2nd Annual City of Lights Awards Dinner Honors Luminaries, Brings on the Fun

October 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Posted in LACBC Events | 4 Comments
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LACBC staff and City of Lights volunteers present CoL co-founder Allison Mannos with a new wheel with a light. Photo: Jonathan Yee, WYTe Studios

Last night, over 100 people gathered at La Fonda Supper Club for the 2nd Annual City of Lights Dinner and Benefit Concert! Together, we celebrated the nationally recognized City of Lights program that works to outreach to low-income, mostly Latino people who ride bikes.

Emceed by actress Miriam Isa, we celebrated the work of the City of Lights program, the people making CoL possible, and those working to improve the lives of the local Latino community. Lisa Waring of event sponsor GEK Law addressed the crowd. Last year’s City of Lights dinner honoree Councilmember Ed Reyes, welcomed the audience in the pre-taped video and lauded the City of Lights program for their work advocating for the 7th Street Bike Lane. We then honored Laura Torres, a native of Boyle Heights, with the Streetlight Award for her on-the-street efforts organizing DREAM Riders’ rides. Next up, we honored East Hollywood native Hector Tobar, a writer and columnist for the LA Times with the Shining Light Award for shining a light on the struggles of Latino immigrants. Mr. Tobar also provided a signed copy of his new book The Barbarian Nurseries for the live auction. Other live auction items included artwork, bikes from REI and Tern Bicycles, and a one-of-a-kind pine cone chandelier.

Hector Tobar is presented with the Shining Light Award. Photo: Andrew Wong, WYTe Studios

We heard from day laborer and one of the stars of our 7th Street Bike Lane video Jose on his experiences with the City of Lights program. Mayor Villaraigosa then addressed the crowd by video as he accepted the Leading Light award for being a leader in local bike advocacy. The LACBC staff and City of Lights volunteers then presented CoL co-founder and former LACBC employee Allison Mannos with a wheel with a built-in generator hub and light to for the work she’s done at LACBC and with CoL.

We ended the night by picking up goodies from the silent auction, mingling, and dancing the night away to the music of the mariachi group Trio Ellas.

Special thanks to our sponsors: BioLogic and Tern Bicycles; GEK Law; Kim and Lester Mannos; Lourdes Lopez, Locke and Lord Law Firm; Councilmember Ed P. Reyes; El Maestro Bicycle Shop; Cinco Puntos; Abel Valenzuela; Jay Slater; Clemente Gomez; and Hector Rodriguez.

Attendees get their party on! Photo: Andrew Wong, WYTe Studios

Thank you also to our in-kind donors who made both the live and silent auctions possible: Mia Nakano, Steve Boyd, Aaron Kuehn, Harpal Sodhi, Lalo Alcaraz, Kristen Erickson, Gustavo Muniz, Ken Haber, Tim Smith, Rome Gee, Center Theatre Group, Laemmle Theatres, Orange 20 Bicycles, Ernesto Vasquez, Scoops Ice Cream Shop, Lourdes Lopez, Kelly Martin, the Bicycle Kitchen, Steve Mattson, Allen Bleyle, Brenda Yancor, Silver Lake Wine, REI, Michelle Quinones-Chino, the Ortheum Theatre, Big 5 Sport Goods, the BiciDignarios, Louise Marler, Kelly Cruz, Eric Almanza, Colin Bogart, Raquel Trinidad, and Margie Mannos.

Thank you to all who attended; the volunteers and City of Lights committee who put this together; the honorees; our emcee Miriam Isa; La Fonda Supper club; WYTe Studios photography; and all of City of Lights’ supporters. We’ll see you next year!

Read more about the night in Spanish in El Pasajero! See photos from the event on our Facebook Fan Page.

CicLAvia 04-10-11: Bringing People Back to the Streets

April 15, 2011 at 9:08 am | Posted in LACBC Events | 1 Comment
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We biked, we walked, we hula-hooped, we ran into friends, we got sun-burned, we smiled! For this second CicLAvia, LACBC was stationed at our bike valet in Little Tokyo, our 7th Street table in MacArthur Park, our table in Hollenbeck Park, and around the Bicycle District, but we were also biking around and so excited to see familiar faces and make new friends.

