I admit it: I can be a tunnel-visioned jerk.
I can look at something as monumental as the first-ever Los Angeles Bike & Pedestrian Count — the results of which were just recently released by the L.A. County Bike Coalition (LACBC) — and instead of being all ecstatic I wind up getting all grrrr, bogged down in disappointment by a minor matter concerning it… possibly even immaterial to some.
Not to me.
That matter — selfish and meaningless as others might argue that it is — is this: my name’s not found anywhere in the 43-page document.
The work I did is in there from that morning a few months ago when I got up early and left the house at 6:30 a.m. to stand armed with a form, clipboard and pen at the intersection of 8th and La Brea for a couple hours counting the people who passed through on bike or on foot. Later that evening after work I dutifully pedaled out of my way to the LACBC offices downtown to drop the completed data sheets off.
But my name apparently wasn’t worth including — and I’m not alone. None of those of us who did the actual observing and tabulating got a mention. Is it ironic not to be counted for being a counter? Or is it a coincidence? You can always count on me to confuse the two.
The only attention we warranted is the following near the end of the list of recognizees:
Also we want to acknowledge all the count volunteers and office interns who collected, processed and organized the data.
Really LACBC? Wow. Don’t mention it. Seriously.
Now before anyone pulls back on their bow to fling a STFU arrow at me, hold off a sec. Hear me out.
In fairness, no one gets mentioned. Be they a top dog, or a bottom dweller like myself. It’s all anonymous, which is one way to go and I guess is better than just mentioning the executives.
But it should’ve gone the other way.
Especially since there weren’t 12,575 of us out there working in concert to bring this thing to fruition. There were a few hundred of us, tops, whether we were behind desks organizing the whole thing or out on the front lines of this landmark survey marking down whether we saw a pedestrian or cyclist and if they were male or female or were riding on the sidewalk and wearing a helmet or not.
That’s not too many names to fill up four alphabetized columns on a page or two and turn the 43-page PDF into a 44- or 45-page document, but only if someone at the LACBC had understood the importance of recognition and inclusion and demanded that an endeavor as groundbreaking and potentially invaluable and immediately historic — The Inaugural Los Angeles Bike & Pedestrian Count — as this deserved to have everyone involved in any capacity — top to bottom — listed in it. A to Z.
But for whatever reason or excuse that didn’t happen. And if you’re the type of person to defend or be satisfied with such an end result, be it from oversight or after consideration, then fire away, but you’re wasting your ammo.
Because to me, it’s a fail — nothing less then a a double-dog damned and lousy shame slathered in a bucket of half-assed sauce.