Gov 2.0 : Livable Streets Taking Over the Internet
“Bus Only Lanes”
“Bike Lanes in Major Streets”
“Closing Streets for Events”
“More showers and bike rental/parking stations”
Is this a Livable Streets wishlist for the City of Los Angeles? Yes. But it’s also the topics highlighted by LA/2B, the interactive online discussion program employed by the LADOT and City Planning to solicit feedback on the city’s effort to update its mobility plan. In an email to media and those using the website, LA/2B routinely lists the hottest topics on its message boards. All comments left at LA/2B will be part of the public record when determining what will, and won’t, be included in the city’s long-term plans.
Whenever I visit the LA/2B site, the hot topics are always related to livable streets, and that the comments are overwhelmingly positive. For example, the “hottest topic” at the moment is “Prioritize Pedestrians Over Autos” and has received twenty
“seconds” and 16 comments. By my count the comments run 2:1 in favor of the concept.
While support has been strong for pedestrian, bicycle and open streets proposals, the numbers on the website aren’t enough to persuade legislators addled with a car culture mentality so if you want to join the discussion, there’s no time like the present.
Meanwhile, LADOT Bikeways is fulfilling a promise made to its Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) and has launched an online survey for cyclists and interested parties to prioritize what projects in the Bike Plan should be implemented first. LADOT has come under some fire for placing Sharrows on a seemingly random set of streets so that in can reach the Mayor’s stated goal of 40 miles of bike projects every year. As we’ve noted before, the massive Sharrows implementation weekend from earlier this year was not included in the 2010 Bike Plan.
Allowing cyclists to make their case for projects directly in a mass way, as opposed to defaulting to the work of a handful of bike advocates with the time and means to attend meetings in Downtown Los Angeles, seems a good first step to insure better implementation of the plan praised by cyclists at its passage last March.
Of course, “knowing is half the battle.” For this brave new world of interactive comment gathering to be effective, LADOT and City Planning have to make good use of the knowledge they gain.