Last night our local city council member led a ride down 4th Street--yep, the very 4th Street I am always harping about in this blog, and which the LACBC is promoting as candidate for LA's first bicycle boulevard.
The council member, Tom La Bonge was there, of course, as was Michelle Mowery, LADOT's bicycle program coordinator, and Dorothy Le from LACBC, who I suspect wedged herself in at the last minute and gave a mini-presentation on the bicycle boulevard concept.
There were a few regular LA bike commuters and "bike culture" types, and a lot of people who looked like they didn't ride too often, but who were attracted by, I guess, the safety-in-numbers feel of a group ride escorted by a couple of bigwigs and a platoon of cops.
Lots of cops, in fact: I think ten on bikes, plus a squad car, plus some nondescript security folks, also on bikes, from various city departments.
We rolled off at a sedate pace, no brisker than any Critical Mass ride I've been on--and we even got corked intersections! Yes, the bike cops corked intersections for us, sounding their squeaky little mini-sirens and waving their hands sternly at puzzled drivers.
It was like Critical Mass, but with gray hair and guns. Quite droll.
Well, it showed off 4th's new sharrows, and it got a few people out on bikes on the street who might not have been willing to try it otherwise. And the speeches were short and very much to the point, which is good.
But official corking! Indeed, what a difference a bit of pull makes!
The cops, in an effort to make nice after last month's debacle, have promised to join tomorrow's Critical Mass ride from Wilshire and Western. I even heard rumors that they'll cork intersections for the lads. I might just go, though I think that Critical mass has really outlived its mission right now. But I really would like to see how the LAPD behaves for a bunch of regular citizens who are mostly young and thought to be "radical," whatever that might mean these days....