Tamika Butler published Off the Chain With Tamika: Shining Lights, Going Green in Blog 2017-03-21 13:46:48 -0700
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
Tamika Butler published Off the Chain With Tamika: What's in Store for 2017 in Blog 2017-01-24 17:50:46 -0800
A message from Tamika Butler, LACBC's Executive Director:
Dear LACBC fam,
Happy new year! I’m excited to be back at HQ and getting back into the swing of things in the new year. This year marks LACBC’s 19th birthday! That means we’re going to be leaving our teens behind and entering our tenacious 20s. We’re excited about all that’s on our plate for the year ahead, but we also want you to keep your ears open. We’re planning something big for our 20th year. We’re heading into the planning process now and we’re going to be coming back to our member to launch us into our next chapter.
So what does this year have in store for all of us? So much! Last week we had our staff retreat (photo to the right) and we planned out the year ahead. Here’s what is on deck:
- We’re doing a new strategic plan! It’s the right time and as we go into our 20th year, we are refining our vision and our brand and getting ready for the new challenges ahead. We’re going to be looking to interview stakeholders, so look out for more communication from us.
- We had another successful fundraising year, raising the most money in LACBC's history. We’ve grown from a small organization to an organization with a $800,000 budget when I started, to hitting a $1.2-million budget last year. With Erik, our new Development Director in place, we’re poised to raise more money than ever this year. You want to help? Your first opportunity is already here. Join Team LACBC on Climate Ride and help fight climate change and raise money for LACBC.
- We’re going to invest more time and energy into our local chapter program and Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program. Want to know how to be informed for the March elections or how to engage locally or at Metro? We’ll make sure you’re ready as one of our local leading advocates.
- We’re not just investing in you, we’re investing in our team at HQ so they can better serve you. We’re going to be looking at our structure as part of the strategic plan, hiring, reorganizing, and getting ourselves the training and resources we need to do our best work.
- When it comes to campaigns, we’re keeping our eyes on the prize and continuing our work at LACBC and as part of different coalitions to work on the campaigns that matter most to you:
- Keeping you up-to-date on the issues that matter like adding protected bike lanes, theL.A. River, Bike Month, and Active Streets LA.
- Staying on top of Measure M implementation, participating in the policy guideline process, ensuring spending transparency, and continuing the fight for biking and walk investments. We’ll do this in conjunction with our advocacy around Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan.
- Holding the City of Los Angeles to its promise to achieve Vision Zero by 2025 and getting other cities in the county to take the pledge.
- We’ll continue to be a leader at the national level in incorporating equity and the dismantling of systematic racism and oppression into all that we do at LACBC.
And finally, we’ll keep having FUN! We have a great year ahead, we hope you are as excited as we are. Join LACBC or renew your membership, sign up to volunteer, and get engaged. We’re out to make L.A. a better place to live and bike and we can’t do it without you!
LACBC Executive Director
Dear NELA Stakeholder,
This is a little longer than usual, but we packed a lot into our meeting and I promised a thorough recap, so please hang in there and read it to the end. Last night at 6:30 p.m. we met at the Arroyo Seco Library in Highland Park. We had a productive conversation. It wasn’t a conversation that was always easy, but it was a conversation that was deeply helpful to me. I know it was also a conversation that the LACBC team, as a whole, saw as a chance at a new beginning as we work towards reaching a place of understanding around how we can better serve our members in Northeast Los Angeles.
The most important thing we need to say in this recap is thank you. We really appreciate everyone who took the time to come to the meeting and those who helped make the meeting happen. We know that you do this work because you care, thanks for giving your time.
LACBC was represented by Planning & Policy Director Bryan Moller, Planning & Policy Coordinator Hyeran Lee, and me, Executive Director Tamika Butler. It was amazing to see so much diverse NELA representation at the meeting with folks from Lincoln Heights, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Glassell Park, and Montecito Heights. Community members who were present had been living in the area for as short as a few months, to some who have been there for over a decade and even their whole lives. This won’t be the last NELA meeting for the LACBC team or for me. Something we did agree on at the meeting is that for us to continue working together and to get to a joint vision of Fig—even if we use different tactics to get there—we have to keep listening to each other, we have to stay open to one another, and we have to do so as partners with equal respect and empathetic understanding for one another.Read more
LACBC is excited to release results from the 2015 Los Angeles Bicycle and Pedestrian Count, presented by AARP. Since 2009, LACBC has organized biennial citywide counts to collect, analyze, and share reliable data with public and government agencies on walking and biking. This time, we went bigger than ever by adding 40 locations, requiring 647 volunteer shifts to count at 156 distinct locations. In total, our volunteers counted nearly 21,000 people biking and 140,000 people walking over six hours. We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to our volunteers and our partners, including Los Angeles Walks, the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, and community organizations all across Los Angeles.
