Mayor on the State of Air: We Need to Walk and Bike More

Maybe it’s just me; but has anyone else noticed a chance in our mayor recently when it comes to discussing walking and bicycling?  All of a sudden it seems like the Mayor can’t get enough of talking up the virtues of moving from place to place sans automobile.   First there was a mention in the State of the City and earlier this week on Huffington Post he touted people powered transportation as one of the best things Angelenos can do to clean up our air.

The City of Angels no longer needs to be known for smog and sprawl, but
it will take our collective efforts to ensure that we will all breathe
cleaner air. Government action is key, but there are many, simple
things people can do to help reduce air pollution: drive one less day
per week, bike and walk as often as possible, avoid burning wood.

This might not seem like a big deal to people who live and breathe bicycle or pedestrian advocacy; but it’s not everyday we see politicians willing to place some of the responsibility for the declining health of the planet on the choices normal people make everyday.  Think back to the 2008 presidential election, can you remember any of the major candidates, Barack Obama included, telling people to change their lifestyle habits for the planet?  When I wrote about the campaigns before the 2008 Super Tuesday primaries for NYC Streetsblog I couldn’t find a mention of that for either the Republicans or the Democrats.

But more importantly than just talking the talk, we’re starting to see a shift in policy.  Let’s hope that the good news doesn’t end with 30/10 and a 10% set aside for bicycles and pedestrian projects.  My prediction, based on Dan Koeppel’s twitter feed, we’re about to get some good news on CicLAvia.

Oh, and in case anyone’s interested; it turns out that burning wood in an urban environment, with high particulates in the air, is a bad idea.  Don’t do it.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

CicLAvia : 100,000 Cyclists, 0 Incidents, Millions of Stories

|
(This is part one of our coverage of yesterday’s groundbreaking Open Street Festival.  Hopefully later today we’ll have up a Streetfilm.  Tomorrow we’ll review the reviews of CicLAvia. – DN.) There’s many ways to try and talk about yesterday’s CicLAvia.  One way is to look at the numbers, another to look at the people, and […]

Streetsblog Interview: Steve Hymon

|
Hymon, Second from the Left, Joins Sue Doyle in Talking to Richard Katz and Asm. Feuer Does anyone really need me to write an introduction for an interview with Steve Hymon? If so, I’ll be brief. He’s the transportation writer for the Los Angeles Times, making him one of the five most read transportation writers […]

Streetsblog Interview: Professor Robert Gottlieb

|
Robert Gottlieb is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban Environmental Studies and Director of the Urban Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College.  The Institute seeks to marry education with action and thus Gottlieb and his students have become a major force for transportation reform in Los Angeles. In addition to his work on signature […]

California Bicycle Coalition Announces Its 2015 Legislative Agenda

|
The California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) released its ambitious agenda for the 2015  legislative session. Their top priority is to increase funding for cities to build complete bike networks — not just piecemeal bikeways. Also on its agenda is the less glamorous but equally important task of clarifying some outdated regulations that prevent people from riding bikes. The […]