Remembering Mark Bixby

Last week, residents throughout Southern California and beyond were shocked to hear about the death of Mark Bixby, who meant so much to so many throughout Long Beach.  He was best known to Streetsbloggers as a bike advocate pushing for bike access to the Desmond Gerald Bridge and a programmer of bike rides and events in Long Beach.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that Bixby’s family asking for donations to the The YMCA of Greater Long Beach Camping Services Endowment, The Rotary Club of Long Beach Scholarship Foundation, and Children Today.  The Press-Telegram article has contact information for the named charities.

Below are some thoughts from our friend Ron Milam on Bixby and his passing.  If you’d like to add your own thoughts, please do so in the comments section.

I only met Mark Bixby once a few months ago and am extremely saddened to hear about his tragic death in a plane crash.  A friend introduced me to Mark so I could learn more his campaign with Bikeable Communities to “ensure that a separated bicycle and pedestrian facilities are a part of the plan for the Gerald Desmond bridge and included as an integral part of the construction.”

I was very impressed with Mark’s focus, drive and ability to get things done. He was a natural community organizer and had already make great strides towards making his mission of a bike-friendly Gerald Desmond bridge a reality, including building a broad constituency of supporters for the campaign. Here’s more info about their campaign.

Outside of bicycle advocacy, I got a sense for how much he loved his family.  He shared with me some photos of a recent trip he and his son had shaping a surfboard together which made me smile. He also loved his city of Long Beach and was committed to making it a more livable place.

I mourn his loss and hope his vision of a bike-friendly Long Beach lives on through the ongoing advocacy of others.

The Los Angeles Times also notes some of Bixby’s personal details.  Clearly this is a man who touched many people’s lives.

Bixby, 44, was a real estate broker for Pacific Retail Partners and a cycling activist who had worked to establish the Long Beach Bike Festival and had been an advocate of building a bike and pedestrian lane on a new bridge over the Port of Long Beach. He is survived by his wife, Theresa, and their three children.

  • Charlie Gandy

    Beautiful, Ron and Damien. Thank you.

  • Thanks Charlie. I really liked the slide show you put together remembering Mark. For those that didn’t see it, check out http://slidesha.re/grzFhX

  • The new bike and walking path on the Gerald Desmond bridge should be named for Mark. According to several reports, Mark Bixby tirelessly worked to get a separated bike path and sidewalk included in the bridge plans. He succeeded only days before his untimely death.

    Melissa Balmer has the details, which were also confirmed by Charles Gandy (Long Beach Mobility Coordinator) and Suja Lowenthal (Vice Mayor)

    “According to Dr. Bob Kanter, Environmental Planning director for the Port “the solicitation package to the design-build team bidders will require their bid include a Class One bike and pedestrian path on the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The bike path is a mandatory requirement.”
    http://www.melissabalmer.com/for-immediate-release/2011/3/22/the-bittersweet-victory-of-separated-bicycle-and-pedestrian.html

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