LOAD(ing) ZONE , the ride(ING)!!!

by on Sep.20, 2009, under e/n, transportation

Ah, the smell of fresh cherry filled pastries and creamy frosty cupcakes is exactly what you want to smell as you go to bed the night before PARK(ing) DAY LA.  With visions of trees and grass dancing in my head I got a few hours of sleep(ING)!! and then charged out the door with Ms. BunniCakes and her sweetly loaded cupcake bike and me loaded up on the xtracycle with a speaker box, umbrellas, a huge piece of astroturf, 3 gal. of water for the Greenster platoon, food and supplies, handouts, signs and the LA Greenster Speaker’s Platform.

We met up with Enci and Stephen on the 4th Street Bicycle Blvd. in K-Town. They were hauling trees, seed bombs, chairs, umbrellas and a bunch of other stuff.  We encountered a DWP street closure which surely messed with some commutes — did it have anything to do with the water main problems? who knows… but I saw a fair share of bike commuters as usual!

After a few snarls of mean traffic we rolled into Media CRANK MOB Park to meet with the rest of the LA Greenster crew for the LOAD(ing) ZONE ride:  Laura (riding scout) & Teresita (pedaling a sweet cupcake tricycle loaded with vegan orange vanilla cupcakes they both made!!!) and Ron “the Sherpa leading the ride on his xtracycle hauling chairs, posterboards, umbrellas and other park essentials.

LA Greensters meet up

Xtracycles are the choice of travel for Greensters

RIDE LOADED with cupcakes

MOAR cupcakes

So after beating around the bush a while (ha ha ha) we grinded a few blocks down to Conservatory for Coffee Tea & Coca on Washington Blvd.  and the pizza place next door. It looked like we got lucky and street sweeping already cleaned up our spot so what else do we need to do but…

Roll out the GREEN carpet!

Of course we paid the meter for the hour for our PARK(ing) and conveniently adjacent bike parking lot. For just the cost of a few quarters and some creative minds (and muscles!) we had a park in just a few minutes… without going through the hassle of permits,  fees, and a bunch of red tape we were able to provide the food establishments much sought after expansion of patio space without even impeding the sidewalk or demanding street ‘improvements’ funds. heck, we even brought our own furniture!

The most affordable real estate in LA just got better!  park #1 in culver city

adjacent to some patio seating

However, the pizza place was not to happy with us and rushed out their door yelling at us to “go away, leave, this space is for my customers, this is ridiculous, I’m calling the police!!!” after trying to reason with them that there were now 10 potential customers for her in the space and that you can’t even fit that many people in a mini van we decided we’d just wait for the police, boycott the pizza place and get lunch at our next PARK.  The Conservatory Coffee was great and we thank them for coming out and showing their support for our PARK(ing).

Culver City likes our PARK(ing) SPOT

Much to the dissatisfaction of the pizza purveyors, the Culver City Police Department did not show up with telescoping batons and pepper mace to drive us out of the PARK(ing) space. In fact the officers said we were all ok and within the confines of the law; but, they called their huge hulk of a supervisor who AGAIN had no qualms with us. This pizza place just wasted the tax payers money… in some countries wasting law enforcement’s time is a criminal offense. Don’t buy from Victor Jr’s.

With the za lady still yelling at us the police chatted us up on the economy, pollution and need for more park space. They even admitted they liked it but could not really step into our PARK(ing) ‘on duty’ — that’s probably good because we can’t afford that kinda security… yet! We’d like to thank the Culver City Police Department in their cordial level headed manner and we UNDERSTAND ya can’t side with anyone… just saying it’d be cool to see some police setting up a PARK(ing) space next year.

PARK(ing) builds community

free speech in the PARK(ing)

While my political public speaking skills were under about 5 years of dust I still decided to try out a iPhone microphone app connected to the speaker box to see if I could get into a discussion with someone in a car. Or at least heckle the frustrated drivers. Large printed signs are great for getting the point across.

The two issues that I was pushing for the day was pollution and the economy and how it all ties into the land use issues of parking and parks. You see, for most new commercial development projects a huge chunk of land is set aside for off street parking lots and a minimal amount of effort goes into providing any real community space or even trying to hide or environmentally neutralize ugly parking lots. Couple that with the suburban sprawl that these developments serve and how it’s accessed and used daily and you’ll find that the development and it’s users are at fault for our economic collapse and extreme levels of pollution.  You just can’t put everything on credit.