This CicLAvia has been really well-documented so we turn it over to some other folks for their take on CicLAvia 04-10-11:

  • CicLAvia Revelers Share Their Own Stories in the Comments Section; Add Your Own – CicLAvia blog
  • Mayor Villaraigosa Guest-Blogs about CicLAvia for Streetsblog (Way to Go, Mayor V, and Way to Go, Streetsblog!) – LA Streetsblog
  • Sandy Banks of the LA Times Is a CicLAvia Convert – LA Times
  • Even Bike Advocates from Out-of-Town Are Impressed by CicLAvia – Alliance for Biking & Walking
  • CicLAvia Brings Out the Families – KCET
  • The Bigger Picture of CicLAvia – The Source
  • A CicLAvia Photo-Essay from a First-Timer- Brigham Yen
  • Green LA Girl Presents 13 Ways of Looking at CicLAvia – Pacific Swell
  • Help Brainstorm How to Make CicLAvia More Kid- and Ped-Friendly – LA Streetsblog
  • AutoWeek Covers CicLAvia (AutoWeek? Yes, AutoWeek.) – AutoWeek

Thank you to all the great CicLAvia organizers, volunteers, and donors! LACBC couldn’t be happier to partner with this movement! If you can’t wait until the next CicLAvia, know that the next one will be back on July 10th, followed by another on October 9th. And know that CicLAvia could not be possible without financial support and volunteers. So if you can, please donate to CicLAvia and/or volunteer. We’ll see you out on July 10th!

Pssst. . . You can view more of our photos on our Flickr and Facebook page. And please do share your stories and/or other favorite CicLAvia-related reads, videos, and photos in the comments section.

City Roadway Engineers to Receive Bicycle Safety Design Training

April 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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At the Mayor’s Bike Summit in August, LACBC addressed the need for education for all our city roadway engineers on bicycle safety design- beyond just the bikeways staff. We need all of our roadway engineers to be well-versed in bicycle and pedestrian safety design, and Complete Streets.

Since the Mayor’s Bike Summit, LACBC has been working with the Mayor’s staff to ensure that they addressed this issue. We are happy to announce that John Ciccarelli of Bicycle Solutions will be coming to LADOT to run a two-day training on April 26th and 27th.

LADOT Bikeways staff were integral in setting up this training that will educate their fellow engineers on best practices in bicycle safety design, the new City of LA Bike Plan, and more. We want to thank Interim General Manager of LADOT Amir Sedadi for facilitating this training and, of course, a big thanks to the Mayor and his staff for fulfilling one of our requests from the Bike Summit!

Bicyclists Rejoice Over New LA Bike Plan

March 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved, LACBC Events | 6 Comments
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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 Villaraigosa speaks at the LA Bike Plan press conference and celebration. Photo: Conor Collins / LACBC

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.”

LACBC Executive Director Jen Klausner solves the world's problems with one bike at a time. Photo: Allison Mannos / LACBC

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.

Draft no more! Mayor Villaraigosa holds up the 2010 LA Bike Plan! Photo: Allison Mannos / LACBC

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!

CicLAvia Press Conference with Mayor Villaraigosa

September 22, 2010 at 11:09 am | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved, LACBC Events | 3 Comments
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Cyclists, pedestrians, fellow environmental and bicycle advocates and organizers of CicLAvia gathered today on the lawn of City Hall for a press conference with Mayor Villaraigosa inviting Angelenos to participate in LA’s first CicLAvia on October 10th, 2010.  He was joined by Council President Eric Garcetti, Councilmembers Tom LaBonge, Bill Rosendahl, Ed Reyes, and Jose Huizar who highlighted how this event will encourage Angelenos to get out of their cars, ride bikes, walk, engage their communities, reclaim public space, enjoy the city they live in and most of all have fun.

CicLAvia will be a held from 10 am to 3 pm on 10-10-10. It is a free event and open to all. Please visit CicLAvia’s blog for 7-mile route, volunteer opportunities and other info.

