<![CDATA[BikeSGV - News]]>Sun, 29 Nov 2015 21:01:46 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[SUPPORT NEEDED: Las Tunas (Re)Design Meeting Tue 12/1!]]>Fri, 13 Nov 2015 08:37:28 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/support-needed-las-tunas-drive-re-design-meeting-monday-121
Which way, TC?
​Almost three years ago, at a special meeting of the City Council on December 27, 2012, Temple City's elected officials unanimously voted to reinvent Temple City's stagnant downtown by endorsing an ambitious makeover of Las Tunas Drive into a more vibrant, safe and people-friendly business district. 

Since then the City has hosted several more public meetings to gather additional community input on the Las Tunas Drive revitalization project. The City's leadership has also changed in the past three years, with a new City Manager and two new Council Members - William Man and Nanette Fish - having inherited the project from their predecessors. While the three senior Council Members - Tom Chavez, Vincent Yu, and Cynthia Sternquist - all supported the original vision in 2012 it remains to be seen how the new Council Members stand on the proposed Complete Street improvements. 
Heat map of collisions between motorists and people on foot or bikes on Las Tunas Dr - 2008-13 (Source: TIMS, UC Berkeley)
On Tuesday December 1st (7pm), the Council is set to once again receive comment on design options. Debate is expected to be lively, making it critical that supporters of a safer, calmer, more comfortable Las Tunas Dr. weigh in. Especially if you live or shop in Temple City, or would be more likely to do so if it was more bike/ped/transit friendly, local decision makers need to hear from you! 

What YOU Can DO!
  1. ATTEND the December 1st meeting and provide public comment in person! If at all possible, please save-the-date and join us at Temple City Hall, Council Chambers, 9701 Las Tunas Dr., Temple City, CA 91780
  2. Submit comments via email. A short list of benefits as well as a template letter can be found below. We encourage everyone to take a moment and personalize their comments.  Even short, personal statements are more powerful than copy-paste!!! 

See the City’s project website  (www.lastunasdr.com) for more info.
Please send email comments to the following addresses:


Benefits of People-Friendly Alternative 3 (incomplete list)
  • Temple City is only 4 square miles and flat, ideal for walking and biking for short trips.
  • Proposed safety improvements such as shorter crossing distances and high-visibility crosswalks will make walking and riding a bike more viable for residents of all ages, as well as improve physical and mental health.
  • A more walk and bike-able community will encourage residents to patronize local businesses, rather than those outside City limits.
  • Class II Bike Lanes will decrease sidewalk cycling and increase safety for people on bikes.
  • Narrower lane widths will reduce speeding and increase safety for EVERYONE (e.g., research shows that danger increases significantly with speed - pedestrians struck by automobiles driving 40mph have an 85% chance of dying; at 30mph fatalities drop to about 45%; and at 20mph only 5%.)
  • Back-In Angled Parking (video) would 1) increase safety for motorists entering/exiting parking spaces and people on bikes (e.g., eliminates risk of “dooring” - collision when door of parked car opens in front of oncoming cyclist); 2) add additional, convenient, storefront parking; 3) Be easier and faster than parallel parking with benefits to traffic flow; and 4)  Provide more separation between moving traffic and pedestrians.

-------------------Template letter (please personalize)----------------------
Temple City Council
9701 Las Tunas Dr.
Temple City, CA 91780

RE: I Support a Safer, More Vibrant Las Tunas 

Honorable Mayor, Members of the City Council, and Staff,

As a concerned citizen who [lives/rides/shops] in Temple City, I support your efforts to transform Las Tunas into a vibrant business district easily accessible by foot, bike, public transportation and automobile.

The Council's unanimously adopted 2012 vision for Las Tunas included best practices in street design that would improve the corridor's safety for everyone, especially more vulnerable minors and seniors who are disproportionately the victim of collisions with automobiles in the City. Following through on the below listed improvements would make for a safer, more comfortable downtown with:

  • Wider sidewalks 
  • Shorter, protected pedestrian crossings
  • New pedestrian crossings on long blocks
  • Back-in angled parking
  • Buffered bicycle lanes
  • Narrower travel lane widths
  • New street trees for parkways and center medians 
  • Bus stop improvements
  • Public art
In addition to making Las Tunas safer for everyone on the street - regardless of mode of travel - these improvements would also create a healthier, more active downtown district. Rather than speed by existing storefronts, visitors to the City would be greeted by a greener, calmer Las Tunas Dr., a destination rather an east-west cut through for non-residents and commuters.

