This morning, LADOT Bikeways staff, Councilmember Reyes, and representatives from the Mayor’s Office, gathered with bicycle advocates including members from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition at Mac Arthur Park to witness the League of American Bicyclists President, Andy Clarke recognize the City as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the bronze level. While Los Angeles was only one of several dozen new bicycle friendly communities to receive an award, the League recognized the City’s distinct challenges, affirming that, “Leaders like Los Angeles serve as a great example that even cities known for Carmageddon can take cost-effective steps to start making cycling an integrated part of the transportation system.”
To identify communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling through multiple facets, the organization assembles a team of bicycle advocates, engineers and government officials to document a community’s accomplishments via the League’s application process. The Los Angeles bicycle community’s abundant achievements and advancements in engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning were included in the application and helped to showcase the city as a bicycle friendly community.
The last fiscal year’s 76 miles of new bikeways, 51 miles of on-street bike lanes, 21 miles of sharrow-ed routes, and a 4-mile bicycle path, in addition to the free education and repair classes hosted by local bicycle repair co-ops were highlighted as key accomplishments for our community (three cheers for the Bicycle Kitchen, Bike Oven, Bikerowave, Valley Bikery, Bici Digna, and more??!!). Advocacy groups’ work, bicycling clubs and major bicycling events, especially CicLAvia, further help to illustrate the city’s diverse bicycling successes. In addition to focusing on the city’s improvements the comprehensive application reveals areas that require improvement, including encouraging and increasing community outreach efforts. In this area we know can do more to support novice bicyclists, as well as develop better methods to engage and meet the bicycle needs of lower income communities.
In addition to the presentation, the League of American Bicyclists provided the City with two purple bicycle friendly community signs (we’ll be purchasing a few more, as well). The LADOT Bike Program staff recognizes that this accomplishment would not have been achieved without the advocacy community and we would like your to help in deciding the best locations for these signs. We encourage everyone to provide a response below and we will announce the locations in the weeks ahead.
As a city historically characterized by urban sprawl, massive highways and a daunting car culture, Los Angeles continues to redefine itself, and its very exciting to be recognized as a community of diverse neighborhoods that can be enjoyed by bicycle. This recognition from the League of American Bicyclists affirms the necessity of the city’s transitioning to a multi-modal transportation approach. We’ll keep working on it, and we hope you will, too.