Friday, December 11, 2009
Free Parking for Traffic Fighters!
In a priceless display of irony, the 2nd Annual Traffic Fighter Awards are being dispensed at a reception held downtown at 5th and Flower, one of the most congested and car-dominated neighborhoods in LA, and as a special treat to those who book early, there will be "reserved hosted parking" at the City National Plaza.
One would think that the visionaries behind "Building LA's Future: Ending Gridlock in Los Angeles!" who seek to change the world by liberating our city from the auto-centric seige that has us on lock-down would dispense with the free parking and would instead offer mass transit instructions along with assurances that there will be ample and safe bike-parking along with wide sidewalks and a pleasant environment for those who choose to walk.
But no, the admonition to rsvp is given with the warning that parking is limited and there is no guarantee of validation for late responders!
Personally, I'd like to see preferred seating for those who take walk, ride a bike or take mass transit while those who drive are consigned to the cheap seats in addition to paying premium for daring to congest the city center by bringing an automobile downtown. After all, the event is about traffic reduction!
One of the simplest things we, as a community, can agree to do is to simply offer up ped, cycling and mass transit instructions on all invitations in lieu of the traditional automobile parking information. This simple shift in tradition sends a clear message that we are heading in a new direction. Sure there will be resistance, but this is simple, it's inexpensive and it's effective.
Let the pros talk about the multi-billion dollar infrastructure pie in the sky plans for the future, the answer for the present is to change behavior and it starts on the invitation to the next event.
"Please join us, but leave the car at home!"