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Streetsblog Summer Series Recap: The State of Cycling

We had a great turnout Wednesday evening for our summer series discussion on the "State of Bicycle Advocacy" in and around they City of Los Angeles. The run time on this particular broadcast ran a little bit longer than our others, so I’ve created a timeline breakdown of the issues we talk about through the broadcast below. Happy watching!

1 minute—Broad overview of cycling in Los Angeles from Eric Bruins, Planning and Policy Director for LACBC.

3 minutes—Moving geographically around the city talking about some of the larger core issues of cycling in each district. Ayla Stern of the Valley Bikery and L.A. Bicycle Advisory Committee starts with the Valley and Jonathan Weiss of the L.A. Bicycle Advocacy Committee speaks of the Westside at 4 minutes. At 6 minutes, Sahra Sulaiman of Streetsblog and John Jones of the East Side Riders Club give a rundown on South Los Angeles.

11 minutes—The discussion shifts towards the state of cycling education in the city of L.A., including some of the challenges in creating an education program to educate both cyclists and drivers in different areas of the city.

16 minutes—Ayla speaks to us about some of the efforts of Bicycle Co-ops, such as the Bikery, as a bridge between building infrastructure and getting people to use it. Daniel Debak of C.I.C.L.E and Eric follow up with some of the efforts of community leaders to actually get people out on their bikes.

“It’s really important for us to fund community groups to scaffold what the city is doing with cycling. If you just put bike lanes on the ground, there are so many other barriers that may stop people from riding a bike. There are concerns of “How am I going to carry lots of stuff on my bike?’, or ‘Yeah there’s a bike lane, but there are still cars going 50 mph, and I don’t feel comfortable.’… there is a bit of a learning curve that’s involved, and I really think the Co-ops can be a buffer between just putting paint on the ground, and getting people to actually get on the bike that’s in their garage.”-Ayla Stern

20 minutes—Damien prompts each advocate to speak about the most exciting cycling project that could happen in their respective community, including the Valley and its connection to the Westside by bike and The Figueroa corridor from North-East L.A. to South L.A. including the Cycle track into between Downtown and USC. Jon Weiss continues the discussion, notably with building healthy cycling habits in ‘normal people’, and John and Sahra speak to South LA’s various challenges, especially in regards to the community’s educational and economic challenges.

“One of the big things that we need to explore down here is trying to get a CicLAvia style event down here in the Watts community*** [in South LA], where we can do the same thing that has been done in downtown and other communities. We can start it down here and eventually, as time goes by, we can connect to downtown to where we start down here and other cities like Lynwood, South Gate, Compton, and Gardena… It would show that people ride bikes in this community, because often a lot of folks can’t go to the CicLAvia downtown because they can’t afford the train, or they have too many kids to ride all the way to Downtown. So if we did an event like that down here, it would not only help with the education aspect in this community, but also show that people ride their bikes in this community and have a good time.” 

-John Jones

30 minutes—The discussion pivots to LAPD’s hit-and-run report, the city council’s reaction to it, and how the report might twist numbers into making the hit-and-run rate appear lower. 

33 minutes—What can the advocacy community do to combat LA’s high hit-and-run rate?

36 minutes—John Jones provides a first-person account of his encounter with Gardena Police, where cyclists were profiled, pulled over, and questioned, while on their way to Gardena City Hall to raise the profile of cyclists in Gardena city government.

41 minutes—A rundown of upcoming advocacy events in the city, including bike counts, ghost bike rides and more.

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