Los Angeles County is in dire need of mass transit and non-fossil fuel transportation Though the mass-transit system is incrementally improving, bicycles as transportation are still a relatively new concept in the larger metropolitan transportation network. Those who do depend on bicycles for either transit or recreation confront many real dangers, both in the shortage of safe places to ride and in the unaware and often hostile car-bound public.
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is the main bicycle advocacy organization in Los Angeles County. Over the last year, fueled by grassroots activism and a $10,000 grant from the David Bohnett Foundation, the Bike Coalition played a major role in improving the bicycling conditions in Los Angeles County by accomplishing the following:
- Los Angeles River Bike Path: Secured path funding and monitoring its completion. Sponsored the 1st annual L.A. River Ride – 800 riders. The river bike path is gaining in popularity with recent major coverage in the L.A. Times and L.A. Weekly.
- Bicycle Planning: Worked with L.A. Supervisor Gloria Molina to start MTA's Countywide Bicycle Transportation Plan. On the local level, initiated local groups to improve cycling conditions in Santa Monica, East, Central, West and South Central L.A., Pomona, Santa Clarita and strengthened existing groups in Long Beach and Pasadena.
- Bicycle Education: Hosted educational bicycle workshops throughout L.A. County. A new Share the Road Campaign is educating motorists and cyclists to make the roads safer for all. A quarterly newsletter and webpage seek to educate our members and the general public.
- Bike to Work Day: Co-sponsored this event for the last three years. In 2001, over 3,000 people participated with major media attention given.
- Bikes in the Press: In 2001, 5 major articles and an editorial have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, a cover story in the L.A. Weekly, Coverage in Pasadena Star News, L.A. Daily News, La Opinion, Easy Reader, Fox 11, KCAL 9, ABC 7, CBS, KFWB, & KCRW.
Impressed with the progress made in 2000/2001, the David Bohnett Foundation has doubled its commitment to the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition for 2002/3 with a $20,000 grant. The David Bohnett Foundation encourages you to get on your bike and get involved with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition by checking out their webpage at www.labikecoalition.org.