LADOT Bike Coordinator Michelle Mowrey rationalizes LA's half-assed bike plan compared to other cities is that LA must not be as "very white and very progressive" as Portland, Oregon. Here are comments from a recent exchange between Mowrey and Bill Rosendahl during a Transportation Committee meeting.
BILL ROSENDAHL: Alta Planning is reportedly one of the finest consulting groups in the world for bike planning. How is it that the City of Los Angeles kicked off the Draft Bike Plan process with Alta but did not incorporate the robust Bike Plan process that Portland used/is using to develop their own Bike Plan? For example in Portland Alta maintained eleven working groups, and they used community bike rides to engage and survey.
MICHELLE MOWERY: With all due respect the City of Portland is 450,000 people. It’s a homogeneous community that is very white, and very progressive with respect to transportation. They have a trolley system that works very well, as well as their transit overall. We are a very diverse, disjointed city of 4 million people. They are 30 years ahead of us in the development of their, well, they’re not quite 30, they’re more like 20 years ahead of us in the development of their bikeway. So we’re a step behind Portland in what we’re trying to do. Granted, several of us would like to see a lot of changes in the city happen very quickly, but again we have a very diverse city with a lot of needs.
As Streetsblog LA points out the likely reason the plan is so-so is that the City didn't spend enough money. Probably but also LA's city government is so dysfunctional and staffed with morons compared to most other cities on these type of issues it was impossible for our City to step up to the level of more functional cities like Portland. Or, as Streets says, even equally large and diverse cities such as Chicago and New York.
Anyone want to start the countdown clock on when Mowrey gets the pink slip?