Dear LACBC fam,
The weather is great! Daylight saving time is over and we wanted to share some news. Operation Firefly season just concluded last week and it was more successful than ever! I was also just named to theMetro Policy Advisory Council and will be working with a group of amazing leaders on shaping the Measure M guidelines. Finally, we also wanted you to know that we’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and green bike lanes tomorrow with a ride!
Let’s talk about making people safer as the ride at night! Every year we shine the bike light on those who need lights. Our data shows that most people we give lights to use bikes as their primary mode of transportation and don’t have lights because they can’t afford them. This was Operation Firefly’s fifth year and we exceeded our goal to provide bicycle lights and educational information to 3,000 people countywide, growing the program once again. Despite all the rain this year, we conducted 39 on-street distribution events which took place in 10 different cities and included over 150 Team Firefly volunteers.
We’re grateful to our Season Sponsor, AARP Los Angeles, as well as SoCalGas, the City of Long Beach, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, and L.A. Council Members Bob Blumenfield, Joe Buscaino, Jose Huizar, Nury Martinez, and Mitch O’Farrell. We can’t thank our volunteers enough for enduring all the scheduling and rescheduling due to weather and for showing up to staff the on-street distributions and be the human face of the program. We also partnered with 16 different community organizations to help with distribution, including Trust South LA, API Forward Movement (formerly APIOPA), Multicultural Communities for Mobility, Lamp Village, the Weingart Foundation, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, CICLE, Bike SGV, East LA College, the Bicycle Kitchen, the Bike Oven, theBikerowave, Ride On! Bike Co-op, and Bici Libre. Be on the lookout for an Operation Firefly summary of results in May.Read more
Donate to Operation Firefly, LACBC's education and bike light distribution program intended to make sure people riding bikes in Los Angeles are riding safely at night.
Your donation helps distribute bike lights to those how need them the most.Donate
When LACBC launched Operation Firefly in the fall of 2012, we started with about 500 lights and a plan to hand them out over the course of several months until we ran out. We limited each distribution to 40 light sets and stopped after 2 hours or when we ran out lights that night, whichever came first. We didn’t have any sponsors at the time, but we DID have enthusiastic volunteers to help us make Operation Firefly a reality. Now, after four winter seasons, we’ve distributed lights and safety information to more than 6,000 people throughout the county and we’re growing the program by distributing lights through partner organizations that work with homeless or formerly homeless people who ride bikes for transportation.
From the very beginning, we’ve relied on our Team Firefly volunteers. We’ve also been very fortunate to receive support from the Laemmle Charitable Foundation (LCF) as the Season Sponsor for the last two years. Their sponsorship gave us the ability to expand the program, reaching five times the number of people this winter than we did the first year. We can’t thank Greg & Tish Laemmle of LCF enough. We were thrilled that they were able to join us for the ride and picnic (not to mention their participation in Operation Firefly in Westwood last month). We also want to thank the City of Long Beach, New Belgium Brewing, SoCal Gas, and LA City Council Members Jose Huizar, Felipe Fuentes, Joe Buscaino, Bob Blumenfield, Mitch O’Farrell, Mitch Englander, Paul Koretz, and Gil Cedillo for their support this year.
For the April Sunday Funday ride, we combined it with a celebration of our Operation Firefly program and the close of another successful Firefly season this past winter. We thought a ride and a picnic would be a fun way to say “thank you.” We decided on a light-themed ride for our members and Team Firefly volunteers (who handed out lights and information to more than 2,500 people county-wide between November 2015 and March 2016).
So, on April 3rd, the first Sunday of the month, we gathered at Barnsdall Park in East Hollywood to take a tour of historic L.A. street lights from the park to LACMA and back. Thanks to information shared with us by Jeffrey Ziliotto, Assistant Division Manager at the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting, we enjoyed a relaxing, informative ride through neighborhoods of L.A. with old streetlights (still functioning) at the center of it all. Thanks go out also to the LACBC Ride Marshal Team for guiding the ride and Orange 20 Bikes for doing basic bike checks at the start of the ride.
The whole group in front of the Urban Light exhibit at LACMA, featuring 17 different styles of light poles from southern California cities.Read more
Operation Firefly has some pretty lofty goals for the 2015-2016 season: Hand out 2,500 light sets to people cycling. That's 500 more than the previous season, but with five weeks left, we are less than one thousand away from hitting our goal!
So far, we've covered a large portion of the county visiting many neighborhoods, such as Pacoima, Wilmington, North Hollywood, Encino, Watts, Canoga Park, East Hollywood and Vernon. We've also held five distributions throughout Long Beach with another five coming.
We'll also be looking to many more locations, including Maywood, Bell, MacArthur Park, Boyle Heights, Cudahy, and a number of others coming up.Read more
Operation Firefly (Operacíon Luciérnaga) is an education and bike light distribution program of LACBC intended to make sure people riding bikes in Los Angeles are riding safely at night. When riding at night in California, a white front light and reflectors are required by law (CVC21201). More importantly, riding without lights and reflectors is dangerous.
We're proud to announce that AARP is the Season Sponsor for Operation Firefly in 2016-2017.
How Does Operation Firefly Work?
LACBC organizes groups of “Team Firefly” volunteers to meet for “street distributions” at undisclosed locations throughout Los Angeles where night-time bicycle ridership is expected to be high. The volunteers stop people who are riding bikes without lights in order to give them front and rear lights along with bilingual safety information and to survey each light recipient. Our “Team Firefly” volunteers always include at least a few people who speak Spanish as well as female members to encourage female riders to stop. Last year, 81% of our light recipients told us that their bicycle was their main form of transportation and only 2% knew all the legal requirements for night-time riding.
Volunteer For Operation Firefly
Join Team Firefly and volunteer to help distribute lights throughout the season and throughout the County. If you're interested in volunteering, please RSVP here!
- Wednesday, March 8, 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Wilmington
- Thursday, March 9, 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Panorama City / Van Nuys
Support Operation Firefly
Last year we met our goal of providing lights and safety information to 2,500 people county wide. This year, our goal is to serve 3,000 people. You can support Operation Firefly by making a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you!