Readers sounded off on our story about the major problems facing the city's new bike lane plan (“L.A. Bike Plan Troubles,” by Ryan Deto, Aug. 19).
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa claimed that passage of the 1,600-mile plan would usher in a new bike-friendly culture to the streets of Los Angeles. But because of its torpid pace and multiple roadblocks, the lanes and paths would take 35 years to complete. Combine this with the poor history of bike lanes actually being constructed in the city, and the chances that the plan eventually will be abandoned are high.
Daniel Edwards writes: “Politicians have learned they just need to talk about making plans, pass some plans and then pass the reality of doing anything on to the next guy. Even at the top of government, the image associated with the promises of goals, a new committee, a new draft of a new whatever is what is needed to keep the job.”
“Then the committees aren't funded, the drafts are ignored and the people get nothing, the media is over it and on to the Kardashians. There is never going to be a bike plan unless the next guy does it. So bring on the next guy, and the one after that, and maybe we'll get lucky and something will happen by accident.”
Frank McCourt (probably not the one you're thinking of) writes: “Cyclists and pedestrians have a legal right to use the roads. Driving is a privilege. Drivers need to remember that. Unfortunately the issue is the traffic grid, as it is designed now, is made to facilitate car travel. That needs to change. We need to facilitate people's right to walk and bike and regulate those people who are privileged to drive. Drivers need to follow the speed limit above all.”
Finally, a reader takes issue with the story's structure and decides to push some skepticism back toward the Weekly. CarltonGlub writes:
“I'm all for holding the city's feet to the fire on bike issues, but what is this article even about? The author tries to tackle too many subjects in one piece and it is hard to parse any one of them. It just comes off as another generic, L.A. Weekly, 'Everything-The-City-Does-Is-Bad' piece. At least it should if you're paying attention to the issues.”
CIM Group's Blight
Another story accruing comments was the follow-up piece on the blight created by construction of a Lowe's Home Improvement store in Mid-City (“CIM Group's Bitter Lesson to Mid-City,” by Mars Melnicoff, Aug. 19).
The Community Redevelopment Agency-subsidized project was built almost 30 feet higher than originally agreed upon, with the result that residents on 16th Place lost their view of the Hollywood Hills and the value of their homes plummeted. When they tried to call for environmental reviews of the project, the city ignored them. The residents ultimately learned that the only way to fight issues like the blight created by Lowe's is to sue the city.
Runner1314 writes: “I agree that they should sue the city. Unfortunately, it is our tax dollars the city will use to defend the case. It's a terrible situation. I don't live in that neighborhood, but I live in Mid-City. I would suggest all area residents protest shopping at any business at this center. Let the businesses dry up and they might speak up to their landlord (CIM Group) and the city. …CIM Group and the city know they messed up and they should do as much as they can to work with this neighborhood to correct the situation. Our tax dollars were used in this project, and they should make it right.”
Sierra says: “According to the Los Angeles Times, the total amount of public assistance for the MidTown Crossing project was $34 million. And if the over-height, view-blocking wall is ever corrected by CIM Group, it will be paid for by the taxpayers and not the group.”
In another comment, Sierra adds: “CIM Group owes a great debt of gratitude to Los Angeles voters and taxpayers who put them into positions of power and to elected leaders who have showered CIM with public funds and special preferential treatment.
“The Federal HUD Section 108 loan guarantee is 'allotted for the economic development, housing rehab, public facilities rehab, construction or installation for the benefit of low- to moderate-income persons, or to aid in the prevention of slums.' [The home of the Oscars can hardly be called a slum.]”
You Write, We Read
Write to us at Comments, L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230, or at ReadersWrite@laweekly.com.