Via Metblogs, Will Campbell's video of the Tour De Ballona
As I've mentioned before, the Tour De Ballona was just one of several events for bicycle enthusiasts from last weekend. Despite it's reputation, Los Angeles has a thriving bike culture and this blog is going to join in the effort to make sure that people know that if you know where to look, this city is bursting at the seems with bikes, cyclists, and ways to get involved. Streetsblog will feature pictures and stories from other rides tomorrow.
The purpose of Tour De Ballona was to highlight some of the problems that have occured with the violence on the Ballona Creek Trail that has marred this otherwise clean, flat and easy to use bicycle trail and to encourage more people to use the trail. After all, study after study have shown that the quickest way to make a bike path safer for users is to increase the amount of people using the path.
Over 60 riders of all ages took part in this Saturday's ride, taking the roughly four mile ride from the Culver Drive Entrance to the Bridge over Ballona heading towards Playa Del Rey. Before the ride the cyclists were briefly addressed by myself and David Pulsipher, a Board Member for Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange.
Once cyclists had reached the bridge, they were greeted by community groups who work on Ballona Creek issues, and representatives from the police and Councilman Rosendahl's office. The tabling effort was organized by Marie Massa and Joe Pritchard, two members of the group who organized the event on Saturday. Dozens of cyclists, joggers and other trail users who didn't take part in the ride joined us at the tables to listen to the presenters discuss some of the issues along the trail.
The LAPD conceded that some parts of the trail, at some times of the day, aren't as safe as they would like. They encouraged cyclists, especially those using the trail in the afternoon, to be alert and not cross dangerous areas alone. At the same time, the officers confirmed what we've been hearing anecdotally. The LAPD is more closely monitoring the trail with more bike police and even occasional visits from patrol cars. The LAPD also wants to see more signage on the trail so that riders will have a better idea where they are if they need to call for help.
The Concerned Cyclists of Ballona Creek would like to thank the Ballona Creek Renaissance, the Ballona Institute, Friends of the Ballona Wetlands, the Los Angeles Audubon Society in addition to the groups already mentioned. If you wish to join us in planning the next ride, click on this link and follow the instructions.