Bike Week LA May 14-18 officially kicked off this morning at the USC Galen Center. Local civic leaders, including L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and representatives from Metro, LADOT, , USC, LACBC, C.I.C.L.E. and others affirmed their support for two wheeled commuting, both today and every day.
“We think bikes and transit make a great team,” said Metro’s Deputy CEO Paul Taylor, while touting nearly six miles of new bike lanes along the new Expo line. “LA’s evolving transit map now makes it possible for us to travel—with a bicycle, if we want– throughout many parts of Los Angeles County. Metro plus bikes equals freedom from cars.”
Taylor also stressed Metro’s ongoing commitments to bicycles, which include lifting time restrictions for bicycles on Metro Rail, removing seats for bicycles on the Red, Green and Gold lines, including bicycle racks and lockers at new Expo Line stations, and plans for future bicycle parking rooms at several transit stations, including El Monte and Hollywood & Vine. To date, Metro’s financial contribution towards bicycles tops $200 million.
Jaime De La Vega, general manager for LADOT announced that the implementation of the Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan is happening ahead of schedule. “We are well on our way to showing Angelinos that biking and transit make living car-free feasible.”
Barbara Sheppard from the education organization Safe Moves spoke about the importance of involving young people in the bicycle conversation. Only 13% of children currently walk or bike to school in Southern California, a sea change much higher percentages in years past. “The children we educate today are the commuters of the future” she said.
Dan Dabek from the nonprofit group C.I.C.L.E discussed the simple joys of riding a bicycle, as well as the economic benefits it brings to local communities. “If we want a robust economy in Los Angeles, we should support cycling, as many studies have demonstrated that cyclists make great customers.”
The kickoff today marks the beginning of a weeklong calendar of events to encourage cycling throughout L.A. County:
- Tuesday, May 15th will bring the blessing of the bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital beginning at 8 a.m.
- On Wednesday morning, C.I.C.L.E will lead a guided tour of the new Expo Line bike lane, an approximately 40 minute ride. Meet-up at 8 a.m. at Expo Park/USC station, depart at 8:30.
- Thursday, of course, is national Bike to Work Day, and Metro is co-sponsoring over 80 pit stops throughout the County to help you get fueled up for your journey. All the stops are geocoded for easy reference. Click here for link. Metro will also be offering free rides for bicyclists on all buses and trains all day long, so make sure to show the operator your bicycle or helmet.
- Friday a “Bike to School Day” media event and bicycle safety demonstration will be held by Safe Moves at 8 a.m. at New Designs Charter School-University Park in Los Angeles