Feb 142018
 
Benefits And Risks Of Bicycling In Los Angeles

Photo by Josh Bean on Unsplash

 

Bicycling whether as exercise or a transportation mode is good for us, the environment and Los Angeles. With that said, ours isn’t a city built for bicyclists which is why before embracing bicycling as a lifestyle it’s good to examine both, the pros and the cons.

Health Benefits Of Bicycling

  • Riding a bike is a low impact exercise, it doesn’t endanger joints: it improves their flexibility
  • Bicycling is an aerobic exercise: it contributes to heart health and helps prevent cardiovascular disease
  • It strengthens muscles and bones
  • It improves balance and coordination
  • Biking burns calories and helps control body weight
  • The effort involved in bicycling promotes oxygenation
  • Riding a bike in a non-urban area relieves stress

Environmental Benefits Of Bicycling

  • Bicycling doesn’t require fossil fuel
  • It doesn’t contribute to air pollution
  • It doesn’t contribute to noise levels
  • It doesn’t endanger pedestrians

Social Support For Bicycling In Los Angeles

In climate change-conscious Los Angeles bicycling has been welcomed and encouraged by the residents as well as the City’s leadership. Both, weekend athletes and commuters are buying – and owning – bicycles. Organizations centered on bicycling have sprung out. New, cycling-related social trends emerged.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) advocates for bikers’ safety and organizes bicycling events since 1998.

Since 2010, CicLAvia makes history by changing the perception of what bicycling is and what it could be. During a CicLAvia’s event, parts of a participating city are closed to motorized traffic while bicyclists, roller skaters, and walkers are welcomed. Each CicLAvia event is somewhat of a mix, there is the sport part and social interaction part, the latter isn’t common in a city of drivers confined to their vehicles. (Incidentally, the next CicLAvia, called “Heart of the Foothills” takes place on April 22, 2018)

Bicycling became so popular that even L.A. Metro jumped on the wagon, introducing its Bike Share program. L.A. Metro Bike Share made hundreds of self service bikes easily available to the public with the option of getting a bike at any station and returning it to any station.

That’s of course not the entire story. The added convenience of electric bikes attracts less athletic bicycling enthusiasts. Most of the e-bikes are “human-electric hybrids” and make switching from one mode to another a snap. For better or worse, e-bikes – just like cars – are becoming a status symbol in Southern California. Along with state-of-the-art technology, e-bike prices are getting more and more impressive as well.

So far so good, right? Bicycling is good for humans, Los Angeles (bicyclists don’t destroy roads and highways) and the Earth. There are things one can see and experience from a bike, no car can match. But: yes, there is a “but”. Los Angeles wasn’t built with bicyclists in mind, hence:

Dangers Of Bicycling In Los Angeles

  • There are still too few streets with bike lines
  • Existing bicycle lines could benefit from better maintenance
  • Unclear street signage is often confusing to both, bicyclists and drivers
  • Potholes, cracked pavements and sidewalks make bicycling hazardous
  • Last but not least, since the separation of bicycles and motor vehicles isn’t great it puts the more vulnerable (the bicyclist) at a disadvantage in an accident.

All of these factors contribute to accidents. So far, the City of Los Angeles has paid 19 million dollars for bicycle accidents that resulted from confusing signage, poor street and / or sidewalk conditions. (If you are a homeowner you already know who is responsible for the condition of the sidewalk in front of your property. Hint, not the City.)

With all that said, things are turning in favor of Los Angeles bicyclists. New legislation (both, L.A.’s and the State’s of California) will improve the infrastructure of our roads. Preventing bike accidents and ensuring bicyclists’ safety is a part of the plan.

So take heart: nothing beats our weather, except perhaps bicycling in So Cal!

 

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Jun 102017
 
CicLAvia In Glendale

Photo property of CicLAvia

On Sunday, June 11, Glendale and Atwater Village will host the country’s largest open streets event! Streets will be closed to cars and open for cyclists, pedestrians, runners and skaters to use as a recreational space.