As local leaders, you have the power to support a more people-friendly downtown. I hope you will take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the City towards a healthier future. 

<![CDATA[We're Hiring! ]]>Thu, 05 Nov 2015 09:21:34 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/were-hiringBikeSGV is excited to share that we have been awarded a two year grant to assist cities across the San Gabriel Valley collect local data on walking and biking. As the map below highlights, many communities in the region have not conducted any bicycle and pedestrian counts, let alone more robust forms of data collection such as community street audits and surveys.

​This seemingly mundane task is absolutely critical insofar as highly competitive state grant funding for implementing infrastructure improvements such as bike lanes and paths favors applications and projects more heavily that have robust, current local data. The lack of such data places our communities at a disadvantage in applying for funding for walking and biking projects. Needless to say we are excited to announce we are looking for an individual to help us address this need and support a more pedestrian and bike-friendly SGV!  Read on for details.  
Image courtesy SCAG/Metro Bike Count Data Clearinghouse


 Title: SGV Active Transportation Data Coordinator
Job Description:  BikeSGV is seeking a full-time Data Coordinator for a two year grant-funded project.  The Coordinator will work in collaboration with project volunteers, advisory board members and stakeholders to collect, analyze and report bicycle and pedestrian mode share data. Focusing on San Gabriel Valley cities lacking such data, the coordinator will organize local bike/ped counts, resident surveys, community street audits, and bicycle parking audits. Collected data will be utilized to facilitate implementation of planned active transportation improvements, identify problem areas, determine local preferred facility types, and develop formal recommendations around Active Transportation for local communities and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments..
Ideal candidates will share our passion for creating more pedestrian and bike-friendly communities, and have a background in community outreach, data collection, GIS, event planning, and working with culturally and demographically diverse populations.
Minimum Requirements:
  • 4-year college degree, preferably with a focus or background in urban planning, public policy, public health, statistics or related field;
  • Demonstrated success planning and coordinating volunteer teams;
  • Experience working independently on longer-term projects
  • Familiarity with the San Gabriel Valley and/or willingness to relocate to the region
  • Survey development, administration and evaluation experience
  • Spanish and/or Chinese-language skills
  • League Certified Instructor (LCI) bicycle safety certification
Duties and Responsibilities:
Specific duties and responsibilities of the coordinator will include:
  1. Adherence and fidelity to the project timeline, Scope of Work, and requirements; 
  2. Recruitment and coordination of project volunteers;
  3. Organization of bicycle and pedestrian counts, community walking and bicycling street audits, and bicycle parking analysis for San Gabriel Valley cities lacking such data;
  4. Identification of priority active transportation corridors based on existing data (e.g., modal share, safety data);
  5. Performance evaluation of new active transportation infrastructure in the region (e.g., Rosemead Blvd “cycletrack”);
  6. Collection of an inventory, state-of-repair and effectiveness for bike parking facilities in the San Gabriel Valley;
  7. Identification of opportunities for ATP investments and improvements;
  8. Community outreach regarding benefits of active transportation investments;
  9. Support of BikeSGV team projects and initiatives; and
  10. Coordination with the BikeSGV Advisory Board to facilitate project planning, outreach, development and implementation.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities 
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficient in GIS, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word
  • Ability to establish priorities, work independently, and meet project objectives in a timely manner without supervision
  • Willing to work on other tasks as it relates to the goals and objectives of this project
Special Requirements: 
  • Passion for public health, ped/bike-friendly communities, and youth development
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including weekends and evenings, to accommodate community meetings and data collection requirements
  • Willingness to utilize public and active transportation for commute and work-related activities
Salary commensurate with experience. Full benefits, including medical, vision, dental. Annual Metro TAP card. 15 days paid vacation.
Additional information: 
Start date January 2015. BikeSGV is a project of Community Partners
Interested candidates should send cover letter, resume, and 3 references in PDF format to wes@bikeSGV.org by December 1, 2015.
<![CDATA[Guest Blog entry: The Elephant in the Room Roars: Addressing Equity in the Bike Advocacy World]]>Wed, 04 Nov 2015 10:16:20 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/guest-blog-entry-the-elephant-in-the-room-roars-addressing-equity-in-the-bike-advocacy-worldGuest blog entry by Amy J. Wong
PicturePhoto by David Ku
​Last weekend, a BikeSGV delegation- 9 of our BikeSGV board members, staff and volunteers- attended the 2015 California Bicycle Summit in San Diego, a 3-day conference hosted by California Bike Coalition that brought together bicycle advocates from across the state. With the theme, “Equity in Motion”, the summit’s program included 40 sessions on the topics of bicycling, equity and the intersection of the two.

