Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How I'm Voting for Transportation on November 4th

President: Barack Obama

He's not just a bike rider, he also understands the needs of urban areas and is a believer in transit. There's no comparison between Obama and "Drill, Baby, Drill."

Congress: Henry Waxman

Thanks for helping lift the ban on the "Subway to the Sea" tunneling, but that's not enough to get a picture.

Measure R: Yes

OK, here's the deal. I don't like Measure R. There's a ton of problems with the Measure, and that the "pro" Measure R people have decided to promote it as a congestion relieving road tax completely galls me. And, it completely sucks that the Metro Board fumbled on putting money aside for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Add to that the best argument in favor of this proposal that the Pro folks can put forward is that there will be no new transit projects for 30 years if it fails; well that's the worst kind of fear politics. Either give us what you want or you're fucked. Thanks for the awesome discourse, Your Honor.

We really need this legislation. Our transit system isn't what it could/should be. I know that if this fails they'll come forward with a new funding plan of some sort but here's the thing....the next plan is going to suck more than this one. Over the course of two months, the deal makers on the Metro Board managed to slash the Local Return funds, the only chance of seeing any small part of this sales tax get spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects, so they could build a tunnel to double capacity on the 710. Awesome.

Imagine what they would do if they had years instead of months to vote for the proposal.

My advice? There's a lot of good things funded by Measure R. It's not perfect, heck it's not even great. But it is better than what we got, and if you want to wait for a great proposal it isn't going to happen.

Prop 1A: Yes

A no-brainer. Yes on high speed rail.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Streets Quiz

Last night I biked to a Measure R rally, then continued my ride to Santa Monica to get drinks with the family. I saw a lot of weird things on the road, but only three of the following...anyone want to take a guess which of the following were not witnessed on the road?

1) A Caltrans truck waiting for a green light completely in the crosswalk in the left lane at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica forcing literally dozens of pedestrians out of the crosswalk.

2) Two buses at the Measure R rally nearly colliding while trying to honk their approval at the sign waivers.

3) Two Metro Rapid buses running the same route between 10 feet and 100 yards away literally passing each other so that one didn't fill up more than the other. At rush hour.

4) A member of Santa Monica's finest merrily texting away at a red light. Missing the signal turning green, he has to hustle but gets caught at the next red light anyway. Never stops holding his phone at eye level.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some Guest Posts Over at Streetsblog

I've gotten some great guest posts over the past couple of weeks, and I wanted to highlight them for folks who read this blog but (for whatever reason) not Streetsblog.

Ingrid Peterson: LA's Sunday Streets: A Simple Switch

Dana Gabbard: More Reasons to Vote for Measure R

Erin Steva: CALPIRG Wants Your Help to Pass High Speed Rail

They're all great. Enjoy.