Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Bicycling

What LACBC鈥檚 Monique L贸pez Thinks About When She Rides Her Bike

5:11 PM PDT on September 5, 2017

Monique L贸pez, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy at the LACBC, tells her story at BUSted. (Screenshot of video)

What do you think about when you ride your bike? When you pound the pavement and engage area residents? When you have the privilege to sit in rarefied spaces discussing transportation?

Self-described transportation justice advocate Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Monique L贸pez calls upon all of her senses. And keeps calling upon them.

Riding through Southeast Los Angeles, she told the crowd gathered for BUSted - "true stories about getting around L.A., told by people who don't drive" this past September 1 - she feels the breezes of cars coming too close to her in areas where there is no infrastructure and is reminded of being hit by a car as an eight-year-old child. She is aware of the tightening of her lungs in response to the poor air quality along the river there. When she passes a vacant lot in South L.A., she is reminded of the way her family was displaced to make way for a project meant to improve her community that, 20 years on, has yet to arrive. When she passes a renovated home for sale on a walk with South L.A. residents to catalog complete streets needs, she absorbs the concerns they voice about the potential for any improvements to price them out of their community faster.

And when she sits in a meeting with elected officials and city planning staff, she is reminded of all of the folks that do not have the privilege of being there with her, and that they cannot afford for her make concessions that would compromise their well-being.

"From my legs, to my lungs, to vacant lots," she says, "these are the things that remind me of my childhood [in an EJ (environmental justice) community]. But they also remind me of the poor decisions that a planner, a politician, and the privileged few have made and continue to make."

See the video of her brief talk at BUSted, below.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Friday Bikeways Update: Beach Bike Path Damage, 7th Street, and More

Updates on: beach bike path in Pacific Palisades, Michigan Greenway in Santa Monica, Parthenia Place in North Hills, 7th Street Streetscape in DTLA, and Imperial Highway near LAX

March 1, 2024

Measure HLA Fact Check: Sidewalk Costs

The city says $200 million worth of annual ADA work is "included in the cost" of Measure HLA, but the city is already on the hook for that ADA work anyway, so none of it should be included as HLA costs

March 1, 2024

Supervisor Hahn Calls for No Residential Demolitions in Metro鈥檚 710 Freeway Corridor Project

"[For 710 Freeway expansion] Metro needs to commit itself to zero residential property takes. [Metro] should have as one its top priorities ensuring that our projects do not result in kicking people out of their homes."

February 29, 2024
See all posts