Dear LACBC fam,
At LACBC, we work to make all communities in Los Angeles County healthy, safe, and fun places to bike and walk. In fact, this week is Bike Week, and we are working tirelessly to host events that show that LA is a fun place to bike. But it’s hard for people to bike when they do not feel safe so we have been doing everything we can to push the City to fund Vision Zero.
However, there have been some mischaracterizations or misunderstandings about where we stand on Vision Zero. With our amazing partners in the Vision Zero Alliance, a coalition led primarily by leaders of color and from fields outside of active transportation, we’ve been fighting for Vision Zero since the mayor announced it.
From the beginning we’ve said we feared the City would not truly invest in saving lives, but rather use this as an opportunity to pad the police department enforcement budget. Just a few weeks ago I was at a national conference talking about Vision Zero with experts from around the world. It’s widely recognized that for Vision Zero to be successful, a city must lead with engineering, evaluation, and education--not enforcement. A city must invest in infrastructure. A city must invest in protecting its most vulnerable road users.
Today, the City of LA took a step in the right direction thanks to the leadership of our Councilmember Bonin, our Department of Transportation, and the committed hours of our community partners: ACT-LA, NRDC, AARP, Advancement Project CA, SCOPE, SAJE, LA Walks, Thai CDC, FAST, TRUST South LA, Little Tokyo Service Center, Multicultural Communities for Mobility, and Investing in Place. We were able to reverse Friday’s abysmal funding proposal of $3 and secure almost $30 million for Vision Zero in this year’s budget.
But we almost didn’t get here. Unfortunately, the very thing we feared and predicted would happen, did happen last Friday. Somehow some folks think our Vision Zero Alliance partners and LACBC are responsible. That couldn’t be further from accurate. We’ve been advocating on every channel all week long and continued to do so today at City Hall.
Our advocacy and prediction about how the City would implement Vision Zero is why we are truly disappointed at the Budget and Finance Committee’s decision last week to seriously cut Vision Zero funding and to dedicate half of Measure M local return dollars to resurfacing streets and improving pavement conditions. This motion works in direct conflict with the Transportation Committee’s proposal to invest $30 million of local return per year into Vision Zero.
LACBC has worked and continues to work for the City Council to commit meaningful funding towards Vision Zero traffic safety projects that would benefit our City’s most vulnerable road users--people who bike and walk, seniors, children, immigrants, low-income communities, and communities of color.
As we heard Councilmember Bonin say today at City Hall, traffic safety is a public health crisis in Los Angeles, with the highest rate of traffic deaths per capita of all major U.S. cities.Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 5 and 14 in Los Angeles County, and result in over 1,000 life-altering, serious injuries to Angelenos every year. In addition, people walking and biking have a disproportional risk of dying in traffic crashes, accounting for nearly half of all deaths, despite being involved in only 14% of crashes. To reduce these tragedies, the City must follow the leadership of Councilmembers Bonin, Harris-Dawson, Martinez, and Huizar and invest local return dollars into Vision Zero implementation.
The investments in Vision Zero should not be predominately reserved for the police department and enforcement by that agency. Last Friday’s proposal would have resulted in 50% of the $3 million dedicated to Vision Zero being allocated to the Los Angeles Police Department. This is unacceptable. As our partners at the Vision Zero Alliance and Multicultural Communities for Mobility have noted, collision data shows that a disproportionate number of serious and fatal collisions take place in communities that are exposed to over-policing and experience higher rates of violent interactions, some of which have resulted in the untimely deaths of Black and Latinx residents, by the hands of our City’s law enforcement agency. Vision Zero traffic safety policies should not justify the over policing of communities of color and the criminalization of low-income individuals, immigrants, youth, and transgender and queer individuals
Additionally, we firmly believe that transit and transportation investments must not harm the communities they aim to protect. Nearly half of the streets on the High Injury Network are in neighborhoods with a greater percentage of people of color, immigrants, and low-income families. When infrastructure investments are made in these communities, residents often fear displacement, gentrification, and that the improvements are not for them. The City should address these concerns in tandem with their transportation investments.We believe that in future years it will be critical for a portion of local return dollars to be spent on anti-displacement measures to ensure that the people currently living in communities seeing investment can afford to stay.
This is an intersectional approach to Vision Zero. I make no apologies for that. It is the same approach we bring to all of our work. In the bike community, if we want to make change, we have to start bringing people in, not excluding them for considering issues that matter.
Thanks to this approach, our diverse coalition helped the city change course today. Today the City moved towards prioritizing the safety and well being of Angelenos who use multiple modes of transportation. Today the City moved toward investing in our most vulnerable road users and in low-income communities and communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by serious traffic injuries and deaths.
We encourage you to join us as member or reach out if you ever have questions about our vision for a more equitable and safer Los Angeles for all people who bike. We need to stand united as we urge the City Council to continue committing to ending traffic deaths by investing in Vision Zero’s life-saving strategies each year of this 10 year initiative.
Family is important, but cycling allows you to form close bonds as well.
Jennifer Longville may not think of herself solely as a cyclist.
As a professional and mother, riding a bike sometimes takes a back seat, but that doesn't wane it's importance.
Cycling provides Jennifer not just an outlet to get away, but also also a sense of community.
Her Wednesday night Women's Ride isn't just a two hour escape, but a ritual.
With the work week being so hectic, the friendships and camaraderie formed from this group ride gives her something to look forward to in the middle of the week.
We catchup with Jennifer as she talks about how she found her "2nd family".
