A lot of noise was generated about the facebook page created by Malibu safety commissioner Susan Tellem, posted briefly first by Ted Rogers of BikingInLA, followed by Streetsblog and myself. The facebook page began with a lot of butting of heads, started by the initial rather inflammatory page description, and I think there is still some head butting lingering. However in a sudden change from a discussion that was going downhill, Tellem has agreed to requests for offline, person to person dialogue on the issue, the only way to really form common ground.
I disagreed with her initial approach toward targeting cyclists, some have expressed stronger words for it. But as I mentioned in comments, I wanted to extend the opportunity for diplomacy even though I made my self very much a part of the offensive effort against the content of the page. Working toward promoting safety on PCH can only benefit from cyclists being involved. I do not think Tellem herself should be overly vilified in this, her comments reflected what are very common undercurrents of mode bias in our culture. What made this time different than a random person on the internet, was this was a public figure overseeing matters of safety in a place many of us ride through. However many of her past deeds and statements suggest she is certainly not an uncaring person, and she has spent a lot of effort criticizing unsafe driving in Malibu in other forums as well. I don't doubt that her interest in safety on PCH is sincere and her strong support and advocacy for tortoises and wild life protection are certainly worth commending. In case you didn't know, I like turtles.
We came in fast and loud asserting our positions, and we have their attention now, but I don't think much good can come from continued arguments on the facebook page. Lets try and transition into constructive solutions mode.
I'll be talking to Tellem tomorrow about arranging a meeting with cyclists. From my experience, sitting down and talking about cycling, in a real meeting, is most effective at resolving disagreements. I'll post more details about further developments as soon as I find out more.