Letter: A bureaucratic boodoggle

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Letter to the Editor

Like most Metropolitan Transit Authority policies and priorities, their current billboard campaign calling “every lane is a bike lane” is just another looming disaster. It is criminally negligent to pretend that in greater LA, bicyclists should be invited to use every lane on our roads and highways. The MTA, for more than 100 years, has been an embarrassment and has, by national and world standards, delivered an inefficient, inadequate, expensive and wasteful public transportation system.

In this latest publicity stunt encouraging bicycle use, and expecting drivers in the biggest metropolis in the US to recognize the concept of “any lane is a bicycle lane,” translated its shameless misguided priority typical of this bureaucratic boondoggle known as the MTA.

Some of their other visionary priorities include, no bus benches, $1.50 fare instead of 50 cents, billion dollar subways instead of monorails and freeway rail, million dollar lawyers and court fees for wrongful death lawsuits caused by MTA shortcuts and design disasters.

It’s been decades since Santa Barbara, Davis, San Diego, Austin, Texas, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and other serious world destinations have devised and developed special “bike paths” dedicated to bike use only. Designated bike paths are safe, separate from roadways, comfortable, reliable and commuter friendly. Bike paths are convenient and popular. Conversely “bike lanes” compete with traffic and are obviously unsafe, but are sadly a typical traffic MTA scheme. Thoughtless and dangerous.

The time is long overdue to change the philosophy of vision at the MTA and the way to start is to get rid of the management and reform the Board of Directors selection. We need brilliance and common sense, not billboards and phony PR.

LA’s new mayor can deliver a new vision and finally move the MTA in the right direction.

Chuck Levin