cartoon Tuesday: The Joke in on Al Queda

Posted without comment. Originally posted at The Political Wire.

Just something to think about as Congress continues to debate how best to fund our transportation system in the coming months.

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Cartoon Friday: Beware

On February 19, 2010, the Portland City Council passed a Bike Plan.  Just like we saw this week, Portland’s Mayor announced a funding mechanism to make the plan a reality.  For Portland, it was the $20 million “kickstart.”  For Los Angeles, it’s the steady trickle of Measure R local return funds.  But nevertheless, the day after Portland passed its Bike Plan, the super-blog Bike Portland printed this cartoon.  Consider it part joke, part history lesson and part warning.

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Road Rage, Disney Style

The tale is one that is familiar to us all. A model citizen is kind to friends, family and neighbors alike. He stops and smells the flowers. He walks around an ant.

Then he gets behind the wheel of a car.

Road rage. Entitlement. Delusions of road ownership. Selfishness.

Our everyman experiences all of these emotions as he travels to and from work, all behind the wheel of his automobile. Amazingly, this cartoon debuted in 1950 decades before the “war on cars” began or Streetsblog was even thought of. Yet, the concept of Road Rage, in all its ugliness and self-obsession, still existed. It’s a problem that all the fancy gadgets or high-tech cars in the world can’t solve.

But as we see at the four minute mark, the cure for road rage is still the same then as it is now. Take away the car and even the worst road rage monster becomes your average citizen again.