Last November 2022, during our inaugural LA Bike Fest, the BikeLA Team started a brand-new tradition, the SPOKE AWARDS! As an acknowledgment of our appreciation, we honored CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman, Yolanda Davis-Overstreet, and Jimmy Lizama.
2022 Spoke Awards Honorees (Nithya Raman, Jimmy Lizama, and Yolanda Davis-Overstreet) and BikeLA Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman
A Spoke Award recipient is selected for their passionate, dedicated, and collaborative efforts to make Los Angeles a more bikeable region for everyone. The BikeLA Team recognizes their commitment to the policies, infrastructure, and culture that supports cyclists' lives.
This year, we honor Laura Friedman, Assemblymember, District 44, as a Spoke Award recipient at the 2023 LA Bike Fest.
Assemblymember Laura Friedman is a leading advocate for making California a more bikeable region for everyone. Representing Burbank, Glendale, and parts of Los Angeles, Laura was first elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016. Her active transportation achievements include securing $30 million in funding for the completion of the Glendale Riverwalk Project, $9 million in active transportation and safety improvements in and around Griffith Park, $5 million for infrastructure and active transportation improvements in Burbank, and $5 million to improve safety along the LA River in North Atwater Village.
Critically, Laura recently led the effort to get the Omni-Bike Bill AB 1909 passed for California to require that motorists change lanes to pass cyclists, where possible. The law, which went into effect this year, also permits cyclists to ride across the street when a walk sign is on at intersections and prohibits local municipalities from requiring bike registration. It also permits e-bike riders to use city bike paths, except in state parks, which is subject to the discretion of the Department of Parks and Recreation. BikeLA is thrilled to honor Laura for her hard work leading the way on active transportation in the California Legislature!
This year we also honor Sunset4All as a Spoke Award recipient at the 2023 LA Bike Fest.
In 2018, two groups joined forces to create Sunset4All. Keep Rowena Safe was founded by parents of young children who wanted to make Silver Lake safer for kids to walk, bike, and roll to school. Following a hugely successful campaign supported by hundreds of families, they set their sights on improving the safety of Sunset Blvd. next. Simultaneously, the LACBC Central Bike Ambassadors group voted on the most important active transportation gap between Hollywood & DTLA. They came back with the same answer: Sunset Blvd.
3.2 miles of protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks, pocket parks, safer school access, pedestrian amenities, beautification, and bus stop upgrades. In addition, Sunset4All will safely and efficiently connect close to 100,000 residents to the subway while closing an essential gap in our active transportation network.
Since Sunset4All was founded, they have raised over $60,000 from over 360 local donors, held over 100 outreach events, garnered unanimous support from 4 neighborhood councils, and won the support of community organizations, schools, businesses, non-profits, and chambers of commerce. Bilingual outreach volunteers have knocked on every door along the 3.2-mile corridor. In 2022, the LA City Council passed a unanimous motion supporting the plan. Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez publicly endorsed Sunset4All.
And last but not least, we honor Tafarai Bayne as a Spoke Award recipient at the 2023 LA Bike Fest.
Tafarai Bayne (he/him) is a Los Angeles native who has worked on urban development and planning issues for 23 years, emphasizing the dynamics impacting working-class communities. He currently serves as Chief Strategist for CicLAvia. He also consults as a Strategic Advisor with Destination Crenshaw and an Event Producer for Community Coalition. In 2023, he completed a term on the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission, following a long stint on the City’s Transportation Commission. In 2023, Tafarai co-founded Our Streets Action Committee with BikeLA and other LA-based mobility justice organizations working to create a Los Angeles where everyone can move by foot, bike, wheel, or car with dignity and safety.
We hope you will join us on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at LA Bike Fest to partake in the festivities and share in the celebration of our 2023 Spoke Awards. Let's create lasting memories together and make a meaningful impact.