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Cyclists Unhappy with LADOT’s Public Process

12:24 PM PST on February 20, 2008

A growing chorus is building in the cycling/activist community that the LADOT's public outreach for its Bike Master Plan is insufficient, and perhaps the harbringer of a bad plan. Stephen Box, of the Bike Writer's Collective, Illuminate LA, and Soapbox LA wrote an article today for LAist comparing LADOT's outreach plans with those in Portland and Long Beach:

Using Portland and Long Beach as a guideline, LA cyclists expect a comprehensive BMP public input process that reaches each of the neighborhoods in the 465 square miles of Los Angeles and that really reaches out to the 3.8 million people who share the 6500 miles of LA public roadway.

But instead, LADOT Bikeways and Planning gave the public three weeks notice, notification so insufficient that the Bicycle Coalition and the City's Bicycle Advisory Committee were both unable to get the BMP on their agendas prior to the workshops. The City's own partners were caught off-guard in this process. This is hardly a demonstration of a commitment to an open and transparent and inclusive endeavor.

In a post last week at West Side Bike Side, Alex Thompson noted the meetings' locations also don't make a lot of sense.

Where are these meetings located? One is located at the absolute end of the universe, a few miles from the water in San Pedro. San Pedro deserves it's chance for input, but it's not exactly the center of the LA biking scene, and certainly not in the top four of regions that need to offer input. Further, there's not one meeting in the Los Feliz/Silverlake/Hollywood/Bicycle District area. If you live near the original Midnight Ridazz meeting point, the center of LA's urban bike scene, you'll have a long ride to attend one of these meetings.

Militant Angeleno also noted the odd meeting locations in his review of this weekend's confab. When listing the future outreach locations, the Militant noted:

The Eastside: Sorry, guess that means that they just don't care about you.

As we noted here last week, for a BMP to have real impact, it needs to have the enthusiastic support of the city and of riders (in all five cities we reviewed, the Mayor was a leader in getting the plan off of its feet) So far, the outreach process seems to be a turnoff to some bike activists who are demainding more outreach and more chances for public involvement. These demands shouldn't be confused for a lack of enthusiasm for a bike plan, most cyclists crave better facilities and anxiously look forward to the plan's release this fall.

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