On December 11, 2018 the Rampart Village Neighborhood Council (RVNC) unanimously approved the Mobility Bill of Rights (#MobBillRights), amending the motion to include a directive to use the document to engage and educate the community and to also forward it to the City Council and to the Mayor.
The Mobility Bill of Rights was created by Stephen Box and Alex Thompson who also worked together on the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights which was championed by City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and adopted by the Los Angeles City Council ten years ago.
As for the Mobility Bill of Rights, it is an aspirational document which is designed to be used as the foundation of all transportation, land use, and public safety conversations with the fact that “Streets are for People” as the starting point.
The Rampart Village Neighborhood Council is one of 99 Neighborhood Councils in the City of LA’s Neighborhood Council system which is the largest and most innovative civic engagement system in the nation. Neighborhood Councils are city-certified and represent their local community, issuing Community Impact Statements that appear on the City Council agenda.
In addition to endorsing the Mobility Bill of Rights, the RVNC also rejected the proposed anti-Vision Zero motion “on its face” with a vote of 8-1. The motion claimed traffic calming strategies, implemented under the city’s Vision Zero initiative, are public safety hazards. This motion is bad science and even worse policy, concluding with an unrealistic demand to “remove all traffic control measures…”
It has been a while since I have gone on the road to seek support for a plan, initiative, or action and it was so great to be out and about again.
As for the RVNC meeting, I was joined by my lovely wife Enci and our boys, Sydney and London. Enci and I have spent so many years working together as community advocates and bike activists so it was extremely rewarding to be back in the saddle!
We were joined at the meeting by Lois Arkin and five of her neighbors from the Los Angeles Eco-Village (LAEV), all of whom supported the Mobility Bill of Rights and were opposed the Anti-Vision Zero motion. Public Matters had three representatives in attendance, including Reanne Estrada who is working with the community on strategies to improve the quality of life on Temple Avenue.
As the father of two young boys, I experienced this meeting with a new set of eyes. In the old days, as bike activists, we would turn evenings such as this into full experiences with a bike ride and a late-night dinner break after the meeting. In fact, fun and food was an integral part of our advocacy strategy.
But with my boys in attendance, my attention was split between wondering how long they could participate and watching the meeting to see when our agenda items would come up. In my opinion, the meeting was upside-down, with the public listening to NC “business” that could have been moved to the end of the meeting, while waiting for the issues that drew the public to participate.
It is the height of arrogance to push the items of public interest to the end in an effort to get people to stay for the entire meeting. And yet…it is a common strategy of engagement.
To their credit, this meeting was also the RVNC holiday party so there was lots of food, which goes a long way to keeping two boys, aged 4 and 7, occupied! (perhaps all NC meetings should be holiday parties!)
As in most cases, the best work took place in the hallway and I made lots of great contacts with passionate people who are committed to civic engagement and to improving the quality of life in their neighborhood. It was great to see so many old friends and to make new friends, all of whom I look forward to working with.
For more information on the Mobility Bill of Rights or to join us at upcoming meetings, please email me at Stephen@ThirdEyeCreative.net or call 323-864-7586.
As always, “I’ll see you on the streets!”