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U.S. EPA invites public to join Playa del Rey to Downtown LA bike tour

Release Date: 02/01/2011
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (o) 213.244.1815,

18 mile event supports City of LA’s Bike Plan, encourages biking in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites the general public to “roll” as part of the Playa del Rey to Downtown Los Angeles Bike Tour on Tuesday, February 1, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The invigorating 18 mile journey will be led by Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, joined by Mitch Katz, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, Director, of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Jennifer Klausner, Executive Director LACBC, Barbara Romero, City of LA Planning Commissioner and Chief of Urban Projects and Watershed Division for the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority.

“In Los Angeles, biking is not only good exercise and great fun, but is also a viable form of transportation for commuting to work or running errands,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA, the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health and Health Services, and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, want to make the City and County of LA more bicycle-friendly by making every street safer for bike riders of all ages.”

“We’re excited to partner with the EPA for the Playa to Downtown Ride to highlight the great work being done around LA County and in the City of Los Angeles to improve the bicycle environment,” says LACBC Executive Director, Jennifer Klausner. “Bicycling can solve so many of the issues we face in our communities from environmental air quality and public health concerns to creating more livable communities with vibrant local economies.”

Bicycle enthusiasts can join EPA’s Bike Ride at any of these locations:

Start Location: Pacific Avenue Bridge over Ballona Creek at Playa del Rey. Start time: 9:30 a.m.; departure time: 9:45 a.m. Participants will learn how the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) are working to improve the environment and water quality of Ballona Creek and hear about MRCA’s work on the Playa to Park Plan to link the bike path to Baldwin Hills and Kenneth Hahn Park.

Stop #1: Culver City – Linwood Howe Elementary School, 4100 Irving Place. Approximate arrival time: 10:30 a.m.; approximate departure time: 10:55 a.m. Culver City recently passed their first Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, funded by the LA Department of Public Health Policies for Livable Active Communities and Environments program. They were also recently awarded state Safe Routes to School funding to develop biking and walking encouragement programs and to improve walk and bike-ability around the Linwood Howe Elementary campus.

Stop #2: MacArthur Park – NW corner of Alvarado and 7th Street, Los Angeles. Approximate arrival time: 11:30 a.m.; approximate departure time: 12:00 p.m. LACBC’s City of Lights program started outreaching to Latino cyclists in MacArthur Park in 2009 by distributing bike lights to riders. Since then they have been working with City Council Member Ed Reyes and community partners to provide bicycle infrastructure including more bike racks in this vibrant and transit rich community. City of LA Planning Commission and Metro Countywide Planner Diego Cardoso will join to explain how Metro and the City of LA are making the connection with bikes to transit.

Stop #3: County Cycling Collaborative (CCC), 1250 6th Street, Los Angeles. Approximate arrival time: 12:05 p.m.; approximate departure time: 12:15 p.m. Presentation by LACBC’s Bike Wrangler Jonny Green. Funded through the County Department of Public Health Renewing Environments for Nutrition, Exercise and Wellness, Green collects abandoned bicycles, repairs and redistributed them in collaboration with Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange to under-served communities around the county through bicycle safety and education programs.

Stop #4: Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles. Approximate arrival time: 12:30 p.m.; approximate departure time: 1:30 p.m. At City Hall there will be a meeting with Romel Pascual, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Sustainability, and Jaime De la Vega, Deputy Mayor for Transportation.

Stop #5: Boyle Heights. Approximate arrival time: 2:00 p.m.; approximate departure time: 2:45p.m. Presentation by Leonardo Vilchis and Elizabeth Blaney of Union de Vecinos. Discussion will include environmental justice issues in Boyle Heights, Green Zones, LA Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice’s Clean Up Green Up program, and the CARE grant awarded to Union de Vecinos.

The City of Los Angeles’ Bicycle Plan multiple goals include:

The designation of over 1,600 miles of bicycle facilities (bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, and bicycle routes/bicycle friendly streets) connecting all parts of the City, an increase of approximately 900 miles from the 1996 Bicycle Plan;

The creation of three new bikeway Networks - Backbone, Neighborhood, Green;

The introduction of “bicycle-friendly streets” for bicyclists who are more comfortable on streets with less traffic volumes;

The introduction of an on-going Five-Year Implementation Strategy to design and construct at least 200 miles of bikeways every five years.

The EPA’s Playa to Downtown Los Angeles ride will highlight aspects of each of the new networks; Ballona Creek Bike Path is part of the Green Network, Venice Blvd is part of the Backbone, and the route will cover a number of Neighborhood Network streets including 4th Street, which LACBC and the cycling community are pushing to see developed into a model ‘bicycle boulevard’ or ‘bicycle friendly street’ for the City of Los Angeles.

The City and County of Los Angeles are ideal locations to encourage bicycle usage in place of automobiles. Excellent climatic conditions for bicycling in Southern California prevail approximately 340 days per year. The LA County Bicycle Coalition envisions a new Los Angeles that is a great for year-round cycling, with healthier, vibrant communities, cleaner air, safer streets, a place where people can live, work and thrive.

Bicycle ridership offers many benefits to users and their communities, including:

Improved health – regular physical activity helps improve overall health and fitness, reducing risk for many chronic diseases;

Less congestion – more bicycles means less cars on the road. Bicycle use also ties into EPA's Smart Growth plan, which encourages greener development and city planning with less dependency on fossil fuel burning vehicles.

Less smog – automobile tailpipe emissions, including hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, can form smog, which irritates the lungs and eyes. Bicycles emit nothing.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition develops campaigns, programs, resources and events to support bicycling-related advocacy, education, outreach and fun all around Los Angeles County. LACBC works with the 88 civic jurisdictions of Los Angeles County, as well as with Caltrans, LADOT, METRO and other agencies.

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