Thursday, November 12, 2009

Take a Survey for the Urban Bike Project

I got this email from my friend Alexis. The survey only takes a couple of minutes, and it will help move the ball forward on sustainability.

I am hoping you wouldn't mind helping me distribute a survey I have created to support my graduate thesis. The survey is to collect data on the experience and knowledge of cyclists in the City of Los Angeles.

The survey will also support a "white paper" that will be released in February on behalf of the Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative ( The Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative is a non-profit organization that funds graduate research on environmental issues in an effort to promote sustainable development in Southern California and bridge the gap between local urban issues and local academic research.

The data from the survey will help create and support policy recommendations to improve bicycling in Los Angeles. My goal is understand the barriers that are faced, common issues or experiences, and safety knowledge. Along with the obvious need for better infrastructure I am hoping this survey will help support the need for wide spread education of both cyclists and motorists.

I appreciate your help in getting the survey out to your readers.

Here is the link -

also here's a code version to drop into your website if that's better - Click Here to take survey

Thanks for you help!

Alexis Lantz

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In L.A. Dogs Wouldn't Ride the Metro...

So my brother sent a note to his friends about my article about dogs using the Metro in Moscow with the tagline that in L.A. they would have to learn to ride the 405. The response is above.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stephen Colbert's News of the Week: LA Streetsblog

I knew getting archived in the feed was going to be worth something.

Anyone that reads Colbert Nation for the "State of the Nation" (i.e. to what Stephen is reading about himself) will see that the top news item from last week is an LA Streetsblog story: "Stephen Colbert's Tips for Drivers and Cyclists." Since I know Stephen appreciates a shout-back as much as a shout-out; thanks for reading Colbert Report staff!

If you're ever in L.A., I'll treat for lunch at Buddha's Belly.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

All hail the Flying Pigeon, the Orange 20 of the Eastside

Yesterday my wife and I headed over to the Flying Pigeon Bike Shop an 3174 North Figueroa Street (two doors down from the Bike Oven) to picket out the cargo bike that will be the primary form of transportation for me and Samuel in a couple of months. The shop's owner, Josef Bray-Ali is no stranger to anyone that knows me well whether it be as the guy with the baby in the bike co-op Streetfilm or as the firebrand poster ubrayj02 at Streetsblog. What we discovered in the past two days is that he's also a heck of a bike shop owner.

When we arrived, I had already decided I wanted the Flying Pigeon's bucket bike, aka the Bakfiet Light as we were referring to it, but Josef insisted on walking me through all the steps. His "sales pitch" included offering me a ride on his bigger, sturdier, and heavier Dutch Bakfiet, a bike that he doesn't sell, and walking us through a series of Extra-Cycles. However, despite his best efforts to get us to buy from someone else, we held firm and got ourselves our Flying Pigeon Bucketbike (which Marybeth and I have already named Bessie).

Un-happy with the state of the bikes in the shop, Josef decided that before he would let me pedal away he had to give us new tires, a tuneup, straighten the rims, and do all sorts of little adjustments. I should also note that in the time we were in the shop yesterday and today Josef was fixing rims, selling tires and even the I Bike LA shirts.

After the bike was ready to go today, he put me in touch with a stenciler and had me out on the street. Let me tell you, riding a bucket bike brings to unique experiences versus riding on Gunpowder. First, people stop and stare at you. I had a couple of kids that recognized the Charlie Brown shirts from a group ride and rode next to me asking questions for awhile and one of the "purple shirts" downtown chatted me up.

Second, it's a lot like riding a tank. The route I took from Flying Pigeon to my house was 11.2 miles, but I felt like I had finnished one of the longer loops on the River Ride. I've got a lot of riding to do in the next couple months to build up my leg muscles to get ready for the kiddie taxi routine I'm planning in 2010...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How I'm voting for Transportation on May 19

5th District Council Race: David Vahedi

I've got nothing against Paul Koretz. In fact, there's only three of thirteen current Council Members I'd vote for ahead of him (Rosendahl, Garcetti and Reyes). He has a solid environmental record and has experience as a road cyclist himself. He's for Expo, against Pico-Olympic. All-in-all, he's a solid candidate for transportation.

