Important Facts about LACBC’s Recent Grants

April 6, 2010 at 11:57 am | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment

Redondo Beach Pier Sunset, photo: Flickr/seadigs

On March 30th, 2010, LACBC announced our collaboration with South Bay Bicycle Coalition (SBBC) on a RENEW grant with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH).  LACDPH received funding from the federal government through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009: Communities Putting Prevention to Work. These funds were part of what was popularly known as “the stimulus package” passed by President Obama and aimed specifically at job creation. Los Angeles County was one of 44 communities across the nation that received this federal funding.  The overarching purpose of this grant is to reduce adult and childhood obesity by improving active transportation–namely biking and walking–and to increase access to healthy food and nutrition.  SBBC heard of this opportunity and asked LACBC to partner with it on this grant.  LACBC is the lead organization on this grant.

We are also the lead on a similar initiative, Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets, also funded by LACDPH.  Our staff member, Colin Bogart, is the Initiative Coordinator for this Glendale project.  Directly from the Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets website, Colin will be creating “a Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, a policy document designed to implement existing policies from current City planning documents including the Bikeway Master Plan, Urban Hikeway Plan, and portions of the Recreation, Circulation, and Open Space & Conservation Elements of the General Plan; as well as recommend new policies to make Glendale a safer and friendlier city for bicyclists and pedestrians.”  Colin works with the larger community, City officials and technical support staff to create a more walkable and bikeable Glendale.  Colin has been extremely successful in Glendale in terms of coordinating community efforts and building support among city staff, elected officials, community groups, and Glendale residents. He is currently working with multiple city departments to introduce policies and planning language for adoption.  LACBC is confident that the collaborative project with SBBC will be just as successful.

Tons of bikes in Manhattan Beach, photo: Flickr/jakerome

As written in a past blog post, the RENEW grant’s purpose is to create a regional South Bay Bicycle Master Plan, to create inter-jurisdictional bikeways and connect cities in the South Bay region of Los Angeles.  The cities that currently would like to be part of the process are Redondo Beach, Torrance, Lawndale, Hermosa Beach, Gardena, El Segundo and Manhattan Beach.  In addition, SBBC was able to leverage the grant to receive a micro-enrichment grant from Beach Cities Health District to do outreach and buy materials for promotion. The timeline for the grant is two years, and LACBC will be hiring an initiative coordinator before mid-June 2010.  Officially the grant term begins when the actual contract is signed by all parties.  We are now finalizing budgets and a Scope of Work.  Because we have not officially finalized the Scope of Work, we are not yet able to detail the main components of it on our blog.  But in very general terms, the first year entails hosting community meetings to understand community concerns and needs, field work to gain specific knowledge on the streets, and coordinating with all jurisdictions involved. The second year entails drafting a plan, additional community meetings to gain input on the plan, and working with City Councils in the South Bay to secure their approval.  The goals are to create a robust plan that the bicycling community supports, and then have the plan be adopted by all seven cities that are involved in the process. As we finalize our Scope of Work, we’ll be sure to update you on it.

In this partnership LACBC will be the lead organization, which means we will hire qualified staff for the grant and be responsible for hosting community meetings, coordinating with jurisdictions involved, and coordinating the draft plan process.  The first position we will hire will be a full-time Initiative Coordinator, who will work with the cities of Redondo Beach, Torrance, Lawndale, Hermosa Beach, Gardena, El Segundo and Manhattan Beach to do community outreach in those areas. The Initiative Coordinator should have a degree in Urban Planning or a related field as well as a number of years of experience working with diverse cities (upper and lower income, beach and inland, etc.). The second position we will hire is a half-time Technical Coordinator, who will create technically sound designs and policies. The Technical Coordinator will need to have a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning or a related field and have more than 5 years of experience.

LACDPH has awarded the RENEW grant to a variety of agencies and organizations, including cities and community-based organizations, and LACBC is one such community-based organization.  In addition, this federally funded grant was awarded to other bicycle advocacy groups across the nation, including New York City’s Transportation Alternatives.

Projects such as Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets and the RENEW grant for the South Bay are important to carrying out LACBC’s mission, primarily as a way for us to insert bicyclists’ needs into the important planning documents that help shape our region. Equally important is to work directly with communities that want to provide better facilities for bicycling and to help them plan and build those facilities. We are qualified to coordinate such efforts because as bicyclists, we understand the needs of cyclists and the cycling experience in Los Angeles County, we work in partnership with local bicyclists, and we influence elected officials, municipalities and agencies to adopt and implement actions and policies for safer bicycling.  LACBC staff, members, and supporters spend countless hours working on numerous campaigns and projects.  We are campaigning for a 4th Street Bicycle Blvd. in the City of Los Angeles and creating a bicycle-repair space with day-laborer cyclists in downtown Los Angeles.  We are working with a number of cyclists in order to develop and implement a strong Bicycle Plan for the City of Los Angeles and we are collaborating with cyclists in Long Beach, Culver City and other parts of Los Angeles County on local issues.  We attend community and public meetings and speak with public officials and private organizations to voice cyclists’ concerns and interests, with the mission of creating a more bicycle-friendly Los Angeles County.

And we recognize that we are not the only organization or group of people doing this work.  We know that thousands of cyclists and supporters are working everyday to create a more walkable and bikeable Los Angeles.  We thank every single group, organization, and person who has taken time to support better walking and bicycling in Los Angeles.  Los Angeles County is a large, diverse, and dynamic place that requires multiple approaches to advocacy and activism in the on-going effort to create a more livable Los Angeles County.

In summary, LACBC is working everyday for bicyclists and we work as hard as possible to be transparent in our efforts.  We are an evolving organization striving for the best, most open avenues of communications with our members and the bicycling community in Los Angeles County.  We sincerely invite any and everyone, bicyclist or not, to talk to us about your ideas, concerns, questions and comments.  Stop by our office in Downtown LA at 634 S. Spring Street, Suite 821, LA 90014; call us at 213 629 2142; or e-mail any of our staffers, whose emails are posted here on our website. Looking forward to continued success and new opportunities,

-The Staff at LACBC

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  1. […] coming in for harsh criticism from Dr. Alex, LACBC explains the facts behind their recent grants, and how they intend to work with the South Bay Bicycle Coalition to develop an integrated bike […]

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