Bike Working Group Gives Cyclists a Chance to Talk Bike Plan This Weekend

10_13_09_dr_t.jpgAlex Thompson presents the Bicycling Bill of Rights. Photo: Stephen Box

(update: The LA Bike Working Group event to review the Bike Plan has had to change time and venue.  The new location and time is Saturday, 2pm, at the Hollywood Adventist Church, 1711 N. Van Ness Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028.  We’ll be in the Fellowship Hall on the NW side of the parking lot.)

The Bike Writers Collective is calling up the LA Bike Working Group
to take on LA’s Draft Bike Plan, reviewing it, discussing it, and then
working together to make it a powerful visionary document that supports
the rights of cyclists on the streets of Los Angeles. All LA cyclists
are invited to join in as the spirit of Government 2.0 takes over the
Los Angeles City College Faculty Lounge at 1pm this Saturday, October
17, 2009.

The Draft Bike Plan was released on September 24th
and the comment period is scheduled to close on November 6th, a window
of 42 days for public participation. This is the first of many
objectionable elements to the Draft Bike Plan and the City’s idea of
civic engagement. The LA Bicycle Advisory Committee voted unanimously to "demand" that the comment period be extended
until Jan 8, 2010. The Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils also
voted unanimously to support the fight for an extension of the comment
period. Now it’s up to the cycling community to prepare those comments.

Riding
a bike in Los Angeles has always been a demonstration of
self-sufficiency and independence. At first it simply meant carrying a
spare tube, some tools and a pump. Somewhere along the way it grew to
include carrying a pocket guide to the law, some key phone numbers and
some bail money. Then the Department of DIY took things into their own
hands and now the cycling community finds themselves confronted with
the fact that if they want a decent Bike Plan, they’re going to have to
make it themselves.

Cyclists can take a look at the complaints and the criticism of the Draft Bike Plan, from LAStreetsBlog and again on LAStreetsblog to CityWatchLA to WestsideBikeSide to BikeGirl. But the most important thing they can do is to take a look at the Draft Bike Plan,
(editor’s note: If you want to compare the "original" maps from earlier this summer with the current ones that were quietly downgraded, you can find the original maps here.) download it to their laptop and then to ride
over to the LA Bike Working Group and to dig in. We’ll start as a group
then we’ll break into smaller groups and we’ll work through the plan
and create a vision for Los Angeles, by cyclists for cyclists.

Portland
is currently going through the same Bike Plan update process as Los
Angeles and they have 11 Working Groups, 1 Steering Committee and 1
Technical Advisory Committee, all working together to ensure that the
Bike Plan is a robust document that represents the desires of the
cycling community. Somehow the City of LA got consultants from Portland
but not the spirit of community nor the commitment to an open and
engaging process. Now is LA’s chance to change that and to create a
Bike Plan that truly supports cyclists and their rights on the streets
of Los Angeles.

LA Bike Working Group, 1 pm on Saturday the 17th
of October, 2009. LACC Faculty Lounge, right in the center of the
campus which is right in the center of LA. To plan your visit via
public transportation, go to metro.net. The Red Line drops you off
right by the College at Santa Monica & Vermont.

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