Times Asks: Should L.A. Give Cyclists More Space on the Road


I was waiting to write about "L.A.’s Best Bike Plan’s" Bike Backbone Network that’s was slowly rolled out over the last week until all three maps were public.  In the meantime, the Los Angeles Times and KPCC have picked up on part of the story, getting some of the major details wrong.  The Bike Backbone Network was never about building a lot of new bike infrastructure, it was about declaring the streets that make up the Backbone as the main thorofares for cyclists to commute and move around town.  But much more on that tomorrow…

For today, we have an LA Now Column by Ari Bloomekatz which is bound to stoke the flames of the "bike versus car" culture wars that often heat up on websites and the streets when a simple question is posed such as "Should L.A. give cyclists more space on the road? "  Right?

Well, less than two hours into the article, the comments section is overwhelmingly positive towards cyclists.  At the time of writing this article there are fifty two comments answering the question and over forty five of them are positive.  Only two are negative and the rest are somewhat off topic.  I’ll be monitoring the Times article throughout the day to see if the mood changes, but if not, I propose a mass tweeting of the article @villaraigosa and @MobilityMaven tonight to make the point that it’s not just bicycle blogs, and Streetsblog where people make the case that cyclists deserve more and safer space on Los Angeles’ streets.

Update: 11:10 – Over 100 comments, and it’s still mostly positive.  A few motor heads are speaking up, but we’re still running at least two-to-one foe positive comments in the last fifty comments.

  • There is no way to make L.A. bike friendly without taking away space from cars on the road. The sooner we fight this battle, the better.

  • la rider

    It’s actually great that this is happening. There are alot of voices in LA in support of biking. The ones that are not in support are quite scary though.

  • UrbanReason

    I think it’s impressive how the overwhelming majority of comments on this post are in favor of comprehensive bike infrastructure. I also think it should be noted that overwhelming majority of those NOT in favor comment with a great deal of ANGER, HATRED, VIOLENT statements and complete ignorance of the law.

  • la rider

    The years of being stuck in traffic has really made some of the drivers angry. They have no concept of traffic science and really feel that dedicated safe bikeways will increase traffic. The truth of the matter is, is that it only takes a very small percentage of people trading their cars in for bikes/transit to make a huge difference in overall traffic congestion. This would actually make life better for drivers in general. But of course, the angry driver might end up behind one of those ‘bikers’ and feel that traffic is terrible because of the minor inconvenience that they themselves might experience.

    Intelligence is not predestined nor god given, you have to choose not to be a moron.

  • My theory is that the lack of exercise from all that time behind the wheel causes an increase in cholesterol levels, resulting in build-up of vascular plaque cutting off oxygen to the brain. So you see, it’s not really their fault — the indignorant comments made by a relative handful of drivers is nothing more than a treatable medical condition.

    My prescription is park the SUV, turn off the cell phone, put down the Big Mac and try getting a little healthy exercise. Like riding a bike, maybe.

    Oh, and stop listening to right-wing talk radio. Seriously.

  • Actually, after listening to NPR for over a year, I turned it off cold turkey. I have no patience for their long meandering stories, Mondays with Cocaine Roberts, or their attenuated voices. (Although the hourly newscast is the most information-packed three or five minutes in radio you will ever find.) I love my rage, and John and Ken bring it – plus, since their newsperson Terri Rae Elmer is a charity cyclist, who trains up in the hills, they are quite sympathetic to bicyclists, although they resent paying taxes to public transit, union employees, or basically everything.


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