Friday, February 12, 2010

LA City Council - "Failure to Deliver"

Los Angeles is a City that loves to order departmental surveys, concept reports, project studies, recommendations and proposals. What Los Angeles doesn't do well is deliver.

It's been two and a half years since the LA City council, over the objections of the LADOT, acted decisively and made it illegal to park in a Bike Lane in Los Angeles. Unfortunately the LADOT and the LAPD are still ill-equipped to enforce the ban and the ordinance remains irrelevant.

It's been a little over three years since the City Council approved the contract with Illium and Associates for Bike Maps which we argued would be redundant since the Metro does county-wide maps that are of better detail and quality than the city maps. The City Council moved forward and approved the $400,000 contract but that was the last movement to be made. Three years later, is Ilium developing those maps? Is Alta Planning also developing Bike Maps as part of the Bike Plan process?

Last year CM's Huizar and Perry said "I FURTHER MOVE that the Department of Transportation, in partnership with the City's Bicycle Advisory Committee and the General Services Department, be requested to develop a mass parking policy and designate an efficient place and manner to lock up large number of bicycles for individuals who come to City Hall as a part of a group." Maybe it was just a joke and we fell for it. Ha, ha! Seriously, how hard is it to lock up bikes at City Hall? Too tough for the LADOT to figure out. They study, we wait.

It's been over 18 months since CM's Garcetti and Reyes got all interested in Sharrows and said "I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council direct the Department of Transportation to develop a "Shared Lane Pavement Markings," also known as "sharrows," pilot program. So far, nothing except that the plan to engage in a study is almost underway. Meanwhile, Long Beach has put in colored Sharrows and the Department of DIY has put in homemade Sharrows.

It's been 18 months since CM's Greuel and Garcetti were inspired by the bike-share programs of the Great Cities they visited, returning to LA and commanding "I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council instruct the Department of Transportation to examine the feasibility of creating a bike sharing program in the City of Los Angeles and submit recommendations to the Transportation Committee within 45 days." Tough talk! New Transportation committee Chair Rosendahl liked it so much, he gave the same instructions to the LADOT last week.

Meanwhile, on February 24, Claremont and Covina will be cutting the ribbon on "Bikestation Claremont and Bikestation Covina, the first bicycle and alternative transportation center “network” in the United States."

It would be great to have the City Council's Transportation Committee visit Claremont and Covina for the Bikestation ribbon cuttings but the 24th is an important day in LA, everybody will be on the 10th floor as LAPD Chief Charlie Beck visits the Transpo Committee. Will he have the Hummer vs. Cyclist report from last year?

It's been almost a year since a group of cyclists encountered a motorist behind the wheel of a Hummer, sans license plate, and ended up in a Wilco Tango Foxtrot encounter. Three times the Transportation Committee has directed the LAPD to appear to report on the incident and the subsequent investigation but in all three appearances the LAPD neglected to bring the actual LAPD report, resulting in a lot of "I don't know. I'll have to check." responses. Will Beck produce the report? Will Rosendahl follow up on the failure of the LAPD to respond to his instructions?

It's been over a year since the City Council embraced the Cyclists' Bill of Rights and boldly directed "the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Planning Department, Department
of Public Works, and Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, in consultation with the City Attorney and the Los Angeles Police Department, to report with recommendations on how to
incorporate the principles enshrined in the "Cyclists' Bill of Rights" into the City of Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan and other relevant documents and practices." That went nowhere fast.

The City Council has demonstrated clearly that it is incapable of following up on the many instructions it puts in play. Hence the need for community oversight. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that LA's Budget, the delivery of services, and the civic process itself be open and transparent. The public must be at the table.

1 comment:

ubrayj02 said...

Not to worry about that Illium contract! It was the MTA's money. Ha ha ha ha!

Sufficient funding is available for the proposed contract between the City and Ilium Associates, Inc. for services for the development, marketing and distribution of the Los Angeles and Surrounding Communities Bicycle Map. Funding in the amount of $400,000 has been provided through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 2001 Call for Projects ($217,000), Proposition C Local Transit Improvement funds ($43,000) and the Transportation Development Act, Article 3 ($140,000). This proposed contract is in compliance with the City's Financial Policies."