Josef Bray-Ali on Why Streetsblog Matters
Why do I think Streetsblog is important?
In LA, when you are walking on a sidewalk that abruptly terminates in a “No Ped Crossing”, or are sitting at a bus stop with only a bent and faded sign to its name, or riding a bike while insane “commuters” driving well over the speed limit past you, the school you just dropped your kid off at, and the local park – what are you supposed to do?
Talk to your neighbors? Hah! This town is built around social isolation. Talk to your city councilman? Hah! That guy doesn’t care about you unless you’re funding his re-election bid.
Call some bureaucrat in City Hall? Hah! Even if they could help, most city departments on the frontlines of delivering services also have a built in culture of putting off the public and ignoring our needs to suit their internal power squabbles and managerial incompetence.
What recourse do we have? The local press is owned by a bunch of corporate conglomerates busy shoveling celebrity news at us.
The answer is the discussion and analysis that starts online at LA Streetsblog, and continues in the board meetings, town halls, bike rides, and protests to fix the problems we know our city has.
In an anti-human environment, it takes a little bit of cybernetics to connect people enough to organize for positive change – and that is what Streetsblog has done in LA. It has turned the one guy on the block angry about terrible bike lanes into an organizer of dozens of other people in the city – herding them downtown to make their voices heard. It has turned the lone female bus rider, pissed about incompetent management of the bus system into the voice a many others in board meetings and in print journalism. Streetsblog is the platform upon which a more livable Los Angeles is being built.