Introducing: The Bill Rosendahl Interview Series

9_16_09_Rosendahl.jpgBill Rosendahl introduces recycling program at Venice Beach. Photo:

Over Los Angeles Streetsblog’s first six months I had the opportunity to interview City Council Transportation Committee Chair Wendy Greul for a Streetfilm and Councilman Tom LaBonge after a trip to Europe.  With the changing of the leadership of the committee, I wanted to get a chance to sit down with the new Committee Chair, and one of my favorite Councilmen, Bill Rosendahl before my upcoming paternity leave.

Due to some quorum issues, we were unable to sit down until after Friday’s Council meeting, but the Councilman made up for lost time with a nearly hour-long interview where I said probably about three sentences.  It was a pretty amazing stream of concious conversation.  His staff that handles transportation issues and public relations were in the room and I think they added about three more sentences.  It was the former television host’s show last Friday and he kept his hands on the handlebars.

To give you a chance to hear everything he had to say, I’ve broken the interview down into three parts: an introduction, Rosendahl’s agenda for the Transportation Committee and a discussion of some of the issues in his district.  Today is the introduction, tomorrow we’ll post the information related to his committee and Friday will be the day to discuss issues in the Eleventh Councilmanic District.  I think I’m going to time the posting so it goes up at the same time we head out of Media Park and begin the Park(ing) Day ride.  Most of the morning ride will be in the 11th, so it seems somehow appropriate.

Before anything else, Rosendahl wanted to introduce us to Paul Backstrom, his new staff person dealing with Transportation issues.  During the wait for the interview I had a chance to talk to Backstrom, and as Rosendahl will tell you in a minute, he’s an avid cyclist and transit rider who understands many of the issues we discuss at Streetsblog because he lives them just as we do.

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After that Rosendahl went into a lengthy overview of some of his feelings, viewpoints and opinions about the state of transportation and where we, as a city and county, need to go from here.  In brief, he feels Measure R gives us a unique opportunity to fix a lot of the transportation problems that have been created in past decades but it’s not going to be fast or easy.  There are two different parts of this introduction that made me laugh out loud, see if you can catch them.



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(Video by Rob Adams. The whole project was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the David Bohnett Foundation.) I have to admit, when City Council Transportation Committee Chair Bill Rosendahl’s office first approached us about the Councilman taking a bike safety class, my first thought was “this will be hilarious.” ¬†Despite being a […]

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