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Antonio Villaraigosa

Villaraigosa in Copenhagen: L.A. Needs to Do More for Bikes

Yesterday Mayor Villaraigosa gave an interview to KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, where he talked about what Los Angeles can do to be a more green city.  CicLAvia has the mayor's comments about bicycles:

In the area of bicycling I’ve got to do a better job and the city’sgot to do a better job… we’re planning to… close down some streets inthe city. We’re going to give people, probably on a Sunday, anopportunity to just take over streets. Much as we took over thefreeways you remember on the 110.

CicLAvia makes two quick observations: the Mayor sounds an awful lot like Professor Robert Gottlieb and second, it sounds an awful lot like the Mayor is committing to a "closed street" festival similar to Bogota's Ciclovia or New York's Summer Streets.

Now I know there's going to be a lot of skeptics that this means that the Mayor is suddenly going to become Mr. Bicycle.  However, let's remember two things in this Season of Hope: exposure to a real bike town can have an impact on the previously uninitiated such as when then-Councilwoman Greuel witnessed Denver's temporary bike share program during the DNC in 2008 and came home a believer.  Second, New York's Mayor Bloomberg, and then NYCDOT Commissioner Iris Weinshal, were Livable Streets  villains until he made green transportation a priority and hired Janette Sadik-Khan.

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