Judging by people’s responses yesterday, the LA River Bike Path closure struck a lot of people’s nerves and then some.
It’s great that a lot of people reacted, but none of it will mean squat unless this fervor is translated into action.
As if everyone didn’t learn from last year’s fiasco, the closure is on the Army Corps of Engineers again who don’t have a history of solid public engagement.
News of the shut down this week caught a lot of people by surprise, even those you would have imagined that should have known, but were kept out of the loop.
Everytime I see the name Army Corps mentioned, I think of the FBI and Agent Johnsons unapologetic take over of the hostage situation from the LAPD in Die Hard.
Rest in Peace Hans Gruber.
When you have that amount of power, everyone else looks like ants. Even the king of the hill.
If you’re anyone else other than the Army Corps, you’re in the camp of being pretty frustrated with this process.
As I assume that most people reading this aren’t government officials (and even if you are), there are a few simple steps you can take:
Circle November 7th on your calendar. – The Army Corps will be holding a public workshop at the Friendship Auditorium in Griffith Park (3201 Riverside Drive) from 6:30pm – 830pm and you’re encouraged to show.
If anyone remembers what an impact a strong showing can have, look back to no further than when we stood up to keep Mt. Hollywood Drive closed to cars. The auditorium was filled, news crews were there and probably more people got turned away than could fit inside.
We have the capability to do this, you just have to show.
So far, it looks like “Reach 6” is the area most affected.
Email the Army Corps – Everyone who’s read this far should stop and do this at: AMoperations.Branch@usace.army.mil.
LACBC laid out some great talking points and who you should include on the email.
It’s important to also make this email personal. What does this closure mean to you?
Contact U. S. Representative Adam Schiff – He’s one of the highest ranking officials you can reach and it’s worth it to give him a holler.
It takes a little more time filling out his form than sending an email, but it carries more weight because fewer people take the time. So you spend an extra ten seconds: schiff.house.gov/contact
Be Civil – Somehow, everything cyclists do gets overblown. One person runs a light and the rest of us are categorized as never acknowledging the color red.
You don’t have to be Shakespeare, but when I write, I always think about the person who’s reading my work. If I’m mean and doing a lot of name calling, that just gets the other person angry and distracts from the point I’m making.
Always include something that indicates their concern before going into your argument. The presence of listening can be a powerful tool in making your point.
Also, don’t take it out on the people working on the path, even if they happen to be mean. Once again, cyclists always get grouped into the lowest common denominator. Plus, their likely they’re subcontractors doing their job like their brethren that built the Death Star.
A six month closure sounds like a lot of time to clean up this river.
Given the Army Corps lack of communication skills, we still have a lot to learn about what’s going on.
I’m not going to say that this work is unnecessary until we’re better versed in what’s going on, but still, it does not look like they’re taking an aggressive approach for what they have to do.
This struck a deep nerve with cyclists. Let’s channel our energy effectively and let our voices be heard.