Monday, July 25, 2011

Bikes in LA: "not consequential"

From Timothy Egan's piece in yesterday's NY Times Book Review:

On a typical weekday, bikers make up just 1 percent of commuters in Los Angeles. One percent. If that figure doubles with all the new initiatives in the city to expand lanes, it would be a worthy achievement---but sort of non-consequential in the big picture. Los Angeles, or any major American city, will never be Amsterdam. Too many goods and services cannot move by bike. Nor will the majority of commuters hop on a skinny seat, not so long as the automobile remains dressing room, breakfast table and phone conference center for millions of harried workers. Even in the nation’s top major city for bikes, Portland, Oregon, cyclists are barely 6 percent of the commuting traffic.

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Muni's lie about covering bus windows


As reported in the Chronicle (Wrapping up deficit, Muni buses): "Muni officials say that both the agency's security team and the police have signed off on the new plan. They say the window-wrap material is perforated vinyl that won't obstruct views." Anyone who rides Muni knows that is a lie. The perforated material over the windows turns one of the prettiest cities in the country into a dotted grid for Muni passengers. It's like being inside a Chuck Close painting. 

Of course Muni's new boss supports this policy that shows contempt for Muni passengers in our allegedly "transit first" city.

MTA's budget is $780 million, it just gave Nat Ford a $384,000 gold parachute, and it will be paying Reiskin $294,000 a year. But it's absolutely essential that it cover Muni bus windows with ads that bring in only $500,000 a year!

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