LACBC 2010 Goals and 2009 Accomplishments

January 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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2009 was a great year for bicyclists. We are excited about 2010 and are looking forward to a year full of exciting campaigns, advocacy, and education efforts.

  • Launch Separated Bike Lane pilot on Huntington Blvd in Boyle Heights
  • Work to get a bike lane installed on 7th Street
  • Continue building relationship with LAPD by establishing an enforcement education workshop with LAPD
  • Increase bike parking city-wide starting with 30-40 locations in LA
  • Get Sharrows Pilot launched and on LA City streets
  • Get a Better Bike Plan approved that includes timelines and substantially more designated bike lanes
  • 4th Street Blvd—Gain neighborhood buy-in to develop political support and have the city adopt a commitment to implement
  • Create more opportunities for partnership with business community, environmental groups, and social justice groups
  • Expand our reach to more cities across LA County, in addition to Glendale, Culver City, Long Beach and South Bay cities
  • Create a bike repair space at Downtown Job Center and develop a Bike Repair Job Certificate program with the Bicycle Kitchen
  • Improve policy for bikes on Metro transit
  • Finalize the Resource Guide both in Spanish and English
  • Ensure that 10th Annual River Ride is LACBC’s best ride ever

2009 Accomplishments

In 2009, LACBC worked tirelessly to achieve milestones in the development of the organization to continue to fulfill our mission through campaign and advocacy successes and progress, program development, fundraising achievements, and planning achievements as well as membership increase.

LACBC has expanded capacity on multiple levels. We have increased our staff, grown our email list, increased our membership numbers, and have enjoyed multiple campaign and fundraiser successes. We send out highly informative weekly newsletters keeping our members on the forefront of bike news as it happens. We have expanded our reach and have become more involved with other cities in LA County such as Glendale, Long Beach, Culver City and South Bay. In the City of LA we have become much more visible in diverse neighborhoods. In 2009, we have seen a substantial increase in amount of press coverage by 300% as compared to last year. Through letters of appeals, grants, fee for service, and affinity group fundraising we’ve had a 200% increase in letter of appeal funding, 40% increase in grants and fee for services, and 30% increase in affinity group fundraising. LACBC’s existing partnerships with festival, community, and bicycle-club sponsored events have been strengthened by our bike valet and outreach efforts. In 2009 we have seen a 15% increase in memberships. We now have 1,000 members! Our capacity has grown so much that in August, we hired a coordinator for our membership and volunteer efforts and for our campaign and communication efforts.

Some of our 2009 campaign accomplishments include saving the Reseda Bike Lane from the claws of peak hour parking. This summer, unbeknown to all, LADOT had plans to install peak hour parking along this street which would make it virtually impossible to stripe with the already approved bike lanes. We worked with the Bicycle Advisory Committee, C.I.C.L.E., the local neighborhood councils, businesses, and other advocates to overturn the peak hour decision and gained support for the bike lanes. They have now striped one of the 4 miles promised.

LACBC conducted the 1st LA Bike Count. Most major U.S. and European cities have them, but LA did not. We counted at over 50 locations in the City of LA at key intersections, with the help of 100 volunteers over a 3-day period. We counted over 20,000 cyclists, which is a substantially higher number than was reported by the 2008 American Community Survey. We will have a report finalized by the end of January 2010.

LACBC, in partnership with the City of Glendale, conducted a city-wide Glendale Bicyclist and Pedestrian Count in September.  Eighty-five volunteers recorded bicyclist and pedestrian counts at 24 locations to establish a base-line of data for Glendale and the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project. Counts will be conducted at the same locations in September of 2010. Both Glendale counts are a part of the PLACE Program which is funded by the LA County Department of Public Health.

Car-Free Fridays, started in January 2009, has been a highly successful campaign in highlighting the benefits of riding a bike and encouraging new riders to start commuting by bike at least one day a month. We were able to initiate collaboration with some Councilmembers who sponsored rides, solicit great media attention, and create valuable relationships with local businesses and organizations. We have developed a Car-Free Friday/Share the Road PSA, which is now gaining air-time on local radio stations. Other cities are now taking our Car-Free Friday model and replicating it in their areas such as Pomona, Santa Monica, and Long Beach.

LACBC has been actively involved in the LA Bike Plan. We have worked with C.I.C.L.E, the Bike Writers Collective, the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Bike Oven, and local blogs such as Streetsblog and Biking in LA. The collaboration between a diverse number of bicycle organizations has made bicycle efforts in Los Angeles stronger. LACBC has attended public meetings, issued comments and suggestions, rallied our members and other cyclists to submit comments, and sent in postcards in support of our requests. We have met with key City Councilmembers, Mayoral staff, and the LADOT general manager and staff, as well as members of City Planning to address our concerns, solicit support, and gain commitments for some important elements lacking in the plan. We have created a Better Bike Plan Campaign to reach out beyond the cyclist community to gain support from public health organizations, environmental groups, chamber of commerce, community organizations, and neighborhood councils to gain support for a better bike plan.