LACBC has been getting more calls from bicyclists who want to know what they can do when they get tickets. We are not lawyers, so if you are looking for solid legal advice, seek a professional, but here are a few things we do know:
- Look at the vehicle code on the ticket and then look it up online. Make sure it’s valid. If it’s not valid, you can fight it. One example would be getting a ticket for no lights or reflectors during the day (the law only requires them at night). You can look up CA vehicle codes here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/
- Make sure the ticket says “bicycle” or “bike” on it. This indicates you were cited while riding a bicycle and not driving a motor vehicle. This is important because the ticket should not show up on your driving record. You’re not required to have a driver’s license to ride a bike so a ticket for a traffic violation while riding a bike doesn’t apply to your driving record. If it doesn’t say “bicycle” on your ticket, make sure the court knows that it was a bicycle-related citation. Here’s the DMV website page that says points assigned for traffic violations do not apply to bicyclists or pedestrians: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/dl/vioptct
Riding your bike can be cathartic; writing about it can be, too.
Michael Wagner has a multifaceted passion for cycling that is captured in his blog the CLR Effect (which stands for Center Line Rule).
Based out of Claremont, Michael is a member of the Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition and gives a local perspective of anything that has to do with cycling.
Mountain biking, commuting, equipment reviews, racing, history and places to ride are just some of the subjects you'll find as Michael updates his blog almost daily.
The CLR Effect is a labor of love, and you'd never know Michael isn't a writer by trade. Ultimately, it's not solely from bikes, but the community with which he has surrounded himself:
Is a bicycle a form of transportation or a tool to interpret our relation with space?
We all think of cycling as a way to get from point to point, but not often are we made aware of your environment when we're riding.
Jenny Morataya is a cyclist like us all, but growing up in Glendale near the L.A. River has given her a different perspective.
Living in a city with a suburban layout, hiking the mountains and enjoying all the open space around the river are some of the factors that led to pursuing her studies in Geography.
At the same time, she discovered not just how versatile a bike is, but how it allows a city to function differently.
As Jenny prepares for next month's Climate Ride, we catch up with her to see how her journey has evolved.Read more
For the second year in a row, LACBC will be hosting the Ride of Silence from the North Hollywood Metro Station on Wednesday, May 17th at 6:30 p.m.
The Ride of Silence has a global presence with over 400 rides worldwide and all 50 states represented.
Every ride is governed by the same practices: cyclists ride in solidarity without making a sound.
It's a powerful experience that is shared not just between riders, but also makes a statement in the communities through which we ride.
For this year's ride, we're expect a larger turnout - so just a couple of quick reminders::
- The Ride of Silence obeys all traffic laws. While the group may split at points, this also gives the opportunity for others to see what cyclists as traffic looks like.
- While everyone is asked to remain quiet, please make use of hand signals and point out any hazards along the ride.
- The route will cover seven miles. Please bring along front and rear lights as we'll be riding at dusk.
To find out details of other rides in Southern California, check the Ride of Silence Page for more information.
You can RSVP and find out more information about our ride by signing up here.
Everyone bikes growing up, but sometimes riding escapes us.
Sometimes it takes a chance encounter, unusual circumstance or even luck to find your way back.
Cycling played a big part of Jason's Hurst childhood, but as we reach adulthood, life happens and priorities change.
Jason found his way back and is now obsessed with cycling.
In fact, you're bound to see him at almost every LACBC ride as one of our most prominent marshals.
This has been another year of growth on the bike riding further and discovering new places to ride, especially as he's in his final month of training for the Climate Ride.
Everyone knows how well-organized and thoughtful Jason is, so preparing for 324 miles of riding over five days is something he is not taking lightly.
LACBC Everywhere catches up with Jason for one of those rare moments he is not on a bike:Read more
LACBC is fortunate to have dedicated group of supporters.
Whether it's leading a ride, advocating at an event or helping around the office, we wouldn't be able to do what we do without the help of our volunteers.
If you've ever done the L.A. River Ride or joined us for a Sunday Funday, odds are you have met Treva Moore marshaling a ride.
You won't have to ask for her by name, you'll just recognize her from her smile.
Treva enjoys the freedom cycling provides and all the opportunities the area has to offer.
Growing up on a farm outside Bakersfield, Treva had plenty of space to ride and explore.
Moving to Los Angeles was a transition, but finding her way around on a bike provided some new experiences.Read more
From Left to Right - Amanda Meza (Investing in Place), Melinda Amato (LACBC), California Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, and Lyndsey Nolan (LACBC).
Last week, I headed up to Sacramento for the California Transportation Equity Summit with my colleagues Lyndsey Nolan and Monique G. López. We all headed to the conference excited about meeting like-minded people from across the state engaging in transportation equity work.
We started off the day listening to keynote speaker Diane Takvorian, Executive Director of Environmental Health Coalition, talk about why San Diego ranks lower than almost all major US cities when it comes to transportation equity. She spoke about the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and how it has been so poorly run that activists introduced AB 805. A bill that would require SANDAG to employ an independent auditor. Diane's words were a powerful reminder of the importance of holding our representatives accountable. When our elected officials and governing bodies are not standing for the principles we believe in, we must take action.
"I remember when I used to be into nostalgia." - Demtri Martin
Memories are precious to preserve, but ultimately they are moments of time that fade away.
The San Fernando Valley has gone through so many permutations since the late 18th century that it's hard to remember where it's been.
Early San Fernando Photo when horses ruled transportation.
The mission and rancho periods led to grazing and farming until rail and access to water started to unleash the area's potential.
Studios began to sprout up and big movie stars, like Bob Hope, Clarke Gable and Bing Crosby, settled into their large compounds.
Movie costumes from the Valley's Western period.
After World War II, Los Angeles began to sprawl as freeway construction allowed people access to cheaper land and larger homes with plenty of space for swimming pools.Read more