LACBC is excited to be part of the efforts that brought CicLAvia to LA. This is the 1st CicLAvia in LA City and will bring increased awareness of the benefits of biking and walking to create more live-able communities.  Please help spread the word to your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Wouldn’t it be great to see the 7-mile route packed with people!

Calling All Cyclists: Important Metro Board Meeting!

September 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 1 Comment
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photo courtesy of greenlagirl.com

This Thursday at 9:30 AM, Mayor Villaraigosa will be bringing multiple bike and bikes-on-transit related issues to the Metro Board Meeting. Villaraigosa previously submitted the motion below, titled “Enhanced MTA Bicycle Policies & Programs,” at the MTA’s Executive Management and Audit Committee where it received full committee approval. The motion would direct Metro CEO Art Leahy to complete the following tasks and report back by the December 2010 Board meeting.

LACBC would like to thank Mayor Villaraigosa for his continued support on  bicycling issues. We’d also like to see all of the Mayor’s motion supported by the full Metro Board. To that end, your voice is needed to drive home how important all of these issues are, both for cyclists and for the creation of an accessible transit system that meets the needs of its users.

Please come out and give your comments in support of the Mayor’s motion. Public comment cards must be submitted at the start of the meeting so please come a bit early.

See you Thursday Morning at 9:30am!
3rd Floor Metro Board Room
One Gateway Plaza

1. Recommend increased bicycle funding in the 2011 Call for Projects (tentative
goal increasing modal category from 7% to 15%, subject to future MTA Board

Current Transit System
2. Develop a phased plan for the installation of triple bicycle racks on all MTA buses
(estimated cost $1.6 million).

3. Develop a cost estimate, implementation schedule, and possible funding sources
for retrofitting MTA trains for bikes.

4. Propose a Revised Customer Code of Conduct and develop a “How to Ride
Metro” document that helps customers with bicycles and other large belongings,
including luggage, strollers and rolling briefcases, safely board and ride MTA’s
system during peak hours.

5. Identify the feasibility and cost of adding bicycle racks to the back or top of MTA
vanpool vehicles.

6. Provide an estimated cost and potential funding source to install improved
bicycle/stroller/luggage wayfinding signage at all rail and bus stations.

7. Incorporate bicycle mode messages in all marketing materials and campaigns
and provide an update on the status of MTA’s Bicycle Safety Advertising
Campaign on buses.

8. Work with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Transit Security Bureau to
summarize crimes on MTA property affecting bicycles and bike facilities and
recommend appropriate measures to improve bicycle security.

Future Transit Projects
9. Include in all future transit station designs stair channels or ramps so that
bicyclists can wheel their bikes safely up and down staircases.

10. Incorporate robust bicycle facilities in all transit project designs (e.g. increase bicycle parking at high demand stations, adjacent bike lanes or bike paths, i.e. Expo and Orange Line) to facilitate first mile/last mile transit access by bike.

Follow Up From the Bike Summit & “Give Me 3″ Press Conference

August 26, 2010 at 11:18 am | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 6 Comments
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Yesterday, LACBC met with Jaime de la Vega and Heidi Sickler from the Mayor’s office to follow up on some of the key requests we brought to the Mayor’s attention at the Bike Summit.

1) Bike Plan Implementation Strategy:
LACBC submitted a call for the Mayor to immediately implement high profile bike facilities.
Please click here to view the document and priority list we submitted.

2) Bicycle Boulevards:
The implementation of the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard is a LACBC priority. As 4th Street has support for Councilmember LaBonge, community members, and local stakeholders, we feel this Bicycle Boulevard, equip with the necessary traffic calming devices such as bulb-outs, traffic circles, bicycle activated signals etc, would create a precedent and establish some best practices for future Bicycle Boulevards. We are working with some of the instrumental volunteers, integral to this campaign, to put together a list of suggested treatments appropriate for each intersection. We will continue to work with LADOT, the Mayors Office and Councilmember LaBonge’s office to see this project implemented as soon as possible.