The 21st CicLAvia open-street event starts at 8:30 am outside of the Alex Theatre, located at 216 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91203 and it will lead from Brand Boulevard at Doran Street to Atwater Village on Glendale Boulevard to the south.

Things you need to know for June 11:

  • CicLAvia is FREE!
  • CicLAvia lasts from 9 AM until 4 PM
  • CicLAvia closes streets to car traffic and opens them for people to walk, skate, bike, play, and explore parts of Los Angeles.
  • CicLAvia is not a race! There is no start or finish line. You can enter the designated streets anywhere you want to.
  • CicLAvia traffic flows in two directions, just like regular traffic. Check out some safety tips.

If you didn’t participate in a CicLAvia open-street event yet, give it a try! There is no downside to participation: you’ll get to spend a day in good company, with people who appreciate the value of environment-friendly transportation. CicLAvia is healthy, entertaining and emotionally-nourishing. Say what you will, being surrounded by like-minded individuals creates – the hard to find in Los Angeles – sense of community.

Download CicLAvia flier

Learn more about CicLAvia In Glendale

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Entertainment Editor, I. Sturm

 

 

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Oct 162016
 

CicLAvia Sunday 10/16/16

CicLAvia is on, again! Los Angeles is celebrating another car-free Sunday. Many streets in Downtown LA, Boyle Heights, Chinatown and Westlake will be closed to cars (from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m) while cyclists, skaters, runners and pedestrians enjoy a day of physical activity, socializing and fresh air.

Need more info? Download CicLAvia flier!

Don’t have a bike of your own? No problem! Try Metro Bike Share.

Can’t make the time? Long Beach is the next city to hold a cycling event:
Beach Streets Midtown
November 12, 2016
Saturday 9 AM – 3 PM

 

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Aug 162016
 

Fresh on the heels of the successful CicLAvia – Culver City Meets Venice which took place on August 9th 2015, CicLAvia is getting ready for the next!

Route of CicLAvia October 16th 2016

Route of CicLAvia for October 16th 2016. Map property of CicLAvia.

CicLAvia – Heart of LA is scheduled for October 16th 2016. It will feature its fifth-year anniversary route through the Heart of LA as Boyle Heights, Chinatown, DTLA, and Westlake will host the country’s largest open streets event! Streets will be closed to cars and open for cyclists, pedestrians, runners and skaters to use as a recreational space.

CicLAvia began as an idea with an uncertain outcome when it first removed cars from the streets of downtown Los Angeles on October 10, 2010. Now, five years, fourteen events and hundreds of thousands of participants later, CicLAvia is the largest open streets event in North America.

Heart of LA will have six miles for participants to explore by bike, foot, skateboard, wheelchair and other non-motorized traffic. The route will take people through Boyle Heights, the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Civic Center, Chinatown, Historic Core and as far west as MacArthur Park.

New to CicLAvia? Here are four things you need to know for October 16:

  • It’s FREE!
  • It’s not a race and you don’t need a bike to participate. You can walk or skate to your heart’s content.
  • There’s no beginning or end. You can start anywhere and go as far or as short as you want.
  • The flow of participants goes both ways, just like regular traffic.

For your safety:

  • DON’T RUSH: CicLAvia is all about relaxation, not competition
  • BE MINDFUL OF OTHERS: yes, there will be people on bikes, skateboards and kids
  • DON’T STOP WHILE ON THE ROAD: need a break? No problem BUT get on the sidewalk, why interfere with the road’s flow?
  • LET PEOPLE KNOW WHEN PASSING THEM and always pass on the left
  • WEAR A HELMET! It’s a rule for participants under 18 but even if you are 18 and half: you’ve got only one head!
  • BE MINDFUL OF CROSSINGS! Let people cross and respect the rules
  • COUNT ON CICLAVIA! Volunteers in bright blue and yellow shirts will be there to assist participants.

CicLAvia is a great idea and a cool organization. If you didn’t get involved yet, do: participate, volunteer or donate! CicLAvia is green, it’s good for Los Angeles, our lungs and our future!

Need more info? Visit CicLAvia’s Website.

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