Monday, August 25, 2008

The Week in Streetsblog: Cyclist Attacked, Metro Retreats

Last week featured a couple big stories, on everything from why the city is raising speed limits to CNN taking a look at Mandeville Canyon...and that was just last Monday!

But the big story of the week was the sad story of a cyclist being attacked by a gangbanger while riding the Ballona Creek Trail. The rider received confused sympathy from the police, and outrage from the blogosphere. The story was picked up by bike blogs, Met Blogs, and LAist.

However, the biggest story of the week was the Streetsblog exclusive report that HOT Lanes in LA are going to be so watered down that they want remove any cars from the HOV Lanes and probably won't do very much for congestion. Bummer.

Friday, August 15, 2008

If you can't bring the politicians to bikes...

...bring the bikes to the politicians.

One of the big debates in Streetsblog this week was bike sharing. Last Friday I wrote about some of the problems that excessive security can have on bike access to the DNC. Over the weekend, I thought it over and decided that I put the wrong emphasis in the story. I should have focused on the outstanding bike sharing program that Bikes Belong put together. 1,000 free rental bikes. Nice.

Of course, national conventions aren't the only place that politicians hang out...thus, viola! It's bike sharing in DC.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The week in Streetsblog

So, we're going back to Friday's for the "Week in Review" posts for Streetsblog. Trying to do them in the middle of the week just wasn't working.

The story that attracted the most hits was on the Santa Monica Critical Mass ride last Friday. Yes, I really did bring my Pastor with me. He's pictured above. My spiritual leader. Really.

So the SMPD handed out about a dozen tickets for minor or imaginary infractions and basically acted like complete fools while endangering cyclists. I nearly got biked by one and I'll tell ya, I didn't break any laws the entire ride. Most liberal city in the County? Hardly.

But the big news this week was the struggle over Metro's sales tax proposal. Last Thursday the Bus Rider's Union posted an editorial at the Times' website explaining their position opposed. A debate ensued that was so strong that I actually posted a piece by a supporter of the proposal for balance's sake.

This week, we expected the proposal to be passed by the Board of Supervisors and the State Senate. In short, it wasn't. And in the case of the Supes, it was really weird. One supervisor twice spoke about why the proposal should be on the ballot as it was to save taxpayers money than voted against it. Later. He sent out a press release saying he would vote for it when he brings it back up again next week. The whole thing is just weird.

The Senate hasn't moved it out of committee because two Senators decided to hold it up to try and get more money for a good (Green Line Extension to LAX) and incredibly stupid (tunnel to add capacity to freeway by Pasadena).

Next week should be interesting, as the sales tax proposal might get voted down before the election even happens.