Saturday, July 24, 2010

Upcoming Events At The Beginning Of The Week, Monday SM Bike Committee Meeting, Tuesday "Blood In" Protest And Press Conference In Beverly Hills

Things are coming together fast. In addition to the Monday night bike meeting, Tuesday night there will also be a specific committee meeting on Santa Monica Ciclovia proposal, to start ground work for planning, also at the Ken Edwards Center, from 6-8pm. The same evening, as a final item on the agenda, the City Council will also be discussing moving forward with Ciclovia. If you're local and not going to the event in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, there are great opportunities here to voice support for bringing a Ciclovia to Santa Monica. I'm pretty amazed actually how quickly this is all coming together, and have to hand it to Richard McKinnen (and McKeown for appointing Richard to the parks commission) for being a big part of jump starting this stuff.

Monday: The Bike Committee of the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission Is Meeting

On Monday is the first public meeting of the newly formed bike committee of the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission. Phil Brock will Chair the meeting, and Richard McKinnon, the other committee member (also on Spoke steering committee) will be putting together an agenda of bike related issues to be brought before the rest of the commission and eventually the council. City transportation staff will also be present. If you have praise, complaints, suggestions, or general input on cycling issues in Santa Monica, Monday's meeting will be an official avenue for such input. I know Phil and Richard are both committed to advancing cycling in Santa Monica and will take any input seriously.

The Bike Committee of the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission is meeting:
7 pm Monday July 26 at the Ken Edwards Center


In completely different news, this Tuesday, Roadblock of Midnight Ridazz and Alex Thompson of Bikeside have helped organize with the support of many others from the cycling community, a press conference event in Beverly Hills. The event is being staged with spectacle in mind (stage blood will be on hand) to attract press attention, and protest the failure of our justice system in the case of Celine Mahdav, the DUI SUV driver who seriously injured Louis Deliz, nearly taking his life, and has got off with only community service time. Riders are encouraged to come to speak out about the injustice of this case, and personal experiences and complaints about how the system fails cyclists, and really all road users for that matter. I know a lot of us have personally dealt with law enforcement that treats us differently than drivers, or don't even know cycling laws, or had police discourage us from filing a police report after a crash and not take our concerns seriously. All those things need to be said for the public to hear. 

I've been recently reading up a lot on the history on the how we got to be the automotive dependent society we are today, in books like Fighting Traffic, and Republic of Drivers. One of the things that seriously impeded further development for cars in the early years, was spectacle and outrage.  Rants and comics in the newspapers were almost always depicting drivers who killed as demons and sobbing outrage from grieving mothers dominated the discourse as death tolls rose. Memorials were erected to the fallen children of automobile collisions, and mass mourning events were held in all the big cites. 

The automobile interests began to align themselves together between the 1920's and 1930's to in every manner possible reshape the discourse of the public. To influence media with money, to shift attention away from the bloody reality, to the advertising they wanted people to see. They created the term jay-walker, the beginning of the movement to blame the victim rather than the perpetrators. It was only through years of concerted effort at changing the cultural construct of what streets were for, which had previously been the domain of mostly pedestrians, trolley systems and cyclists, that it became possible and political palatable to fuel more auto-oriented development.

If we want to change the culture of our streets it will take a culture war, because it took a culture war by the automobile interests to get us to cluster fuck, people killing, planet killing, situation we are living in today.

So let's go make a bloody mess, hopefully on television. More details on facebook.

Tuesday · 5:00pm - 6:30pm
L A County Courthouse
Dept 400, 9355 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-3619

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