Middle School Students to Reyes: Build Those Bike Lanes! (Update: Read LADOT Comment Below…)
(Update: I’m leaving the text below unchanged so that peoples notes in the comments section makes sense. Both LADOT and the Office of Councilman Reyes report that there has been contact between the Councilman and LADOT and that lanes will be built “next year.” – DN)
Two weeks ago, Streetsblog reported on efforts by middle school students at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park to encourage the city to build bike lanes on two streets connecting the community to the school. While their efforts received something of a brush off from LADOT and Councilman Ed Reyes, the students are showing some tenacity. B.I.K.A.S., a new advocacy website for bike advocates published more letters from students and the above video is starting to make the rounds with students and administrators making the case for safer bicycling.
In the video Jackson Huang, interviewed by another student who’s name I can’t make out, talks about his love of riding his bike and how it can be a dangerous experience. Huang also addresses his comments directly to Councilman Reyes, whom LADOT claims could push the bike lane projects to a higher priority level.
“Ed Reyes, if we don’t get those bike lanes, people will get hurt and people will get more flats. The United States is one of the most obese countries in the world.”
The video goes on to interview Mr. Summer, the Dean of Students, and Enrique Gonzalez, the principal. Both are regular bike riders. Summer recounts a story of when he was hit by a bike while Gonzalez makes the case for a safer community.
The students aren’t asking for anything that requires a major lift from the city, just a mile of bike lanes to make their commutes safer. The lanes would be on Cypress Avenue – from Pepper Avenue to Arroyo Seco Avenue (0.48 miles – immediately alongside NMS) and Avenue 28 – from Pepper Avenue to Figueroa Street (0.48 miles – one block from NMS). Both lanes appear in the city’s bike plan and the city’s 5 year-implementation plan.
LADOT has said they would “love” to accelerate the projects but is waiting for leadership from the Councilman.