This white paper tries to co-motivate the school district to become more engaged in active and healthy modes of getting to school. It reminds the district that the roads in Santa Monica have become much more bike-friendly in the past five years, and that the school district has not been moving much on cars, buses and bikes. Are they missing the bike train? I hope not.
Sometimes a little unguarded gesture tells you more than a thousand words. I found this architectural view from 2008 quite interesting. It is proudly displayed on the second floor of the district headquarters. It shows a "schematic design" of the High School parking lot.
"Let them drive Porsches", about as distorted as "Let them eat cake" (Qu'ils mangent de la Brioche) attributed to Marie Antoinette
Look a bit closer. Striking indeed, the sheer number of Porsches, Maseratis, Ferraris (or worse) that the architect has parked there. Apparently there is nobody in the district building or on the Board of Education who would object against this distortion of what getting to school in our little town of Santa Monica means. This design of a parking lot is steeped in poisonous culture of Fast and Furious. It has been framed and displayed. This makes it a revealing testimony to the unconscious culture of transportation at the school district. "Let them drive Porsches" is irresponsible, naive, pathetic and revealing at the same time.
From the distorted fantasy of fast cars, a fantasy which is so last century, to the reality of getting to work in the school district. This bicycle is happily parked in the lobby of the district headquarters. It tells the story of a brave employee who is doing him/herself and all of us a great favor by choosing the better way to arrive at work. Perhaps a proper bike rack could be placed in the lobby? This would invite more employees to park their bike there. And if parking space is limited (it always is), and if a proper bike parking structure would reduce the number of spaces available for cars, is there enough Santa Monica Bike Spirit in the school district to do the right thing?