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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

Homeless LA: Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Mike Bonin
WHO WE ARE-In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has – yet the problem is still getting worse. Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people – a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout…

Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Is this reality or fantasy?




Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth
Sat Aug 01, 2015 @12:00AM
Fifth Annual Veterans Summer Celebration & Picnic
Sat Aug 08, 2015 @12:00PM - 04:00PM
9TH ANNUAL VENICE COMMUNITY BBQ & POTLUCK PICNIC


You’re gonna cry! Kids sing to teacher with cancer

Scarrrry! The Flying Gun

Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

Bike Share King: LA’s Antonio 4,000 … Chicago’s Rahm 3,000

RETHINKING LA - When Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a citywide bike-share program that included 3,000 bikes in 300 docking stations, it must have stirred significant municipal envy in LA’s Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa because a few weeks later, he responded by announcing a citywide bike-share program of 4,000 bikes in 400 docking stations.
Los Angeles is a late entry into the bike-share business,  approximately 300th on the list of cities around the world that have some form of citywide bike-share in place, a list that includes Mexico City, Paris, Lyon, Munich, San Francisco, Washington DC, London and Melbourne.

Villaraigosa finds himself in an enviable position, able to learn from the successes and failures of bike-share programs around the world, tailoring a program to the unique geography and social environment of the LA area, ensuring success.

But he passed up that opportunity, instead jumping in feet first with a media company that has no experience with bike-share, announcing the program with no participation from the local community, setting in motion a relationship that is vague on details, and acting with complete indifference to the impact on surrounding communities.

Villaraigosa has in his hands an opportunity to demonstrate true leadership by reaching out to Santa Monica, home of America’s largest Bike Center, and to develop a bike-share system with regional impact and connectivity.

But instead, he charged ahead, leaving Santa Monica scratching its municipal head and wondering what they should do with the efforts they have initiated, only to find the largest city in the most populated state in the most powerful country in the world acting as if it is an island.

Is this the transportation skill set that belongs in Washington DC?

Villaraigosa is reported to have his eye on a federal Transportation position, one that has him working overtime to demonstrate his ability to move his transportation agenda forward.

But the devil is in the details and the City of LA is completely at a loss when it comes to installing bike racks, locating bus benches, painting bike lanes, and pursuing funds for Safe Routes to School.

Is this the time for the City of LA to be engaging in a 10 year contract with an unknown quantity while the City of Santa Monica is laying down innovation after innovation?

Villaraigosa’s bike-share deal with Bike Nation promises a $16 million investment in a 10 year contract that would see 4,000 bikes spread through several communities in 400 solar powered portable kiosks.

A conversation with Bike Nation’s  founders, Navin Narang and Brad Barlowe, reveals that the relationship is somewhat informal, not really a contract and not really an exclusive relationship.

It’s simply a private investment in a business that will be operated on public property, requiring the City of LA to facilitate the process and to provide permitting assistance, all in return for a bike-share program that gives Villaraigosa the opportunity to thumb his nose at Emanuel.

If only Emanuel’s performance with sidewalks, potholes, and green space would prompt Villaraigosa to higher levels of performance but that is fodder for another day.

Meanwhile in the bike-share vs. bike-share world, Chicago ran a test program and then opened the process up to bids from companies, then obtained federal funding and finally selected an operating partner with a fairly significant track record.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, took a pitch from a private party and threw caution to the wind, resulting in Villaraigosa’s press conference where “What could go wrong?” was the theme and bike-share was the snake oil.

The City of Los Angeles has a track record for poor oversight of contracts and partnerships. It is reasonable for the people of LA to expect the City of LA to demonstrate that its relationship with media company Bike Nation will be different, a partnership that will come with successful oversight and public benefit, not just more hollow promises.

The City of Los Angeles has a tremendous impact on the region and it is cavalier to move forward on issues of connectivity and mobility without consulting neighbors and synchronizing efforts.

The City of Los Angeles is in an enviable position where it can select from the best yet it acted rashly and without public participation from the advocates who have been involved all along.

Is this the behavior of a Great City? More importantly, is this the behavior of a potential Cabinet member, one who would be responsible for transportation at a national level?

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net. You can also find him on Twitter and on Facebook.) -cw

Tags: Stephen Box, Rethinking LA, Mayor Villaraigosa, Bike Share, Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Bike Nation







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 33
Pub: Apr 24, 2012


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