When I first saw this clip of Urbanized, I was amazed. In it the Mayor of Bogota talks about his transportation revolution and how it folds into his understanding of democracy for his city. Watch it for the explanations of the “BRT” Bus Rapid Transit. Which LA is attempting to build on Wilshire. So please watch. And understand the subtle changes that saved 2 hours of travel time, so we shouldn’t compromise on these aspects of the wilshire BRT
. 1) buses have their own lane. – a bus with 100 people deserves the same lane space as 100 cars. 2) instead of bus stops there are bus stations. you pay when you enter the station so you don’t have to wait for everyone to swipe a card or put in quarters while the bus is there, the $$$ transaction happens before the bus arrives. 3) you enter the bus at grade – easier for wheel chairs and disabled and elderly folks. 4)multiple entrances – everyone does not have to get on at the front door and exit through the back door. it is more like a subway. 5) they gave it a name to make it feel less like a bus. 6) this bus system design costs 10% of a subway line 7) the bus system design is more flexible – if the city center shifts in 30 years the bus system can be redesigned to reach the most people, a subway cannot.
After being able to see this clip, see this bus system, I realized that buses are not a lost cause, but can be improved. But I also realized that seeing is believing. So I started the film festival now known as The New Urbanism Film Festival Now, after four years of organizing this festival, I’ve personally viewed over 1000 films about urban planning, design, community building, etc. Each with an inspiring take on solving world issues, by examining city policy. It has inspired me to run for election to my neighborhood council, I won, and got appointed to the transportation committee. Serving in that way too has been a rewarding experience. My hope for my friends on FB and real life and everyone else, is that the fervor for national elections, would translate into study and action in your local community. One way you can study and meet like minded inspirational people in your neighborhood is to come out to my film festival. But I admit, some of the films at the fest are available online for free. And there’s really good ones like Urbanized (where the Bogota clip is from) available for streaming on Netflix, etc. And the people speaking at my fest, are equally inspiring at council meetings, press junkets, campaign stops, and at local projects like bike share grand openings, or train station grand openings, or urban planning happy hour meet-ups, so go out there and get involved; Make a difference where you live.