Bicyclists Rejoice Over New LA Bike PlanMarch 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved, LACBC Events | 5 Comments
Tags: LA Bike Plan, Mayor Villaraigosa
Yesterday we quietly high-fived each over the LA City Council’s unanimous approval of the 2010 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan, and today the local bike community came together for the LA Bike Plan press conference and celebration! Roughly 100 members of the local bike community gathered at the steps of City Hall on this crisp morning to celebrate a vision and blueprint for a more bike-friendly Los Angeles that has been several years in the making.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa kicked things off by expressing his excitement over the plan. He acknowledged that LA has been lagging in bicycle improvements, averaging about 10 miles of new bikeways each year, but that this plan promises to build 40 miles of on-street bikeways each year. He then introduced the key councilmembers including Ed Reyes, Bill Rosendahl, Tom LaBonge, Jose Huizar, and Eric Garcetti, and LA City Controller Wendy Greuel, whose collective leadership were instrumental to the passing of the plan.
With this improved plan, Councilmember Tom LaBonge challenged Angelinos to “get lost and found and do it on a bike in LA.” Councilmember Jose Huizar—who has been quite busy welcoming great, bikey things to Los Angeles—thanked the many bike advocates who fought for this plan during its nascent draft stages and knew that LA could do better. We did, and the result is this improved plan. CM President Eric Garcetti made sure to thank Alex Baum, Bicycle Advisory Committee founder and namesake for the Alex Baum bridge on the LA River Bike Path, for “building a bridge into the future.”
Our own LACBC Executive Director Jen Klausner was welcomed to the podium by applause and the pleasant sounds of bike bells and stated that riding bikes were the solution to “just about everything.” Considering the environmental, health, economical, and community-building benefits of bicycling, we’d posit that she’s on to something!
Mayor Villaraigosa then spoke to the press in Spanish and answered a few questions, including an amusing one inquiring where LA’s “car master plan” was. While local bicycle advocates are clearly ecstatic about this plan becoming official, we here at LACBC have noticed another phenomenon: bike advocates from all around the country (and our country’s neighbor up north) are turning their attention towards LA! We’ve received messages of congratulations for LA’s bike community from places like New York, Portland, Tucson, Virginia, and Calgary, Canada.
With all this excitement now comes the reality of the hard work we will all have to do to turn this plan into reality. One of the Bike Plan’s strengths is the 5-year implementation plan and the formation of the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT),which has already had its first two meetings, including one yesterday. We’re on the first leg of this bike plan tour, and we’ll use this momentum to turn this plan into action and continue to demand visionary leadership from our councilmembers and the Mayor!
A huge thank you to all of you, our members, volunteers, and the broader bicycling community for all of your hard work!
View more photos of the event at our Facebook Page!