It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? As I prepare to pass the LADOT Bike Blog torch to the capable hands of current intern (and soon-to-be Student Professional Worker) Jojo Pewsawang, I can’t help but reflect on everything that’s happened during my time at the LADOT Bike Blog.
It was about a year and a half ago that the LADOT Bike Blog launched, and was promptly greeted with much skepticism and a small amount of guarded enthusiasm. At the time, I had worked as a part-time unpaid intern at LADOT for a grand total of 4 months; to say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into could be characterized as a fairly massive understatement.
Since those first salad days, the LADOT Bike Blog has blossomed into a resource center for bike information & bike projects in LA, an outreach tool to the public, and a line of communication between the Los Angeles bicycle community & the LADOT Bike Program. Earlier this year, that commitment to outreach and cooperative discussion manifested in the launch of a facebook page and twitter feed for the Bike Program. I can’t say that I envisioned back in March of 2010 everything that the Bike Blog has become, but I’ll take it.
Throughout a year and a half of fits and starts, controversy and calumny, triumph and disappointment, the LADOT Bike Blog became more than an outreach tool for me; it became a labor of love. It has afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most dedicated and talented people I have ever met. It has allowed me to work at the cresting of what I truly believe is an unstoppable movement for safer streets and more livable communities. It has, in short, been quite a ride.
It Takes a Village to Write a Blog
I have to give special thanks to Senior Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery, to Bicycle Coordinator Nate Baird, and to Carlos Morales, currently the Bike/Ped Coordinator for the City of Omaha and formerly my boss in my first year at LADOT. It was Michelle’s & Carlos’ vision for online engagement with the bicycle community which made the LADOT Bike Blog possible, and it was their stalwart support of my work that kept it going and growing. Nate has been nothing short of godsend at the Bike Program, helping me shoulder the burden of a growing social media strategy and constantly challenging me to up the quality of content I write week in and week out.
Within LADOT, thanks goes to Rita Robinson, Amir Sedadi, and Jaime de la Vega for supporting the blog from the General Managers’ office. Thanks also goes to Bruce Gillman, the Director of Public Information, who was always willing to support my fledgling project. I must also thank all the engineers in the Bikeways group who gamely put up with my constant pestering for technical information. Finally, I was lucky to work with a fantastic set of fellow interns and Student Professional Workers. Brendan, Oliver, Emily, JoJo, Derek, Hannah, Cullen, Ricardo, Jose, and Darren: thanks.
Within the extended City family, thanks go out to Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council, to City Planning’s Claire Bowin, Jane Choi & Jordann Turner for their tireless work on the LA Bike Plan, to CM Bill Rosendahl’s Communications Deputy Tony Arranaga for working with me on the Anti-Harassment Ordinance, to LAPD’s Sergeant Krumer for facilitating a sea-change in the relationship between bicyclists and police in LA, SCAG’s Alan Thompson, and to the Bike Metro team.
Finally, I owe countless thanks to the Los Angeles bicycle community, whose fearless and innovative activism necessitated the LADOT Bike Blog’s creation. Specifically, I would like to thank the LACBC‘s Alexis Lantz and Allison Mannos, Biking in LA‘s Ted Rogers, Bicycle Fixation‘s Rick Risemberg, Flying Pigeon‘s Josef Bray-Ali, Streetblog LA‘s Damien Newton, C.I.C.L.E.‘s Dan Dabeck, Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward, Walk Eagle Rock‘s Severin Martinez, Bikeside LA‘s Max Berson and Rach Stevenson, and the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Commitee’s Kent Strumpell, Alex Baum, Jay Slater, Jonathan Weiss, and Jeff Jacobberger. Thanks also to Herbie Huff, Madeline Brozen, Niall Huffman, Ross Hirsch, Joe Anthony, and Dennis Hindman. I even owe a debt of gratitude to my erstwhile critics Joe Linton, Glenn Bailey, Stephen Box, and Alex Thompson. It was their sharp eyes and sharp wit that challenged me to create a truly responsive and professional product.
Welcome New Head Author Jojo Pewsawang
As mentioned at the top of this post, fellow USC graduate student Jojo Pewsawang will take the head author position at the LADOT Bike Blog. Jojo has been on board since December of last year and has already provided a wealth of content for the blog over the last few months. I can’t think of any more capable hands to which I could entrust the future of the LADOT Bike Blog.
There are a few backlogged posts that still have my name on them, but Jojo’s running the ship from here on out. I look forward to reading about new developments in the LA bicycle community on the LADOT Bike Blog for years to come.
And, hey: Thanks for reading.