Los Angeles Announces Separated Bike Lanes on Sunset Boulevard

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Sunset Boulevard is about to get a major makeover. Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell announced today the installation of fully separated bike lanes along the iconic boulevard. The project will connect Echo Park with Hollywood and make it safer for residents to bike to Metro Red line stations along this busy corridor. City planners estimate that the resulting switch from cars to bikes for short trips will cut everybody’s travel time, resulting in a win-win for both cyclists and motorists.

He also spoke of additional positive outcomes. “Finally our children will be able to safely ride their bikes to school, or to visit the local ice cream shop,” said O’Farrell.  Signalling the end of a hundred years of car-centric planning, O’Farrell’s links the new bike lanes with his goal to lessen the devastating impact of climate change and end the U.S’s dependence on fossil fuels.  He added, “It’s no coincidence we’re fighting wars in the Middle East.”

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Current bike lane conditions on Sunset: narrow and often blocked.

Funding will come from two unique sources: fines for owners of illegal billboards and film companies caught blocking bike lanes without a permit. “I’m happy to be killing two birds with one stone on this one,” said O’Farrell.

Douglas Rushkoff on How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity

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In lieu of an episode of our podcast this week, (I’m still debating whether to post every week or every other week) I thought I’d point to this inspiring lecture by media thoughtstylist Douglas Rushkoff. You simply must listen to this talk, entitled “How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity,” and let us know what you think!

The lecture is an indictment of the cult of individualism, the false promises of the “sharing” economy and the extractive mentality of “platform monopolies” like Uber and Facebook. Rushkoff’s sincerity and enthusiasm is infectious. Speaking of the hyper-rich class of CEOs he says, “They’re doing evil in their companies so they can have a goat share and send their kids to Rudolf Steiner school. But why not make the world a place where you would want your kids to actually be?”

Rushkoff shows us how we can get out of this mess and into that world we want our kids to live in, though cooperation, by working on a small scale and through developing tools that use the promise of the sharing economy to lift all boats rather than make a few people in Silicon Valley rich.

Two Easy to Grow Climbing Roses

rosesHow dare I opine on my two favorite roses? After all, the rose “community” has a level of intellectual fetishism on par with other obsessions like baseball statistics and jam band tape archiving. I’m too much of a generalist to be trusted in the rose world. But I can’t resist.

But let me first, commit rose apostasy. I hate bush roses. Rose leaves, in my opinion, are ugly. When a rose bush is not in bloom I think that the leaves and stems don’t hold much visual interest. There are many other flowering shrubs that are visually interesting year round. But I make an exception for climbing roses. And I like the smell and symbolism of the rose.

Several years ago, when it came to planting two roses to cover the entrance arbor to our house I chose two common varieties that I thought could tolerate our horrible soil and dry conditions:

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This stunning, deep red climbing rose was developed by Michele Malandrone and first sold in 1958. It has an intense, complex scent. I chose it because I heard that it was drought tolerant. It’s also easy to find.

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I refer to this rose as the “gas station rose” for its ubiquity. Frankly, it’s an unimaginative choice but the thing is as tough as nails. It laughs at bad soil and low water. The only downside is that, like most climbing roses, it has absolutely no scent at all.

Do you have a favorite climbing rose? Leave a comment!

Saturday Tweets: Compacted Soil, Bikes and Mirrored Headboards