3) Complete Streets and Training:
We issued a request to the Mayor to issue a directive to all roadway engineers and department heads to abide by the Complete Street Standards outlined in the Complete Streets Law, which goes into effect in January of 2011. For years our road engineers have only been asked to keep vehicle traffic moving, we’re asking the Mayor to give them a new directive – a directive to design streets for the safety of all users and to safely move bicycle, pedestrian, transit, and vehicle traffic on the same streets. To accomplish this the Mayor’s directive would also require engineers, planners, and related staff within the departments of Bureau of Street Services, Bureau of Engineers and DOT to attend bicycle and pedestrian safety design training seminars.

4) Bicycle Safety and Awareness:
In continuation of the Bicycle Safety Awareness Campaign, LACBC requested that the City create a “one stop” city bicycle safety and information website. Links to this site or page need to be easily viewable from the homepage of city websites. Using the LADOT bicyclela website as a central location, we will be working with these offices to update and incorporate more information and resources to this site.

5) 3 Foot Passing Law:
The Mayor confirmed his commitment to seeing a 3 Foot Passing Law enacted in the State of California in 2011. LACBC will be working with his office and the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) to draft language and find a sponsor for the law. The CBC previously worked to enact a 3 Foot Passing Law in 2006 and more recently to on a Vulnerable User Law – we’re hoping with the support of the Mayor the 3 Foot Passing Law and a Vulnerable User Law will both become law in the next year. We will be keeping you posted on our progress over the next few months and will need your support in Sacramento in 2011.

6) Updating Metro’s TOD Guidelines to Include Bicycle Parking Facilities:
The Mayor will be submitting a motion for the September MTA board meeting to incorporate better bike facilities with all MTA projects and improve bicycle access to transit. This would include triple racks on buses as well as bikes on rail.

“Give Me 3″ Bike Safety Posters Unveiled by Mayor Villaraigosa

August 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 34 Comments
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This morning, on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall, Mayor Villaraigosa, in partnership with LACBC, Midnight Ridazz, LADOT, and LAPD, announced the winner of the Bike Awareness and Safety slogan contest by unveiling the “Give Me 3″ bus shelter posters, designed by graphic artist and LA cyclist Geoff McFetridge. The winning slogan was submitted by Danny Gamboa from Long Beach and will be visible in 150-200 bus shelters and Public Amenity Kiosks (PAKs) throughout the City. The remaining 800-850 ads will be installed between now and December on PAKs and bus shelters as space becomes available.

Mayor Villaraigosa, LACBC, Midnight Ridazz, and Geoff McFetridge unveil the "Give Me 3" posters.

Coming quickly after Mayor Villaraigosa’s historic Bicycle Summit, where he committed to “doing better for bicyclists in Los Angeles”, today’s unveiling was another step in the right direction. Beyond reaffirming his commitment to increasing bicyclist safety, the Mayor touched on building more bicycle infrastructure and initiating culture change in the “car capital of the world.”

The Mayor also announced that he would like to “make the 3 Foot Passing Rule a 3 Foot Passing Law” in California. He will be introducing the bill, going to Sacramento and working with the bicycling community to ensure that this becomes a reality. “We’ll keep at it until it becomes part of the California Vehicle Code.”

Rita Robinson from LADOT also spoke in support of the Mayor’s interest in bicycle safety and infrastructure. In regards to safety, she emphasized that the 3 Foot Passing Law really means 3 feet beside, behind and beyond.

Following the press conference, the Mayor’s office filmed some b roll and interviewed a handful of cyclists for a PSA they are working on developing in collaboration with LACBC that will be completed shortly.

We’d like to thank the Mayor for his outspoken support to make Los Angeles a more bike friendly city, to Midnight Ridazz, Geoff McFetridge, Danny Gamboa and to all the bicyclists who came out this morning to support this successful effort.