Highlights included the ability to network and learn from other advocacy groups. David Diaz presented our SGV Regional Bike Master Plan and we attended Open Streets workshops, learning from CicLAvia and San Jose Open Streets, gaining valuable insight for our open streets events in 2016 (save the date: 6/26/16!).

Most importantly, we had conversations about equity, dissecting concepts like institutional racism, oppression, white privilege, to name a few- and how we all play different roles in advancing or preventing equity. Looking around the room, most attendees were white and male, and were not comfortable addressing the elephant in the room- equity and all its subcomponents: racism, sexism, diversity, inclusion, etc.

The issue of equity in the bicycle advocacy world has been the awkward elephant in the room for quite a while. At the national level, the League of American Bicyclists serves as the oldest and most widely respected bike advocacy organization in the United States. During a plenary, Hazmat Sani, the Equity Initiative Director for the League of American Bicyclists, mentioned that the League placed a color ban from 1894-1999. For 105 years, based on skin color alone, one was not allowed into a meeting for the League of American Wheelmen (what the League was called back then). Considering that it has only been 16 years since the ban was lifted, its effects are still being felt to this day.

The League recently hired a new Executive Director, Alex Doty, a decision which has caused tension amongst bicycling advocacy leaders. On October 28th, the 3rd day of the conference, a coalition of such leaders, including many folks at the CalBike Summit, published an open letter to the League, expressing concern over the decision:

“We in no way aim to minimize the challenges faced by the League’s Board of Directors nor to criticize the selection of Mr. Doty, who we believe to be a fine candidate for the position. But we must express our concern as diverse leaders — women, advocates of color and equity allies — within our collective active transportation movements that the organization “appointed” a successor to this critical leadership position rather than conducting a formal nationwide search. We believe that the League’s decision to bypass a national search is a recurring example of an organizational practice that systematically undermines equity, diversity and inclusion within our growing bike/walk movement.”

2 days later, the League’s published a seemingly vague response to their open letter, ask[ing] every signatory to the letter, every member of the League, and each person who cares about the organization to join Alex and the Board in the exciting work ahead.”

Tamika Butler, Executive Director of Los Angeles County Bike Coalition (LACBC), spoke about how difficult it is to be a queer Black woman doing bicycle advocacy work. On the daily, she must deal with microaggressions that accumulate and harm her- physically, emotionally, mentally. And as a woman of color, I can empathize entirely. In my experience leading Women on Wheels, whose goal is to empower more women in the SGV to bike, many women become “accidental advocates” because there aren’t enough women speaking up about bicycling issues. There aren’t as many women, especially queer women of color, who are included and represented at the bicycling advocacy table. Thus, the ones who do speak up feel an extra layer of responsibility representing marginalized voices at the table.

Tamika is the epitome of intersectionality. Just 3 days before the CalBike Summit, I heard her speak at the 5th Annual Health Education Conference in LA, where she discussed public health work as anti-oppression work. Like Hazmat Sani, Tamika believes in bicycling as not just a simple infrastructure issue but as a social justice issue that intersects with many other realms, including race, health, environment, etc. When we isolate bicycling as a singular issue, we remove the historical, political, cultural significance of what it means to bike in our communities. Who designed our streets in the first place and who were they designed for?

