Here's my favorite part:
“So what?” you ask. “Why should I care about those cyclists?” you wonder. Well, there are many reasons why we all should care, especially because of our economy and our health.
“Yeah, whatever, we know that biking is a healthy exercise, but I rather run inside the gym where the air is better.”
The air is actually not better inside the gym because the gym has carpet, paint, synthetics, misc. chemicals (window cleaner, carpet cleaner, other peoples deodorants and parfumes, etc.) sweat and germs. The gym is not aired out and the air is stuffy it is wasn’t for the air conditioner keeping the stuffy smell out. And if we encourage biking, the air outside would be better because we wouldn’t burn so much CO2 that causes asthma, that lowers peoples immune system, that kills crops and plants and trees, that heats up our atmosphere.
Also, the health of your neighborhood is at stake when streets become cut-through roads for the commuters. There is noise pollution as well as air pollution, kids can’t play on the street and old people can’t go outside to enjoy an afternoon walk because the streets are dangerous. A healthy neighborhood has cyclists and pedestrians which means that streets are meant for people in the community not those who want to get out of your neighborhood quickly.
“Don’t tell me that cycling is better for the economy. In my car I shop more because I can carry more. And I contribute to the economy by buying the car and buying gas and all that comes with owning a car.”
If we help our neighborhood become bike friendly, our local businesses will benefit from it, not Target, or Walmart or Exon or Mobil. When I bike, I tend to stop anywhere because I don’t need to worry about parking space or because I’m not pushing the gas pedal to get home quickly. I stop at random stores, I stop to talk to the homeless, I stop because I see someone I know, or just because I feel like getting a drink or buying a book.
More cyclists on the street prove to be healthy not only to businesses but also for the safety of the community because with cyclists there are eyes and ears open to happenings.
Also, bikes don’t wear out the streets because they don’t weigh that much, which means that less money needs to be put into street repair and more money can be put into beautification or your neighborhood improvements.
This Draft Bike Plan is suggesting to make LA a bikeable city in 12 years, but there are so many things that can be done to make LA more safe for cyclists, like enforcing the law when cyclists are endangered or hurt and demanding respect from those who don’t bike.
We are all humans, regardless of what mode we use to travel and Respect would be a great start and it shouldn’t take 12 years for that.