LA #2 MOST POLLUTED CITY, (Pittsburgh #1)

Pollution comes as a side product of the combination of free parking, freeways, energy overuse, shipping imports from china, national scale trucking operations, and the car addicted american lifestyle. Rather than worrying about the price of gas we should be more concerned about the costs we are inflicting on our health and environment — let alone the price of war conflict to obtain the oil. Each on-street parking space causes about $117 in congestion and pollution a month…. each and every damn space. that figure does not include the additional greenhouse gas emission costs from increased vehicle travel and parking construction, the effects of storm water runoff, and unnatural flooding disasters the real total figure could be another $50 or more depending on what use the space serves — the facts are blurry and well hidden for a reason.  Meanwhile each car in LA has seven spaces dedicated to it around the city!!! Why not just pour a bucket of motor oil in the ocean and throw a cherry on top?

empty parking lots are wasted space

where did the PARK go?

500 billion on WHAT?!?!?

Yeah, it’s true — a couple BILLION more or less…

$500 BILLION on parking per year in US
$500 BILLION on employer paid health care per year in US
$500 BILLION on Chinese imports per year in US
$500 BILLION on import oil per year in US
$500 BILLION on the Iraq or Afghanistan war (take your pic)
$500 BILLION on the US Economic Stimulus Package*
$500 BILLION on Troubled Asset Relief Program

Its a $500 BILLION conspiracy.

*Less than 2% of $500 BILLION ($9 Billion) has been pledged for use on PARKS and only 10% of that amount has been released this year, half of it going to roads.

So why not just make a PARK(ing) space yourself now instead of waiting 10 years; would it make a difference at all by then? LA Greensters should not be considered extremists, only as people who takes the effort to make a difference in the world for a positive change and showing its not all that hard to do. So why don’t we all help each other?


PARK on the move along Venice

“Duuuuude, there’s a PARK in my bike lane!” It was so fun to ride along and keep pace with a TREE.

We made our way up the Shenandoah Trail to Little Ethiopia to set up our next park, seed bombing pocket parks along the way. Thanks to LA Guerrilla Gardening for the seed bombs!

PARK(ing) spot in Little Ethiopia

PARKS are for everyone

notice the PARK(ing) SPACE vs. TRAFFIC JAM

you know you want to stop and say hi

We enjoyed some food from the wonderful food from Little Ethiopia Restaurant (1048 S. Fairfax, Los Angeles, CA 90019). Their Lentil Sambusa was delicious and affordable and the service was remarkable! We had curbside service! How would this go over on a typical Saturday traffic night? Can I bring the romance on the back of my xtracycle and have a candle light dinner? Maybe another day, we weren’t going to stay that late since we were barely halfway through the ride!

GREENSTERS on the move to KTOWN

We found out that the Dept. of DIY has planned and announced a park opening soon on the southeast corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Vermont, right across from the newly finished mixed use and metro hub. So why not stakeout the bus stop and see if any of the people want to seed a PARK…

here have a seed BOMB!

throw your seed BOMB and make a park

After a brief stop we regrouped and headed to the bicycle district where the PARK CZAR was pollinating….

mother of all PARK(ing) PARKS – Hel Mel

who can resist a PARK(ing) POOL? i can’t!

socialize(ING)!!! in the PARK(ing) space

The music, food, pool, everything was great! We even made a few more seed BOMBS to take with us on the way to…

the future site of East Hollywood Greens (what is now a storage yard!!!)

music, reading, relaxing in the PARK(ing)

any place is a good PARK(ing)

We really did not want to leave this park at all. It was all so very relaxing and the tamales were great. What was neat is that there was a playground and a fountain and plenty of kids looking like they are having fun. Most of us adults were all kicked back, relaxed and chatting. The kids and adults passing by in cars or walking on the other side of the street: not so happy. The Sherpa urged us to uproot and make our way to the…

Echo Park ride in movie / after party

GREENSTERS kick their feet up and watch what else, BICYCLES!!!

We created 4 PARKS on PARK(ing) DAY and claimed a total of 8 PARK(ing) spaces.

Oh what fun! I can’t wait till next year!

flickr set, some photos should be attributed to PARK(ing) DAY LA’s facebook gallery, thank you!!!

3 comments for this entry:
  1. Enci

    Thanks for the fantastic writeup. I had a blast and you all were great company! Thanks for a fantastic day!

  2. Johnny

    Awesome pictures along with the ride to ride writeup. Wish I was there.

  3. Matt

    Great write-up and photos! I put one on my blog and linked you up.
    I met some of the vegan cupcake crew and gave some fliers for our picnic/bbq this wknd:

    Hope y’all can make it!

    [url edit]