The Week in Livable Streets Events

0000_sblog_calendar.gif (Editor’s Note: They do this every Monday in NY and SF, so we’re going to try it here.  Let me know what you think.  You can submit calendar items at the link on the right, or email me

Tuesday: It’s San Fernando Valley my favorite of the Critical Mass rides in Los Angeles.  It has a chill vibe, doesn’t seem to anger drivers, and a slow pace.  A great way to get into the L.A. Bike Scene for those not used to the "group ride culture" of L.A.  Meet at Victory Blvd. & Woodley Ave. Van Nuys by the bike racks and lockers off the Orange Line Bike Path. Orange Line Woodley around 7:30.

Wednesday: LACBC Volunteer Night.  Help our favorite Bike Coalition get out their summer fundraiser mailings, eat pizza, and hang out with some of L.A.’s bike leaders from 5:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. at their headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street Ste 821.

Saturday: The Greensters and Park(ing) Day L.A. sponsor a "demonstration workshop" to show people how to create their own Park(ing) Day Park.   The workshop begins at 10:00 A.M. (9:00 if you want to help haul the park props with the Greensters) and runs until 2:00 at 4590 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Sunday: SCAG’s Jessica Meaney commits career suicide by throwing a baby shower for me.  You can get more details on the shower, if you’re reading this you’re invited, and view the process behind the creation of our logo at Joe Linton’s art blog.

  • M

    I know this is somewhat random, but how do some of the people that read on here deal with walking to your destinations, biking and whatnot when the air is super bad, like right now? I felt somewhat foolish for biking to my errands yesterday morning with the distinct smell and visible smoke in the air, but I really didn’t think it was better to stand outside for a longer amount of time waiting for a bus. Even though I’ve been trying to ride the bus and trains, the train stations and inside the trains still smell like smoke and I have to walk to and from my final destinations. What gives? In other cities when they have unsafe ozone levels, they let everyone ride the public transportation systems for free to help keep people out of the environment. As far as I can tell, LA just continues business as usual (but don’t breath!)

  • Ordinarily I bike everywhere, but what I have been using transit instead lately. I also happen to be a good in-line skater, and use skates to get to stops much faster than walking and get rid of short distance transfers. It still involves some breathing bad air, but considerably less than biking an entire distance to somewhere.

  • John

    There’s an easy answer to this one: SUCK IT UP.

    It’s bad, yes, but it won’t kill you. If you drive there’s a far greater likelihood of dying in a car accident than breathing some smokey air.

    If you’re really worried get a mask or don’t go outside.

  • John

    Not trying to be snarky, just pointing out that we accept many risks just walking outside our door. A bit of smoke isn’t going to change that.

  • M

    Wow, I thought I was asking a legitimate question. The fires aren’t always “over there”. I’ve been walking around Pasadena with air quality levels declared as being Very Unhealthy/Hazardous according to the South Coast Air Quality Management district. During previous fires, the only transportation I had was my feet while there was ash fluttering all around me.

    Anyway, this isn’t talking about the overall risk of biking vs. walking vs. driving or something. I was asking from the standpoint of “my eyes are burning and my throat has been somewhat scratchy and sometimes it hurts to inhale deeply. I wonder if I should be doing something different?” considering most new stories and whatnot are written from the perspective that being outside is completely optional – “you won’t have any sort of problems if you are simply moving from your car to a building” and “don’t exercise outside”. They don’t seem to consider some people have transportation methods that depend on being outside at some point such as biking for miles out in the smoke or needing to walk for more than just a couple hundred feet or standing outside for 20 minutes in the smoke waiting for a bus.

    If you guys want to encourage more mainstream usage of alternative transportation, I really think this is a topic to at least think about instead of saying “suck it up”.

  • I’m riding the bus during this

  • Streetsblog baby shower at my house this Sunday, Damien N’s gonna be a dad!! Perhaps during crazy smoky weather – but the heat should be gone. email if you want come, all are welcome

  • The air here in LA is never very good (especially on the main arterial streets that many of us ride), so I (almost) always wear a mask–currently its a totobobo. It’s relatively inexpensive and has replaceable filters (look like cotton pads). I’ll be the first to admit it looks pretty silly and garners many odd looks, and is probably not as efficient as claimed (mid 90% range), but the filters get pretty dirty come month’s end. I’ve still been commuting to work on the bike during these fires–with the mask–and taking it extreeeeemely slow (which has made for a very different and pleasant ride).

  • KG

    The last two times the southland was engulfed by fire, I took public transit and tried to keep my physical activity to a minimum for at least 5 days after the smoke cleared. Those particles can do permanent damage to your body long after the air feels better.

  • In Bejing it is like this all the time, so cyclists who ride a lot in the city or other active individuals will wear face filter masks as dudeonabike mentions. I live further away from the fires so it has not been as bad for me just doing short commutes, but if you are really worried, face mask probably is the best bet temporarily.

    Here is the mask artistic cyclist Ines Brunn wears living in Bejing:

  • David Galvan

    Congratulations, Damien!

  • John

    My apologies. You are near the foothills, so I will second others have said and recommend a mask if you are going to be outside for any period of time. Take care and be safe out there.

  • All I’ve done is slow down, a lot, when riding my bike in the morning (where I live, the post-morning winds blow the smoke away). I try not to cycle so that I’m breathing hard at all. Extra parental guilt comes with riding around with my daughter in the front of my bucket bike :(


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