A Bittersweet Victory; Celebrating the Life & Work of Mark BixbyMarch 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
Tags: Long Beach
Last week Long Beach resident, community leader, and bicycle advocate Mark Bixby died in a plane crash. Mark had been a major player in making Long Beach the most bikeable city in the America.
Mark had tirelessly been working to ensure both a separated bicycle and pedestrian path would be implemented on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge.
Just two days before his death port staff presented a new position that will require general contractors bidding for the bridge project to include both separated bicycle and pedestrian paths in their proposals.
According to Dr. Bob Kanter, Environmental Planning director for the Port, “the solicitation package to the design-build team bidders will require their bid include a Class One bike and pedestrian path on the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The bike path is a mandatory requirement. When the bid is received it must include those elements in order to be a responsive bid.” He also noted, “The coastal trail path…is part of the project…it will be built in addition to the class 1 path.”
The plan is to serve a larger cycling and pedestrian community and create access all around the Port. “We’re elated that the Harbor Commissioners, Port staff and Caltrans have come to understand the importance of including bicycle and pedestrian access on the new bridge,” said Martin Howard, a longtime friend of Bixby’s and a fellow board member of Bikeable Communities, a nonprofit advocacy organization. “You only have one opportunity to build a billion-dollar bridge in a century. And Mark felt passionately that the bridge needed to be constructed to benefit everyone and to connect as many places as possible. He called it, ‘the bridge to everywhere.”
LACBC, along with advocates and professionals from Long Beach and beyond, agree there could be no greater tribute to Mark than to see the bicycle and pedestrian paths on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge or the bridge itself named in Bixby’s honor. “It was Bixby’s vision, passion, negotiating skills, work-ethic and ability to forge a collaborative coalition that took the bike and ped path from concept to a world-class idea that will impact thousands for generations to come,” said Howard. “His leadership and vision on many issues will be sorely missed by many in Long Beach, but in particular, by the cycling community.
Join friends, family, bicyclists, and others in Long Beach for ”Mark Bixby: A Celebration of Life” public memorial planned for this Friday, March 25th at 10 a.m. at the base of the peninsula on the bay beach, between Gondola Getaway and the U.S. Sailing Center. Click here for more information.
The Bixby family has set up a memorial webpage for Bixby at Legacy.com. Click here to visit the memorial webpage. His family has asked folks to make donations in his honor to the following local charities Mark was involved with: YMCA of Greater Long Beach Camping Services Endowment, Rotary Club of Long Beach Scholarship Foundation, or Children Today.