Shared Lane Markings, or Sharrows, has been an ongoing campaign for LACBC. This pilot project was introduced to LADOT 5 years ago. It sat on their desks for 4 years, with one delaying excuse after another. This year, we have worked in partnership with Councilmember Eric Garcetti, who has championed the project and, with much perseverance through letter writing and meetings, we have gained Mayoral support as well. We have acquired the necessary funding and are now in the final throws before we see the launch of the pilot in 2010. We are happy to see that because of our efforts in highlighting the benefits of Sharrows and promoting them as a cost-effective and easy to implement bicycle infrastructure, Sharrows have been implemented in other cities in LA County such as Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, Hermosa Beach, and Whittier. 

The City of Lights Program was created in January 2009 to reach out to low-income Latino cyclists, a large and often unrecognized part of the cycling community who are underserved. In April 2009, City of Lights teamed up with the Central American Resource Center’s (CARECEN) day labor center provide bicycle lights and safety information in Spanish to Latino cyclists. We have given out over 300 bike lights, offered three educational workshops providing safety tips, bike maintenance, and legal rights, as well as been awarded a grant from Kaiser Permanente to continue this work. We have organized a bike ride to create a sense of community and fun and are now engaged in an advocacy campaigns to increase bike parking by more than double the current amount in the workers’ neighborhoods by early Spring 2010. Going forward, we are creating a self-sustaining bike repair space at the Institute de Educacion Popular del Sur de California’s (IDEPSCA) downtown day labor center to debut by Spring 2010. All these efforts are aimed to empower this community to participate in bicycling advocacy, to improve their neighborhood’s bicycling facilities, and diversify and expand the bicycle advocacy movement.

Due to our efforts in communicating with Mayor Villaraigosa and other key members of the LA Metro Board and LA City Council we have gained the much needed support in gaining the 10% set aside from Measure R Local Return for Bikes/Peds. Initially it had been 0%. This will total to around 18.1 million dollars for 5 years, which will be a significant increase for the City of Los Angeles.

LACBC played an active role in bringing attention to Los Angeles’ defunct Bicycle License program. After recommendations from LACBC, LA City Transportation Committee, LADOT, Bike Writers Collective, BAC, Midnight Ridazz, and other bicycle advocates to discontinue enforcement of the law, LA City Council moved to repeal the law, and the Bicycle License is no longer a requirement and can no longer be used as a tool for ticketing cyclists.

CicLAvia has been a group since mid-2008, incubated through the LACBC and inspired by the famous street closures in Bogotá, Colombia. Various LACBC volunteers, staff, and other professionals came together for the purpose of promoting and planning livable, car-free streets. LACBC helped to foster this concept to the point that in Fall 2009 it has now become an independent collective that is working in partnership with LACBC and other environmental organizations. A pilot Ciclavia will debut in East Hollywood Spring 2010.

LACBC’s Annual LA River Ride has seen its participation more than double over the last few years. This year we had close to 2,000 participants. The ride has become so successful; it gave the LACBC the means to donate a combined total of 100 brand new bicycles to underprivileged children in LA County. We also expanded the amount of volunteers and donations greatly. In addition to promoting bicycling, the ride has served to showcase the state of the LA River.  Thanks in part to this attention, and in some cases as a direct result of the ride, many improvements have been made to the River. New parks dot the banks from LA down to Long Beach, graffiti has been removed, and the path as been re-striped from the City of Maywood down to Long Beach and most recently, the area from Fletcher to Figueroa is in the midst of being repaved.

More Accomplishments:

  • Through ongoing meetings with Mayoral staff, Councilmembers, and high level LADOT staff, bicycling has become more visible in politics
  • Midnight Express Ride
  • Partial Repaving of 4th Street as part of  the ongoing 4th Street Bike Boulevard Campaign
  • Established relationship with LADP to build education workshop
  • Established Green Business program
  • Expo Bike Path to parallel Light Rail
  • Involvement with the adoption of Santa Monica and Malibu Unified School District Bike Friendly Resolution
  • Completed Transit Hub Project
  • Development program with REI for bike education program for youth.

Thanks To All Who Came to Celebrate Car-Free Fridays

December 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Get Involved, LACBC Events | Leave a comment
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On a beautiful morning last Friday, the LACBC teamed up with LA Food Not Bombs and Cafe de Leche for our final Car-Free Friday of the year, this time with a breakfast twist. While Food Not Bombs cooked up grilled cheese and pancakes from their stove-on-a-bike, bicyclists from all over town gathered to  celebrate a great year of Car-Free Fridays, sip coffee from Cafe de Leche and help raise a few dollars for FNB, and socialize in that way that only bicyclists can.

With about 20 riders we rolled out, past Echo Park lake, down to 2nd St, into downtown through the tunnel, around City Hall and the new LAPD Headquarters and back again. The whole ride had a great “Bike Bus” feel to it, with riders peeling off as we passed their workplaces and morning destinations. We loved seeing all the new faces and thought the tall bike was awesome! Here’s to another year of wonderful Car-Free Friday celebrations.

Stay tuned for Car-Free Fridays 2010!

New York to be Car-free: Summer Streets Program

June 18, 2008 at 1:35 am | Posted in Bike News | Leave a comment

Picture from NY Times

(Photo: John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times)

From the NY Times Article:

“Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Monday that he will create a car-free zone on three Saturdays in August, along a 6.9-mile stretch of streets through Manhattan, from the Brooklyn Bridge, north to Park Avenue and the Upper East Side. Cars, trucks and buses will be banned on the streets along the route from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 9, 16 and 23. The mayor was careful to describe the initiative, called Summer Streets, as an experiment.”

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