Congratulations City of Los Angeles

October 18, 2012 at 9:30 am | Posted in Bike News | 8 Comments

October 18, 2012

FOR RELEASE AT 9:30 AM

LOS ANGELES COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION CONGRATULATES CITY OF LOS ANGELES ON BECOMING BRONZE-LEVEL BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY

LOS ANGELES, Calif. –

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) congratulates the City of Los Angeles on its designation today as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.  This award recognizes the City’s remarkable progress since its Honorable Mention last year, including the creation of over 60 miles of new bikeways in the last fiscal year.  Events like CicLAvia show the incredible appetite Angelinos have for riding when given safe opportunities to do so.  More and more bike lanes on the streets are allowing people to experience bicycling the other 363 days of the year. As our bike network grows, Los Angeles is quickly becoming a community in which people make everyday trips by bike.

Half of all trips in LA County are three miles or less.  Shifting even a fraction of these trips to bicycling will reduce congestion, clean the air, and improve our health.  Just doubling the current number of miles traveled by bike in the County would take the equivalent of over 30,000 cars off the road.  And, LACBC’s bike counts show that adding bike lanes works.  On streets that added bike lanes between the 2009 and 2011 counts, ridership more than doubled.  In these economic times, bike infrastructure is the most cost-effective congestion reduction strategy available.  Adding bike lanes to a street improves safety for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, and provides everyone with greater mobility options.

However, a Bicycle Friendly Community is about more than just bike lanes, and the City of Los Angeles has advanced by leaps and bounds in these areas as well.  The LAPD has been a national leader in engaging the bicycle community, recently appointing a local liaison officer in each of the City’s four divisions.  The City’s “Request a Rack” program has made getting a bike rack as simple as filling out an online form.  Bike corrals, which can fit up to 16 bicycles in the place of one automobile parking space, will soon be coming to business districts throughout the City through an expanded pilot program.  In the next few weeks, a Bicycle Parking Ordinance that would ensure that all new businesses and apartments provide bike parking for their customers, employees, and residents will be before City Council.

A Bicycle Friendly Community also includes creating a culture that appreciates and values bicycling, and Los Angeles has shined thanks to the ingenuity and dedication of the advocacy community, in partnership with the City.  It was the bicycle community that brought the idea of CicLAvia to the Mayor and made it happen.  During Carmageddon II last month, when Angelinos were asked to stay out of their cars, over 100 people took to their bikes for LACBC’s Tour of the Westside.  Similar numbers came out to C.I.C.L.E.’s rides in the Valley and Wolfpack Hustle’s all-city ride.  Bike Valet is now a regular feature at major events around the City.  Angelinos want to ride their bikes.

LACBC is proud of the City’s accomplishments so far, but we’re far from done.  New bike projects are on their way, for the first time creating a connected citywide network of bikeways like we have started to see in downtown.  This award is well deserved, but we must now take it to the next level using all “Five E’s” outlined in the Bicycle Plan: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Evaluation.  We thank the League of American Bicyclists for honoring the City’s hard work and hope they’ll be back in future years with another color of metal.

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Founded in 1998, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) is the only non-profit organization working countywide for L.A. County’s 3 million cyclists through advocacy, education and outreach.  LACBC brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to make the entire L.A. region a safe and enjoyable place to ride.

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