Learning From the Dutch: ThinkBike Comes to LASeptember 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 6 Comments
This Thursday & Friday, we’re excited to welcome a team of Dutch transportation experts to Los Angeles. Co-sponsored by the Consulate General of the Netherlands, the Mayor’s office, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and LACBC, ThinkBike brings Dutch transportation experts to work with local stakeholders, planners & engineers to plan and discuss how large cities can become more bike-friendly.
This innovative two-day event will pair Dutch transportation experts with staff from LADOT, LA City Planning, 3 council offices, the CRA, members of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council, USC, the Central City Association, Trust for South LA, Pacoima Beautiful, the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, LACBC staff, along with a few students from SciArc to re-design & re-imagine three different neighborhoods & streets in the City of Los Angeles. The three teams will focus respectively on Spring & Main Streets in Downtown Los Angeles, Jefferson & Vermont by USC, and Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima.
After the opening session on Thursday, each of the teams will visit their project areas and bike the streets to understand the issues and opportunities. The teams will then spend the bulk of Thursday afternoon/evening and Friday until the start of the closing session, creating a new vision for their streets. The groups will then present their designs back to the community during the Friday afternoon closing session.
In addition to helping us create a new vision for several of our Los Angeles streets the Dutch team will also provide their knowledge and expertise on bike safety, commuting by bike, biking to school, bike parking, bikes and public transport and law enforcement. We hope that through the opening & closing events and by bringing together this mix of stakeholders and decision makers on design teams, ThinkBike will provide the education and understanding to all involved on the why and how we can create a great bicycling city.
We are looking forward to learning from the Dutch team how the Netherlands has successfully implemented a comprehensive program to promote cycling and hearing from them on how they think Los Angeles can transform itself into a great city for bicycling. While Amsterdam and Los Angeles are two very different cities, there is much we can learn from the Dutch to better inform how our roadways are designed and how they can enhance our communities rather than dividing them.
As Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition pointed out on SF Streetsblog on Monday, “[In the Netherlands] it is understood that the challenges to making the city more bicycle- and people-friendly are predominantly political challenges – not physical ones – and progress requires sometimes-tough political choices. This means that local electeds set the policy and direct transportation officials within the bureaucracy to carry that policy out, even if it means occasionally upsetting some people who will not be able to drive or park as easily as they once did.”
With the passage of the LA Bike Plan, the LA City Council and the Mayor approved a new sustainable vision for Los Angeles’ transportation network. Our leadership acknowledged and supported the tremendous health, environmental, equity, and livability benefits of biking. Now we need their leadership on the implementation of the plan. We need our elected leaders to be champions for changing our streets and make the political decisions that will really create safer streets that encourage people of all ages and abilities to bike, walk, and take transit.
Join us for the opening & closing session. Even if you haven’t registered, you can still show up. We’ll be tweeting throughout the two days to share the process and ideas being generated by each of the three teams. After the closing session on Friday, we’ll head down to Angel City Brewing to continue the discussions started at ThinkBike over food and drinks. Free bike valet will be provided by LACBC at the opening & closing session as well as at Angel City Brewing. We look forward to seeing you at one or all of these events!
What: ThinkBike Opening Session
When: Thursday, Sept 22nd, 9am-10:30am
Where: John Ferraro Council Chamber - Room 340- Los Angeles City Hall- 200 North Spring Street
What: ThinkBike Closing Session
When: Friday, Sept. 23rd, 3:30 to 5:30pm
Where: Los Angeles Police Department- Deaton Hall Auditorium- 100 West 1st Street
What: Post ThinkBike Social Event
When: Friday, Sept 23rd, 6-9pm
Where: Angel City Brewing - 216 S Alameda St (Enter on Traction)