BikeLA and its chapter Bike Central LA embarked on a major safety distribution program this summer aimed at helping cyclists stay safe as they navigate Los Angeles' abysmal built environment that, as all bicyclists already know, has a severe lack of adequate, safe bicycle infrastructure.
Four hundred bicyclists in the Central LA area received digital bike horns -- similar to a car horn for your bike -- during our five distribution events (four along the high-injury network, one at Bici Cocina/Bike Kitchen and one along the Los Angeles River.) Bicyclists can use these horns to alert motorists to their presence, which we hope will help avoid crashes. We know it shouldn't be the bicyclists responsibility to not get hit by cars, but we want to do anything we can to keep our community safe, and we see these digital bike horns can help as critical safety gear for your bike.
Surveys collected during our events show that Operation Elephant was a worthwhile effort, as a majority of cyclists who received horns wrote on their survey that they would feel safer biking around vehicles with their new horn than they did before.
Of those who did not, however, many expressed to us in-person that adequate bicycle infrastructure (Class IV Bike Lanes) is really the only meaningful way to make bicyclists safer in Los Angeles.
BikeLA couldn't agree more.
While BikeLA and Bike Central LA advocate for this effort as well, we are excited that 400 more cyclists in our community are equipped with bike horns that will help them in emergencies or near-collisions with vehicles. We heard instant feedback about our program from people who received bike horns and from those who already had bike horns and were thrilled that we were spreading awareness and the bike horns themselves to cyclists in the community.
Plus, with 150 recipients giving us their email addresses through our survey, BikeLA now has a larger pool of riders and advocates in the Central LA area who can join the fight to make the city’s roads safer—and in so doing, help more Angelenos “mode shift” out of cars and onto bikes.
Thank you to SCAG's Go Human Grant program for funding Operation Elephant and helping keep bicyclists safe!