Funnily enough, the second day of the CalBike Summit, while scrolling through my Facebook notifications, I learned that I was pictured, along with Maria Sipin and Eve Sanford, on the cover of the League’s magazine, Summer/Fall 2015 edition. It was a photo taken on one of the “Women Bike, Women Lead” rides, a women-led series of bike rides and workshops funded by a small mini-grant given by the League. On one hand, I was grateful to have been featured on a national magazine, but at the same time, a part of me felt used. I couldn’t help but think: am I being tokenized? How do we ensure that programs like “Woman Bike, Woman Lead” are funded not as a one-time magazine-cover gig but also as a long-term, institutionalized program?

Attending the CalBike Summit gave me context to how we as BikeSGV serve the San Gabriel Valley and empower low-income communities of color through our bicycle advocacy work. As an El Monte resident, born and raised, everyday when I drive to work, I see so many people on their bikes. Immigrant communities like ours have always depended on bikes, not as a recreational activity but as a way of surviving here in America. With the grand opening of our Bicycle Education Center, we can directly help communities by providing low-cost/free bike education, repair and maintenance, and hosting youth programs.

Institutional issues demand institutional solutions. In the bicycling advocacy world, only when we centralize equity as our core framework, only when we elevate and amplify community-led initiatives, can we succeed in creating healthier, safer streets for all. We must ask ourselves how we are proactively including equity into the conversation. Who is at the table making decisions about our streets/ bike lanes? How do we ensure we are prioritizing low-income communities of color? Let’s not be afraid of talking about the elephant in the room.

A major thanks to the California Bike Coalition for awarding a scholarship to our BikeSGV delegation. Without the scholarship, we would not have been able to attend the summit- tickets cost $425 per person- a financial barrier that most likely prevented representatives from disadvantaged communities from attending.

<![CDATA[SGV Bicycle Education Center Opens At Jeff Seymour Family Center!]]>Fri, 30 Oct 2015 23:44:39 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/sgv-bicycle-education-center-opens-at-jeff-seymour-family-center
The San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center (SGV-BEC), the region’s first public bicycle repair and education cooperative, opened Sunday, October 25th at the Jeff Seymour Family Center on 10900 Mulhall Street, El Monte 91731.

Over 60 attendees enjoyed the day's festivities, which included a costumed 15 mile spooky "Bike Train" ride along the Rio Hondo River Trail to Whittier Narrows, a healthy barbecue, folding bike test rides courtesy of Duarte-based Dahon folding bikes, and a community raffle!

Among the dignitaries joining the festivities were CA State Assembly Member Ed Chau (D), Garvey School Board Member and representative for CA State Senator Ed Hernandez - Janet Chin, Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce President Dora Leung, Monterey Park City Clerk Vincent Chang, Representative for Congresswoman Judy Chu - Enrique Robles, and San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water Board Member Thomas Wong.  

BikeSGV representatives were also honored to receive certificates of recognition from Assembly Member Chau, who highlighted the need to better support biking and walking initiatives across the state, Senator Hernandez and the City of Monterey Park. 

​The SGV-BEC will empower residents of all ages and abilities to maintain, repair, and safely operate bicycles. In the months ahead the center will provide bicycle education programming for San Gabriel Valley residents, including free bike classes for first-timers, beginners and intermediate riders. Recycled bicycles will also be available as rentals to help residents without a bicycle explore the nearby Emerald Necklace bikeway network.

The center's opening was made possible thanks to the generous support of community partners and benefactors including the El Monte City School District (classroom space at the Jeff Seymour Family Center), Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center (funding for tools and active commuting classes), Whole Foods East Pasadena (funding for tools), City of Hope (funding for "Learn to Bike" classes), Dahon Folding Bicycles (raffle donations), the Pasadena Athletic Association (raffle donations), and over two dozen individual donors (parts, tools, center seed-funding). 

For more information about the center please visit the BEC page here and "like" the BEC's new Facebook page. You can also visit us Saturdays (9am-1pm) at the center, 10900 Mulhall St., El Monte 91731.

To learn more about the Bicycle Education Center or to make a tax-deductible donation of bikes/parts/tools/monies, please contact: Andrew Yip at Andrew@bikesgv.org

<![CDATA[Join Our Advisory Board!]]>Sun, 20 Sep 2015 02:18:02 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/join-our-advisory-boardWant to help make the SGV a safer, healthier more comfortable place to ride a bike? BikeSGV is seeking a few passionate, positive, go-getters for our Advisory Board!

