• Kevin Shin

How we allocate space on our streets reflects our values

Just as how we allocate space on our streets reflects our priorities, how we prioritize our resources in response to COVID-19 reflects our values and our ability to address the inequity that is ultimately responsible for our vulnerability as a region.

For decades LACBC has been advocating for a more equitable streetscape that supports the health and safety of all Angelenos and especially for folks who bicycle, walk and ride transit as their primary modes of transportation. The reality is the people who rely on these alternative modes of transportation often live in low-income communities of color with limited access to safe and dignified mobility options and many are essential workers who are most impacted by the health and economic crisis made worse by the pandemic.

How we prioritize our resources in response to COVID-19 matters now more than ever. LACBC continues to advocate for programs like Slow Streets to support the health and safety of Angelenos, especially for essential workers and those in low-income communities. The problem that needs to be solved and quickly is how to roll out these programs equitably by prioritizing those communities that have been disproportionately impacted in the first place. Tools like the COVID-19 Risk Maps must inform prioritization in responses like Slow Streets so that they address the mobility needs of our most vulnerable communities to build a more resilient region now and in the future.

As the current health crisis has forced all businesses and organizations to reevaluate their priorities, LACBC has done the same by making resilience core to our work. Here are some recent examples:

Yesterday Kevin Shin represented LACBC’s #LACountyBikeMatch program in a webinar series What’s Next for Our Streets hosted by Transportation Alternatives, about the nationwide grassroots movement we helped grow to get bikes in the hands of our essential workforce, and what BikeMatch teaches us about the future of urban mobility. Missed the webinar? You can view it here.

Our #LACountyBikeMatch program is moving full steam ahead connecting folks ready to donate bikes they no longer need to people who are in need of a new ride. Our bike shop and co-op partners are answering the call to assemble these bikes to make sure needy riders throughout the County are ready to roll! Here’s some feedback from folks who have been successfully matched!

I met up with great LACBC member Greg this am to receive his gracious offer of his Trek bicycle. Not only a great bike, but he gave me the history of the bike and more. It was awesome meeting Greg. LACBC deserves a huge hand in facilitating these types of things. Never has my need been greater and LACBC stepped right in. If anyone out there has not joined yet, join LACBC today. Thanks Greg and Thank you LACBC for being there. – Eric

Hooray! We just met! Anna was waiting and our whole family piled into the car and found her right away. Here’s our socially distant pass off of my blue bike. To many safe and enjoyable rides Anna!!! What a great program LACBC – Thank you. Please all take care – Brynna

The third installment of our #BikesMeanBusiness campaign with partner Sunset4All, rolled on Thursday when we once again called for our supporters to order breakfast, lunch and/or dinner from Sage Vegan Bistro located in Echo Park. Our appetite to support local businesses by ordering curbside pick up (by foot or bike), via a delivery service, or even through a tax deductible donation is growing by the week. We want to thank the bicyclists and local eateries who are embracing a healthier and more sustainable way to do business that will ultimately lead to safer and more equitable streets for everyone.

Programs like our #LACountyBikeMatch and #BikesMeanBusiness help to increase and build the resilience of our communities by reallocating resources to assist essential workers and stabilize local economies. They also help ensure that communities are working together to lift each other up, a sentiment that is more important than ever.

We’re also happy to share that LACBC was featured as a Lime Hero in a recent blog post. For those of you who scoot, consider participating in making every ride count even more by becoming a Lime Hero, which benefits LACBC. And as many of you are aware, the recent acquisition by Lime of competitor Jump has meant there are a lot of Jump bikes being pulled off the streets. We are reaching out to Lime to understand how we can work with them to repurpose those bikes in the best possible way to serve our communities.

Don’t forget to catch a special community screening and panel discussion of MOTHERLOAD presented by LACBC Chapter, Santa Monica Spoke is this Sunday!

Finally, check out the latest installment in our #readytoride Covid-19 video series – How we allocate space on our streets reflects our values. Click the image below for an inspiring episode with multiple Life Cycle AIDS Ride bicycle activist and LACBC Board Member, Kimberly Winick.


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