That being said, I'm voting for Vahedi.

David Vahedi has a record of bike advocacy second to few in this city period. As a lawyer in Prokop vs. City of Los Angeles, he knows how maddeningly inconsistent the city's bike policies can be and has experience fighting for us. He's also good on transit and Pico-Olympic so there's little not to like. Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll take Greuel's spot on the T Committee if he wins.

If not, Koretz will be solid. He's not the transformational choice, so Vahedi gets my vote but either way we'll be in better hands on 7/1 than we are now.

City Attorney: Carmen Trutanich

While Weiss was impressive in his Streetsblog questionnaire, he's been sufficiently unimpressive as a Councilman on transportation issues that I'll vote Tru for this one. I honestly don't know much about Trutanich that I haven't heard on television commercials. However, this is a case where I'm going with the Devil I Don't Know.

State Ballot Propositions: No

If these props would help save the stolen transit subsidy, I would vote for them. If Schwarzenegger wouldn't have announced a further transit raid this week, I might have voted for them. However, the state has screwed up my top issue so much I ain't voting for them to get squat until they find a way to fix it. Sorry public employees, but they didn't leave me any choice.

I'm even voting "no" on the pay hike hold, because it's such a pandering of a move that, well, screw them.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Damien and Joe's Internet Class

As just about everyone that still reads this blog knows, I teach a class occasionally with Joe Linton teaching people how to use free Internet tools to better promote their business and organize large and small groups of people towards a common purpose. I just wanted to take a chance to thank this week's batch of students:

Anita Bizzell
Brian Frobrisher
Joe Wes
Babz Rowe
Julia Stein
Eleanor Osgood.

See you all next Tuesday!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How I'm Voting for Transportation on March 3

Mayor: Craig X Rubin

Ok, everyone get your laughs that I'm going for the legalizing medical marijuana guy. Ok, are you done? Let's move on.

When it comes to a transportation platform, Rubin has the best one and for that reason he gets my vote. First, half the candidates fail the simple test of supporting the Subway to the Sea leaving us with just a handfull left: Villaraigosa, Craig X Rubin, Phil Jennerjahn, and Carlos Alvarez.

I couldn't find Alvarez's website. So we can cross him off the list. Villaraigosa has a poor record when it comes to cyclists both as Metro Board Chair and Mayor so we can cross him as well.

That leaves me with Jennerjahn and Rubin. A quick look at their plans reveals a superior one for Rubin who actually has a transportation plan. I think some of it won't pass muster, but because he mentions bike lanes he gets my vote. That's right, the transportation platforms of the candidates are so bad, that just mentioning building bike lanes gets a nod from me.

Comptroller: Wendy Greuel

I've had a couple conversations with Greuel over the past year about several transportation issues and always found her to be knowledgable and interested. Personally, I think she's a little to into speeding up traffic and increasing car capacity; but she's also shown a good grasp of bike issues and transit issues. Heck, she even has a whole page devoted to transit issues on her campaign website.

Where I am most hopeful is that she would build on her record of supporting car-sharing and Current Comptroller Laura Chick's reporting on the city's take-home car program to bring us a new way of provifing vehicles to city staff. At Streetsblog I've talked a lot about the "Philadelphia model" of car-sharing where the government drastically cuts its take-home vehicle program and replaces it by supporting a car sharing program.

If we want real car-share back in L.A., this is probably the only way we're going to see it.

City Council 5th District: Robert Schwartz

I like some of Schwartz's more creative ideas and some of the breath of knowledge he's shown on particular issues. For example, take this from his issues page:

Recent news that school districts are cutting back on bus service for students creates a host of new problems but also presents opportunities. Too many of our local schools can only be safely reached by school bus or car. We need to change this by improving intersections, bike routes, and sidewalks so that students do not need a motorized vehicle to get to class.

