NELA Critical Mass Flyer PDF

So it has come to this: After a long hiatus, the monthly NELA Critical Mass will be re-born this Friday, January 31 2014, in order to bring bike lanes and traffic-calming measures to North Figueroa Street in Northeast Los Angeles.  The world-wide Critical Mass bike ride has always been about celebrating the bicycle as a meaningful transportation alternative and demanding the space it rightfully deserves on the roadway. What better inspiration do we have, than demanding the promised bike lanes on Figueroa?

The ride will meet at 7PM outside the Gil Cedillo Council District 1 Field Office located at 5577 North Figueroa Street in Highland Park, and roll-out around 7:30PM. Bring your bike, bike lights and a positive attitude. See you there and every Last Friday of The Month until change has come to Figueroa.


Lost In The Desert of CD1

Have you seen me? If so, ask where the Figueroa Bike Lanes are.

Have you seen me? If so, ask where the Figueroa Bike Lanes are.

Hey, look, the year is now 2014 and there are no bike lanes on North Figueroa. There are buffered bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock, bike lanes on all of Eagle Rock Boulevard, bike lanes on York Boulevard, bike lanes on Avenue 66, Via Marisol, Cypress Avenue, Avenue 28, Avenue 19, Avenue 18, and Griffin Ave. There are bike lanes on the freeway cut-thru streets Huntington Drive and Mission Road.  In very busy downtown Los Angeles, there are buffered bike lanes on Spring Street, Main Street, Olive Street, Grand Avenue, and now the 2nd Street Tunnel. There are now bike lanes on 1st Street, 7th Street, 11th Street, Adams Boulevard, Jefferson Boulevard, Exposition Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. Sunset Boulevard, Silver Lake Boulevard, Griffith Park Boulevard, Rowena Avenue, Mayra Avenue, and now Virgil Avenue all have bike lanes. With over 167 miles of bike lanes installed since the 2010 Bike Plan, LADOT continues to fill its mission to complete the 2010 LADOT Bike Plan at great speed within the five-year plan to install 200 miles. Just this past week, LADOT announced their Priority Year 2 List of Planned Bikeways with 40 additional miles of bike lanes to be implemented in the City of Los Angeles for 2014. Noticeably absent is North Figueroa as well as 99.98% of Council District 1. (Less 1.1 miles on Hoover Street  between Venice Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard.)

The plans have been finalized, the funding has been earmarked, the resources are ready to go, and yet the striping truck housed just off Figueroa on Avenue 19, is being sent to other parts of the city because our current Council Member, Gil Cedillo lacks the leadership to get the job done. While Cedillo’s office motto is “Making The First District #1.” CD1 is getting left behind the rest of the city in regards to contemporary road design.

The real mystery is as to why? Some have suggested, that it may be part of some petty grudge to diminish the accomplishments of Cedillo’s predecessor, Ed Reyes, who championed complete streets during his tenure. When talking with his staff, although this was a big issue locally in 2013, they act as though they have never heard about it. Perhaps it is as simple as Cedillo avoiding the controversy all together. Maybe he is hoping that we who dare to walk and bike around Figueroa will simply go-away or maybe even be run-over and killed. Who knows? He has said nothing regarding this situation.

But we are not going away. In fact, we are growing in numbers and our fight has just begun.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
–Mahatma Gandhi

Like Pete Seeger’s Teaspoon Brigade we will collectively take the sand of our desert and keep pouring it upon the scales of justice until they tip into our favor. Let us remind Cedillo that he serves all of us. That being a leader, means making the right choices, even when they are controversial. That every study ever done, shows that when road diets are applied to streets, the streets become SAFER for all users. That every day Figueroa is allowed to exist as-is, it is another day for potential tragedy. We have the road engineering know-how and resources to make Figueroa a better street for all. Let us work toward making this a reality.

Please call Gil Cedillo’s office at:

(213) 473-7001   City Hall
(323) 550-1538  Highland Park Field Office
(323) 341-5671   Glassell Park Field Office

Please email Gil Cedillo at:

Please email his staff at:        Arturo Chavez, Chief of Staff     Gelrald Cubatan, Senior Planning Deputy              Fredy Ceja, Communications Deputy     Sergio Infanzon, Planning Deputy  Conrado Terrazas, District Director    Melinda Alatorre, Highland Park Field Deputy

Please send him a letter:
Council Member Gilbert Cedillo
200 North Spring Street, Room 470
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Council Member Gilbert Cedillo
Highland Park Field Office
5577 North Figueroa
Highland Park, CA 90042

LACBC has a great example letter on the petition page for the Ride Figueroa campaign.

Hopefully with your help dear reader, we can nudge our Council Member into consciousness. Until then, it looks like 2014 will be a long year of dodging cars on Figueroa.