My plans to rent and ride in cicLAvia were not accomplished. Nonetheless, I had such a positive tour of LA this weekend with Katura and Chris! Growing up in southern California, I felt very disconnected and disempowered. It has taken me a long time to feel confident about living a life that expresses my principles…concepts I did not understood well as a youth in southern California.
My public transit tour of LA was so much more pleasant than all the car trips to LA I’ve ever taken. Train travel doesn’t sicken me the same way car travel can. And, they to shared about a Los Angeles that was completely opposite what I saw on TV every day (murder, drugs, and gangs) growing up. (Network news is the absolute worst part of southern California.)
I had not remembered that Chris was a member of the Bike Kitchen. The revival of bicycle culture in LA is very inspiring to me. I was fortunate to meet more members of the Bike Kitchen this weekend. After spending a few hours in LA today, taking the Metro from Union Station to Chinatown (remember Blade Runner, Rush Hour?), visiting Homegirl Cafe, and Pasadena, and then to LAX…I was glad to unwind with a paper copy of the LA Times: Recreation: An estimated 100,000 turn out for L.A.’s inaugural CicLAvia event – latimes.com. (I also love the photo of the bicycle traffic traveling in the opposite direction of the street sign, that’s perfect in so many ways!)
People want to be inspired about their neighborhoods. They are not inspired by sitting in their cars, idling in traffic on the major arterials of downtown. Just a few block away from the four and eight lane log jams of downtown are residential streets that are pleasant to ride and walk. You don’t perceive community through the murdercast on the radio in your car while you growl in despair at the gridlock. You perceive community by smelling the barbeques and crunching the fallen leaves of your neighborhood.
Five more cicLAvia events in 2011? I certainly hope so! Continuing to set an example of streets without cars is more important than attempting it only once.