This report comes at a time of important policy shifts in the City of Los Angeles. Every year, over 200 people are killed on city streets in traffic crashes, about half of them while walking or biking. In 2015, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed Executive Directive 10, making Los Angeles a Vision Zero city and calling for all city departments to work together to end all traffic deaths by 2025. The City Council adopted this same policy goal to make safety the City’s top transportation priority as part of Mobility Plan 2035. To achieve Vision Zero, L.A. Department of Transportation is working to catalog all serious and fatal traffic crashes and deploy proven engineering solutions to prevent them. Just recently, L.A. County voters overwhelmingly approved Measure M, also known as the “Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan.” Measure M will provide approximately $120 billion over 40 years for transportation projects across L.A. County, including $4 billion for biking and walking. In this report, LACBC analyzed collision data along corridors where bike lanes were installed and found that bike lanes are a key strategy for making streets safer--for people who bike and for all people using the roads.The report found that top 30 (20%) count locations account for over 65% of people who walk and 55% of people who bike. Most of these locations are located on top of the City’s High Injury Network, which indicates that people walking and biking on these streets are more likely to be injured or killed by traffic collisions. All of these locations are located in high-density neighborhoods, near major destinations, or in low-income communities of color. Almost all of the top 30 locations were in neighborhoods with median household incomes below the rest of the city. People walk and bike to access important neighborhood destinations like local businesses, services, transit stations, schools, and parks, many of which are located on the High Injury Network. Making walking and biking safe and convenient requires making infrastructure improvements on the streets where people are walking and biking.
In 2015, riders continued to gravitate towards bike lanes; however the count shows an overall 9% year-by-year decline in same location ridership from 2013 to 2015. In the last two years, bike lane installation has decreased significantly from a high of 101 miles in fiscal year 2013 to only 11 miles in fiscal year 2015. Many of these new lanes have been installations where bike lanes could be included in other road resurfacing or safety projects, rather than installations along high priority corridors identified in the Bicycle Plan. Of the initial 183 miles of bike lanes prioritized in the 5-year Bicycle Plan Implementation Strategy, only 45 miles (25%) have been installed. As a result, the bike network in Los Angeles remains fragmented with large gaps in bike lanes along most riders’ trips. This lack of connectivity continues to be the greatest barrier reported by many people who bike or would like to.
Bike lanes have made streets safer, but more work needs to be done. On the new bike lanes studied, bike ridership increased by 62% after installation. After accounting for increases in bike ridership, new bike lanes reduced bicycle crash risk by an average of 42%.
Furthermore, adding bike lanes by instituting a road diet has shown more safety benefits and resulted in a higher ridership increase than adding bike lanes without reducing the number of travel lanes. For example, a road diet on Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock, installed in 2013, has seen a 26% ridership increase whereas bicycle-automobile collisions decreased by 87% and auto collisions by 19%. Similarly, the 7th street bike lanes in Downtown Los Angeles demonstrated a strong ridership increase by 53% after installation in 2011, while collisions rates for all road users on the street decreased.Women Want Safer Biking Options. In Los Angeles, women make up just 16% of cyclists overall, but the gender disparity is lowest on streets with quality bikeways (bike paths at 22% and bike lanes at 17%) and highest on streets with no bicycling infrastructure. Cities with safer streets for bicycling in general tend to have smaller gender disparities in bicycling, such as Portland, Oregon (35%), and Copenhagen, Denmark (50%).
You can read our three recommendations and detailed methodology about the analysis in the full report.
Sign up below to to download the full report!If you have any question about the report and #LABikePedCount, please email at email@example.com.
Thank you to our sponsors, partner organizations, and 400+ volunteers who helped complete the 2015 #LABikePedCount! Check out this storify for fun pictures!
Tamika Butler published Off the Chain with Tamika: Celebrate My First Year by Donating to LACBC Today in Blog 2016-03-14 13:10:04 -0700
"Off the Chain with Tamika" is LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler's monthly letter to the LACBC family. Here is the final one for 2015.
Dear LACBC Fam,
As I close out my first year as Executive Director, I look back and cannot believe how fast the time has passed. It’s been an incredible first year getting to know so many dedicated people across Los Angeles who want to make our streets and neighborhoods safe and accessible for all. As a community, we’ve been able to take on big challenges over the past year thanks to your participation, volunteering, advocacy, and financial support.With 2015 coming to a close, please consider making a year-end donation to LACBC so that we can continue the work to make all communities in Los Angeles County into healthy, safe, and fun places to bike.
