On Tuesday, December 15th, the LACBC staff started our work day at the Slauson Blue Line Station for a #RideSELA day trip to learn more about the work that our Outreach & Policy Coordinator Bryan Moller does in the Southeast Cities of L.A. County (and enjoy some of the best nachos in the nation).
In 2014, Advocacy Advance—a partnership of the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking & Walking—awarded LACBC a “Big Ideas” grant to support LACBC’s goal to create active transportation master plans for six cities in the southeast Los Angeles County area (Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Cudahy, Vernon, and Maywood) so they can compete for infrastructure and program grants. The Southeast Cities have among the highest rates of people walking, bicycling, and taking public transit in Los Angeles County but very little infrastructure to make these options safe. (Did you know that Cudahy and Maywood each actually have higher density levels than San Francisco?)
Bryan, a native of Bell currently pursuing a Masters degree in Urban Planning at USC, has been working on this program since its inception. He often works within the Southeast Cities, so the rest of us don’t see him at the office as often as we’d like. Spurred by a curiosity to learn more about Bryan’s work and a curiosity to learn more about these famous nachos, the LACBC staff, plus our awesome intern Matt, set aside a day to get the full Bryan Moller tour, which he also gives a version of on the third Sunday of every month with Cudahy Councilmember Baru Sanchez.
Our first stop was along Pacific Blvd in Huntington Park, which is the third highest grossing commercial corridor in all of L.A. County and home to several parklets. We stopped at the parklet in front of Tierra Mia for much-needed coffee.
The next stop was Salt Lake Park, where Tamika challenged Bryan to a one-on-one game of basketball on the courts behind us. Unfortunately, there was no basketball around (and we had to keep this ride going to make it to nachos in a timely manner), so this face-off will have to wait for another day.
Here we are in front of Corona Avenue Elementary in Bell, where Bryan went to school as a tiny child! The buildings were also designed by famed architect Richard Neutra, and we’re hoping to host some bike rodeos here in Spring of 2016. Due to the day’s LAUSD shutdown, we unfortunately passed by a lot of closed schools.
Then we rode along Gage, Otis, Randolph, and Alamo to our next stop. Randolph features a little-used stretch of railroad tracks, seen here on the right behind Colin, and is undergoing a feasibility study for a 4-mile rail-to-trail conversion. This could potentially extend the recently funded “Rail-to-Trail” bike path all the way to the L.A. River and be a very pleasant bike and pedestrian path.
We stopped at Maywood Riverfront Park, a park that serves as an entrance to the L.A. River Bike Path and as a busy pit stop location for LACBC’s L.A. River Ride. This former Superfund site was previously contaminated with hazardous substances but has since been cleaned up.
We then headed down the L.A. River Bike Path to Cudahy Park and Cudahy City Hall, where our monthly rides with Councilmember Baru Sanchez begin on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. Councilmember Sanchez has been a great champion for bicycling and walking; be sure to read more about his involvement in the League of American Bicyclists’ article on LACBC and our partners’ Southeast Cities work.
With the winds from Monday dying down, it was a beautiful day for a bike ride! After Cudahy park, we continued down the L.A. River Bike Path and crossed over to the Rio Hondo Bike path.
We had a nice break in beautiful John Anson Ford Park in Bell Gardens watching all the ducks and geese lay claim to their park. The park was the start of one of the Caltrans outreach rides earlier this year that Assemblymember Cristina Garcia joined.
Our final stop was at El Coraloense for the famed lobster nachos and ceviche! It was just the fuel we needed to ride back to the Blue Line Station and head back to LACBC Headquarters.
Here’s a general map of where we rode, starting at the Slauson station on the left and ending at the restaurant on the right.
Thanks so much to Bryan for leading this ride! If you would like to learn more about what’s happening the southeast cities, check out our Southeast Cities page and join our monthly bike rides. The next ride is just a few days away on Saturday, December 19th. Meet at Cudahy City Hall at 9:45 a.m. for this 10-mile ride with Councilmember Baru Sanchez.