Monday, April 27, 2009

Giving Lecture on Bike-Planning in an Oil & The Future of America course @ UCSD

I've been invited to give a guest lecture/presentation in an Oil & The Future of America course held at University of California, San Diego.

This will be my 3rd time guest-lecturing in this course, since it's relatively new existence. And it's the first time since the horrible weekend of July 2008.

Topics to be discussed later this morning include the following:

-The U.S. youth bike movement, w/ a focus on San Diego.

-Proven methods/examples of improving bicycle infrastructure/conditions in urban environments.

-Effective encouragement programs, ranging from local group ride coordinating, to UCSD's Bike Commuter Challenge, to Bogota, Colombia's weekly Ciclovia bike/pedestrian day.

-A brief and modern history of auto-centric, sprawled planning in San Diego.

-Auto-centric biases in the Level Of Service (LOS) system which rewards "Traffic Engineers" (i.e. Automobile Traffic Engineers) for designing roads which serve the highest volume of automobile traffic but does not reward those engineers for the volume of cyclists or pedestrians their engineered-road may serve. Essentially, the faster automobile traffic goes, which thereby increases the risk of death for cyclists/pedestrians, the more points the engineer gets and the better his/her career does.

Equality on the road, between cyclists and motorists, cannot exist as long as this policy which rewards engineers for designing high speed auto-centric neighbhorhood streets is in effect; all while offering NO (zero) L.O.S. incentives for bike friendly nor pedestrian friendly roads.

Not surprisingly the Senior Engineers at the City of San Diego Engineering Dept. wanted Atip's bike removed because it slowed down automobile traffic.

Remove the bias. Modify the deadly LOS. Reward safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists. Strive for safer, more livable streets.

LOS, in its current state, is a true loss for communities that want safer, livable streets for all.

-Complete Streets Act: California's new state-wide law which calls for local municipalities to improve infrastructure to increase safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders.

-In addition, I will specifically discuss the community's attempt to Save Atip's Ghost Bike, a functional form of public art, all while dealing w/ an auto-centric, car-first, out-of-touch, City of San Diego bureaucracy; where LOS-philosophy clashed w/ Livable Streets philosophy (of which, the latter, was backed by the SD Bike Coalition, and the North Park Planning Committee).

-Bicycling resources

-Ideas for the future

Note: This will be my first time discussing the Complete Streets Act, Atip's Ghost Bike, and LOS-philosophy in this course.

In my opinion, Oil & The Future of America is one of the most important courses offered at UCSD. I'm an alumni of this course, and I'm honored to be invited back to offer a guest-lecture.