Thank You for what? Not rioting? Not descending into complete and utter mayhem? Discovering that we can actually enjoy a peaceful weekend at home or nearby?
With all the hype and drama surrounding Carmaggedon, it was difficult not to compare it to Y2K. There were peaceful protests, most notably by RailLA, our local high-speed rail advocacy group. RailLA exercised their right to free speech by enlisting volunteers to hold their “LA Beyond Cars” banner aloft at a busy intersection near the 405. What’s truly appalling is that for $1billion all we’re getting is a few more miles of carpool lane along the 405. Instead, we could have spent that money on a metro line along the 405, which would be much more likely to get people to LAX on time than any other improvement. LAX is the most popular destination on the 405, which carries roughly 500,000 cars each weekend.
Proof That You Don’t Need To Be Lance Armstrong To Win The Race To Work
While the city and county did their best to ensure everyone stayed home this weekend, JetBlue encouraged people to multiply their carbon footprint by offering $4 flights between Burbank and Long Beach. A group of bicyclists known as The Wolfpack were joking around on twitter about how funny it would be if they beat that flight. A little twitter banter led to a formal invitation, and the gauntlet was thrown. Wolfpack A left from the same Burbank house as their JetBlue passenger. They enjoyed the LA River bike path for about 70% of their 30 mile trip, and obeyed all traffic laws. The cyclists reached the finish line in Long Beach 10 minutes after the flight departed from Burbank. More about that on Slate.com, which also shows how other forms of transport also beat the jet.
While the county used social media to get the word out via celebs with massive followings, the people of LA used social media to discover that Saturday was actually the best day ever to drive in LA. Some people joked that Carmaggedon had caused the Rapture, others raved about how quickly they were able to get around. But all of us stopped and noticed how much more pleasant this city is with fewer cars.
Hopefully more Angelenos will venture out via bicycle, as it truly is the most enjoyable way to get around LA, in my opinion. Here is a little highlights video I shot this weekend while rolling on the LA River. According to my cyclemeter, on this 2 hour, 23 mile ride I burned 1,005 calories. As a bonus, I can now wear the “skinny” jeans I haven’t been able to wear for about a year now. All the short bicycle rides I’ve been doing around town certainly contributed to that as well.