BikeSGV has an energetic team committed to accelerating our region's transition to a healthier, safer, more sustainable place to bike, walk, and live. BikeSGV advisory board members advise the organization on its projects, strategies, campaigns and programs, support its mission in the community, serve as bike-friendly ambassadors, and help organize rides, events and fundraisers.

Please complete the below linked form if you are interested in serving, especially if you have expertise in any of the following areas:

  • Advocacy
  • Public health
  • Urban planning
  • Public policy
  • Finance
  • Non-profit management
  • Development/Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Event Management
  • Design
  • Communications
BikeSGV's advisory board meets bi-monthly, location rotates. Board members are expected to support the organization's mission and development with their time/expertise or financially, to a level they personally deem generous.  There is no liability or fiduciary responsibility for Advisory Board members, nor any formal governing role. As a mostly volunteer-run and driven organization, we rely on the support of committed community members to advance our mission and projects.  

Interested? Please click here to complete the online application.   

For more information about serving on BikeSGV's advisory board, please contact Project Director Wes Reutimann at wes [at] bikeSGV.org

<![CDATA[Landfill-to-Park Visioning Underway in the SGV - Future Site of LA County's First Bike Park?]]>Mon, 31 Aug 2015 22:40:38 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/landfill-to-park-visioning-underway-in-the-sgv-future-site-of-la-countys-first-bike-parkThe future of one of the largest landfills in the United States is in the hands of County staff and local residents. 

Officially closed on October 31st, 2013, the Puente Hills Landfill, located just south of the 60 freeway near Hacienda Heights on the south side of the San Gabriel Valley, has sat largely untouched over the past two years. Gone are the garbage trucks that carried an average of 7,500 tons of household waste, per day, to the landfill. As LA County seeks to divert 80% of its waste from landfills by 2025, half of what used to go to Puente Hills is now sent to Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) opening up across the state, while the other half still ends up in landfills, just outside of LA County in cities such as Victorville, Rialto, Corona, and Redlands.

But what to do with the mountain of trash that has been left behind?  

One future use that has already been confirmed is power generation. As the trash settles and biodegradables decompose, the methane gas created is being captured to make electricity, approximately 50 megawatts a day, enough to power approximately 70,000 homes. 

Over the next decade this process is expected to shift and settle the land atop the 630-acre formal landfill dozens of feet, making the construction of sports fields, permanent structures, and similar uses unfeasible at this time. The question remains what uses shall be put in place in the interim. 

Among the options currently being studied are multi-use trails, recreational facilities, open space, habitat restoration, and wildlife corridors connecting existing canyons and natural areas in the Puente-Chino Hills.  
3 Decks of Space over 30 years. Source: www.puentehillslandfillpark.org
Development of the landfill is expected to take place in stages, with the first area to open a portion of the Western Deck (40 acres), one of the oldest - and most stable - parts of the former landfill. Although officials expect it to settle another 10 feet in the coming decades, this section has a projected development timeline of years rather than decades. 
A landfill with a view. Source: www.puentehillslandfillpark.org

LA County's First Bike Park? 

While LA County has yet to do so, communities across the state of California have developed "bike parks" in recent years to provide dedicated space for two-wheeled enthusiasts of all ages to hone their skills and recreate in a safe space. The parks range from low-cost, volunteer- and community-driven affairs to intricately planned and state-of-the-art parks. They also can include a wide variety of elements, including dirt pump tracks, dual slalom tracks, natural elements such as logs, balance beams, and technical wooden trail features, and  cyclocross-specific trails and obstacles.  
Dirt pump track, Fresno, CA
Wooden trail features, Fresno, CA
Given the unsettled nature of the landfill site, with land expected to drop dozens of feet in areas, a bike park with natural features, dirt mounds, and trails would be an excellent short-, medium- and long-term use for part of the former landfill. It is also one that could easily be integrated with other passive features such as picnic areas, walking paths, and open space. 

