Open Thread: So, How’d I Do?

Click on the image to go to the video.

(Note: First, read this story in the Los Angeles Times interviewing me.)

A couple of weeks ago, Carla Hall, an opinion writer at the Los Angeles Times asked if I would sit down with her for an interview. While Hall and I have gotten along pretty well, and I was gushing over the Times’ approach to cycling on its opinion page, I was wary. After all, the first time I ever wrote about Hall, it’s just possible I could have been nicer.

But, as I pointed out to her, Steve Hymon made me do it.

In the end, we had a spirited two-hour conversation and she invited me down the the Times’ for an on-camera interview to go with her piece. There, a nice woman threatened to rap me on the fingers if I didn’t behave, and I got a taste of what a traditional news room looks like, complete with a cast of characters huddled around a computer screen trying to make sense out of something that had happened in City Hall.

But while I had a wonderful time and got to make my family proud by being featured in the Los Angeles Times, the real measure of the experience is how well I did making my points and what points I chose to push. Streetsblog is not the Times and vice versa, so for many people this might be the only time I have a chance to reach them.

Which leads me to one question, and one only all of you can answer: How’d I do?

  • Juan Matute

    Good job. Well done.

  • Erik Griswold

    We’ve got to figure out a way for the International House of Streetsblog to get you a Christiania Bike (or the like) for transporting the kiddos.

  • grrlyrida

    If I read one more time about how bicyclists have to grovel and beg for respect by following every rule of the road that benefits cars, I’m gonna scream. Drivers can roll through stop signs, blow red lights and leave the scene of their carnage with impunity, but we have to be beyond reproach to use the roads. Who cares whether drivers respect me.

    I’m glad you spoke up and said everyone breaks the rules, but only bicyclists get blamed for it. I think you said what needed to be said. Good interview, Damien.

  • Brendan

    “while I don’t think it’s the safest idea…” to ride on a sidewalk…

    Please don’t voice this Forester cult talking point. LA has vast areas within the city limits where the sidewalks can be safer than the roads, sometimes immensely safer. And that will be true until the day we get high quality *barrier protected* bike lanes/cycle tracks with Dutch or scramble intersections. How about this alternative – riding *too fast* on a *narrow* or *busy* sidewalk might not be the safest idea, especially where there are blind driveways.

  • Ed C

    Thanks for the advocacy and making our voices heard. Just a few suggestions to augment your message.

    First, don’t fall into the false equivalency of bike vs car when it comes to “safety.” I have to be trying really, really hard to kill someone else whilst riding a bike but it takes simply mixing up the gas and brake pedals to become a mass murderer. Societal consequences of bad behavior aren’t even close.

    Second suggestion: if you haven’t already, read Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt:

    Disclaimer: you may never play in traffic on a bike again after reading that book.

    Please keep up the great work.


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