I think I would vote for any candidate that is willing to publicly state you don't need an engine to get to school.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Internet Skills Class - taught by Joe Linton and Damien Newton

Extra, Extra...

Upcoming Classes - All classes 7pm to 9pm:
Wednesdays February 18th and 25th 2009
Tuedays March 17th and 24th 2009
Additional Classes TBA

Classes take place at the Bresee Foundation: 184 Bimini Place, LA CA 90004 (one block east of Vermont Avenue at 2nd Street.)

$35 for early bird payment (up to one week before the class), and $40 late registration (space permitting.) We’re planning to set up a place where you can charge this on your credit card, but it’s not set up yet. For now, email us (linton.joe [at] gmail [dot] com) to check class status and arrange for payment.


Are you looking to promote and grow your cause, non-profit or business? Do you know there’s a lot more to the internet, but don’t know how to get started? If so, then we can help.

The course will cover easy-to-use internet tools that are free and can help your organization. The course will cover easy-to-use internet tools that are free to use and can help your organization. The only thing you need is an internet connection; no computer programming, special programs nor special hardware required. Tools help you reach constituents, promote events, and get your message out. Improve your web presence without breaking your bank. Subjects covered include: bookmarking, social networking, blogging and blog readers, email lists, alerts, photo/video/document sharing and wikis. Each subject will be explained and demonstrated, then attendees will engage in hands-on activities.


Prerequisites for the class include proficiency with:

 - email (any web-browser-accessible)
- web browser (firefox or explorer,) and
- basic internet searching (Google, Yahoo, etc.)Prior to the class, we will survey students to understand which subjects to emphasize. Course materials include handouts with listing of websites and basic instructions and recommendations.


Joe Linton is an artist and activist, living at Los Angeles Eco-Village in Koreatown, Los Angeles. He wrote and illustrated Down by the Los Angeles River: Friends of the Los Angeles River’s Official Guide, published by Wilderness Press in 2005. He blogs at

Damien Newton is the writer/editor of Los Angeles Streetsblog,, and lives in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District. He’s an experienced activist, fighting to defend fish and crosswalks. He holds degrees in political science from Johns Hopkins and communications from American University.


What topics does the course cover?
Here’s a list of what we cover. We’ll survey folks signed up for the class to understand what to emphasize and what not to. We’ll cover where to find these, how to use them, and how they can serve your organization.

 - Cloud Computing
- Social Bookmarking: examples - Delicious, Google Bookmarks
- Social Networking: examples - Facebook, Myspace, Linked-In, Twitter
- Meeting Scheduling: examples - Meeting Wizard
- Blogging: examples - Wordpress, Blogger/Blogspot, Typepad
- Blog RSS Readers: examples - Google Reader, Bloglines
- Alerts: examples - Google Alerts
- Message boards: examples - Proboards
- Email listserves: examples - Googlegroups, Yahoogroups
- Photo Sharing: examples - Flickr, Google, Photobucket, Picasa
- Video Sharing: examples - YouTube, Vimeo
- Document Sharing: examples - GoogleDocs
- Calendaring: examples - Google Calendar
- Wikis: examples - Wet Paint
- Task Lists: examples - Remember the Milk, Tiddlywikis

Who should attend the class?
Anyone interested in increasing their web presence by using easy free tools. Materials are appropriate for activists, environmentalists, non-profits, arts organizations, small businesses, churches, and others. The course is especially good for folks who would be potentially interested in blogging, but need some guidance on getting going.

Do I need high-tech hardware or expensive software for this?
No - all the material covered is available using a web browser (explorer, firefox.) No special hardware or software needed.

Questions about the class? - email linton.joe [at] gmail [dot] com

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Ok folks, I've trained my cat to ride in a bike basket. Today was our first trip that had a destination (i.e. wasn't just biking up and down the street) and it went well. Even ran into a dog or to and it didn't spook good' old Bear. I wasn't able to get a good picture of him in the bike, but here he is earlier today helping me write a Streetsblog story on sidewalk conditions.