Bicycle Awareness and Safety Campaign

August 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Bike News | 12 Comments
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In April of 2010, LACBC launched the Bicycle Awareness Safety Campaign in partnership with Midnight Ridazz, LAPD, the Mayor’s office and LADOT. Phase one of this campaign consisted of creating a bike safety ad that would be posted at bus shelters and Public Amenity Kiosks (PAK) throughout Los Angeles. The public participated in a slogan contest and the winning slogan was chosen by members of Midnight Ridazz, LACBC, LADOT, LAPD and the Mayor’s office. The poster, designed by Geoff McFetridge, has been finalized and should be printed by next week. LACBC and the Mayor’s office are currently organizing a press conference to announce the slogan contest winner and unveil the Bicycle Awareness Safety Campaign poster.

Phase two of the Bicycle Awareness and Safety Campaign will develop an ongoing safety program with the Mayor’s office. We have proposed that the Mayor do a series of bike awareness and safety public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish for television, radio, local newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets. We are also suggesting the Mayor and Chief Beck do a joint anti-harassment PSA.

LACBC is pushing the Mayor’s office to update and create better links to online bicycle resources on various city websites. Currently it is extremely difficult to find bicycle safety and information resources from the main city website, LADOT’s home page, and the LAPD home page. We would like to see links for bicycle resources clearly indicated on the home pages of LADOT, LAPD, and LA City, as well as link from the online 311 search tool.

Our hope for phase three of this campaign will be for the Mayor and Councilmembers to sponsor quarterly bike education and safety courses around the City of Los Angeles. We would like to work with other advocates who have expressed similar ideas to make this as comprehensive a program as possible. In addition, we would like to see the Mayor’s office work with LAPD in establishing a comprehensive system to facilitate reporting bicycle incidents. And finally, LACBC proposes that the Mayor lead a Celebrity Bike Ride in conjunction with the Ciclavia event in October.

Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved.

Mayor Villaraigosa, the Need To Take Action for Safer Streets in Los Angeles is Now Painfully Clear

July 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Bike News | 2 Comments
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A facility like San Francisco's protected green bike lane could have prevented the Mayor's crash. Photos; Bryan Goebel/StreetsblogSF

We just delivered a letter to Mayor Villaraigosa’s office. Click here to read it.

LACBC is saddened to hear about Mayor Villaraigosa’s recent bicycle crash. First and foremost, we wish Mayor Villaraigosa a quick recovery.

However, many local bicyclists can relate to the mayor’s experience all too well. The injury suffered by Mayor Villaraigosa on Venice Boulevard makes clear the need for safer streets for all road users in Los Angeles.

More education is needed for motorists about looking for bicyclists before pulling in or out of a parking space, opening car doors, or turning across a bike lane. With the Mayor’s leadership, the City should begin a bicycle safety awareness campaign similar to New York City’s “Look” campaign.

NYC's Bicycle Awareness Campaign "Look" is a model Los Angeles can look to. Photo; looknyc.org

Also, one of the best ways to increase motorist awareness of bicyclists is to create safety in numbers. This can happen through increased and better bicycle infrastructure and is why LACBC has been working so hard on the implementation of sharrows.

LACBC urges the Mayor to follow the lead of cities like Long Beach and San Francisco and make a commitment to implement multiple high-profile bicycle lane projects.  The designation of 10% of Measure R Local Return funds for bike/pedestrian projects in Los Angeles is an important step in this direction and we appreciate the Mayor’s continued support on this issue. The city of Los Angeles should use this opportunity to create a truly sustainable 21st century transportation system that features sound and comprehensive bicycle infrastructure.

Finally, LACBC has also begun working with the Los Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance (LATWA) to promote mutual respect and understanding amongst taxi workers and bicyclists. Together we will create materials to help educate cab drivers about sharing the road with cyclists.

LACBC and LATWA are members of the Green LA Transportation Working Group and believe that both bikes and taxis are part of the sustainable transportation system that Los Angeles needs to reduce overall car dependence.  Bikes and taxis extend the reach of public transportation and will help realize the Mayor’s vision of sustainability, livability, and “elegant density.”

Los Angeles, under the leadership of Mayor Villaraigosa and in partnership with the bicycling community and it’s partner advocates in the taxi world, must take action to make sure that our streets are no longer places where people from all walks of life can be injured in the blink of an eye.

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