Bikes bring people together and build community. It’s part of why I love bikes, this job, and this organization. A huge part of my vision for LACBC has been to make our work and our community more inclusive and reflect our city’s diversity. The bicycle is a simple but powerful tool for social justice. We have aligned ourselves with partners working to address issues like displacement, housing, and community development. We want the voices of women, youth, low-income people, people with disabilities, and people of color to better inform and lead our work. As part of our growth towards this diverse and inclusive vision, LACBC has formed new partnerships, added new staff to our team, and done great work in 2015. I feel so proud of all that we have accomplished together this year.Read more
Tamika Butler published Off the Chain with Tamika: Building Community in Blog 2015-10-16 13:21:02 -0700
"Off the Chain with Tamika" is LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler's monthly letter to the LACBC family. Here is the latest for October.
Hi LACBC Family,
It’s been an exciting month since I last checked in! I’m now a married lady, well rested from a honeymoon, and more pumped than ever about what’s ahead for LACBC.
To wrap up this month, I’m excited about LACBC’s opportunities to talk about our work and have some fun. Let’s start with the fun. On Thursday, October 29th, we’ll be throwing our second annual Firefly Ball! Last year’s gala was phenomenal, but we’re upping the ante and honoring some great folks for all they do for biking in Los Angeles. Check out the event here, buy tickets, and celebrate with us.
This weekend, we’ll be celebrating five years of CicLAvia, riding around the Heart of L.A., and unveiling the limited run of our #bikeLA shirts for people who sign up or renew their membership.
Finally, we’ll be speaking on a number of panels and as one of the plenaries at the California Bicycle Summit in San Diego. The focus of the summit is equity, and it’s an appropriate link to what I’ve been talking about in my first year at the helm of this amazing organization. In addition to talking about equity, the whole team at LACBC has been working to put our fight against inequity into action. This hasn’t always been an easy lift. It’s a cultural shift for LACBC and the bicycling advocacy world as a whole, but we’re committed to not only doing it for ourselves and for the Los Angeles community, but also leading the way nationally.
I have centered my vision for the organization on utilizing the bicycle as a tool for social justice and making social justice the center of our work. We can be better by building bridges and rich coalitions with groups that might not otherwise talk about bikes.
Bikes bring people together and build community. It’s part of why I love bikes, this job, and this organization. Community should be inclusive and reflect Los Angeles’ diversity.
Inclusion requires being intentional and prioritizing historically marginalized communities. We’re working with new partners to elevate the voices of the marginalized who have lacked a voice. We want the voices of women, youth, low-income people, people with disabilities, and people of color to better inform and lead our work.Read more
Tamika Butler published A Letter from Tamika: Reflections on Safety, Equity, and North Figueroa in Blog 2015-10-16 12:31:15 -0700
Dear North Figueroa Friend,
I wanted to reach out and check in about what is happening around the North Figueroa campaign. First, I think it’s important that we thank you for supporting our campaign to make North Figueroa safer to walk and bike. As a nonprofit organization, we’re only as strong as the members we represent. Your tireless work, concern, and advocacy have kept this campaign alive, and for that, I’m extremely grateful. We stand with community members advocating for safe streets and call on the City to effectively engage stakeholders and build consensus.
As many of you know, in our efforts to call on the City to make Figueroa safer, we have participated in a number of meetings with elected officials and City agency staff. Most recently, LACBC helped to organize a Vision Zero event with the Vision Zero Alliance, the Mayor’s office, the Department of Transportation, and the leading national expert on Vision Zero, Leah Shahum. Following that event, I also met with Councilmember Gil Cedillo and members of his team.
Councilmember Cedillo and I talked about a number of things, including the recent tragic passing of Yolanda Lugo. We also discussed his policy around housing, homelessness, and active transportation. We talked about community engagement, where his office has fallen short, and where LACBC has fallen short. I will continue to engage him, and I will share what we’re hearing from our members, like you. I will do so with respect, but with a firm determination to ensure that he hears what is important to so many of us living in his district.
I also left that conversation with a renewed sense of how I must continue to listen. My first year at LACBC is almost complete and I have been spending it traveling all over the county learning about how LACBC has been successful, how we’ve failed, and where we have room for growth.Read more
Tamika Butler answered 2015-01-29 07:48:52 -0800Q: Do you speak Spanish?