Upcoming Meetings

Plans for the new park are scheduled to be drafted and finalized at two public meetings in September and November. We strongly encourage interested members of the public to attend these meetings and provide input directly to the landscape architects and County parks officials. If you're unable to attend a meeting, comments may also be emailed to LA County Parks staffer Michelle O'Connor

Wednesday September 30 (6:30-8:30pm)
Hacienda Heights Community Center
1234 Valencia Ave.
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

Tuesday November 3 (6:30-8:30pm)
Wallen L. Andrews Elementary School
1010 S Caraway Dr.
Whittier, CA 90601

More info
<![CDATA[ACtion Alert: Cap-and-Trade Plan Update to Recommend future funding priorities ]]>Thu, 13 Aug 2015 12:46:07 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/action-alert-cap-and-trade-investment-plan-to-identify-future-funding-prioritiesPictureProtected Bike Lane, Temple City
The California Air Resources Board is in the midst of hosting 7 special meetings across the state to solicit public input on the Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Second Investment Plan. Drafted every three years, the plan will outline how the state should prioritize funding to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and "additional health, economic, and environmental benefits" for fiscal years 2016-17 through 2018-19.  

As we all know, there is no cleaner, greener, or healthier form of transportation than walking or biking (aka "active transportation). When paired with planned and future investments in public transit, active transportation infrastructure has tremendous potential to help CA reduce GHG emissions while simultaneously positively impacting the state's most pressing health concerns, including obesity-related disease and mortality. However, despite being truly "zero-emission", investment levels in bike and pedestrian improvements has been limited at best.

Take Action: 8/12 Meeting, Online Comments

On Wednesday August 12 the one and only meeting in Los Angeles County will be held in downtown Los Angeles. The meeting will include a staff overview of the initial draft for investment priorities and then allow for members of the public to provide suggestions. BikeSGV will be submitting the below-listed key points, given the growing demand for safe, comfortable infrastructure for walking and biking and currently inadequate levels of funding for such investments. Please join us, or submit comments online by September 1st here

What: CA Air Resources Board - Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Meeting
When: Wednesday 8/12 (6-9pm)
Where: Junipero Serra Building, 320 W. 4th St (at Broadway), Los Angeles, CA 90013
More info and link to submit online comments here 

Key Points
  1. Allocate cap-and-trade funding directly into the CA Active Transportation Program, which provides incredibly cost-effective GHG reductions and is already set up with disadvantaged community set-asides consistent with SB 535.
  2. Increase cap-and-trade funding levels for active transportation given the current over-subscription of the CA-ATP program, increasing demand for such investments across the state, and the many health co-benefits of more physically active lifestyles. 
  3. Better Integrate active transportation into appropriate programs so that significant walking and biking improvements are provided as part of housing and transit projects.
<![CDATA[SGV Bike Train Rolls on Thanks to Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center]]>Sun, 09 Aug 2015 07:29:59 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/sgv-bike-train-rolls-on-thanks-to-kaiser-permanente-baldwin-park-medical-center
BikeSGV among Kaiser Baldwin Park 2015-16 Community Benefits Awardees
Thanks to the generous support of Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center, BikeSGV is excited to announce that the SGV Bike Train will be bigger and better than ever in the year ahead!  

The program was recently awarded a competitive grant from the medical center's competitive community benefit program. For 2015-16 the program will consist of the following key components:
  • The Bike Train - A monthly, family-friendly community bike ride led by nationally certified bicycle safety instructors (LCIs). The ride introduces participants to the region’s network of existing protected Class I bikeways along the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel River paths, existing park space in largely park-poor communities, connections to nearby communities, and the many rivers and washes that could one day also become greenways extending the region’s network of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian paths.
  • SGV Bike Education Center - The SGV’s first bicycle cooperative and education space, focused on teaching youth and residents the skills to maintain bicycles and recycle discarded bikes at low/no cost.
  • Active Commuting, Healthy Community Workshops - Free workshops covering basic bike safety and skills (e.g., hand signals, emergency stops, rules of the road), as well as an introduction to how bicycles can be used for commuting, errands, and short trips.
The program is designed to help reduce existing barriers to the use of bicycles
in some of the highest need communities in the valley, facilitate more active lifestyles, and integrate physical activity into the daily lives of residents, all key steps towards addressing the sedentary lifestyles that contribute to obesity-related disease. 

The BikeSGV team would like to thank Kaiser Baldwin Park again for their strong support for a more active, bike-friendly San Gabriel Valley! For more information about the program, please contact Bike Train Coordinator Daniel Fong
<![CDATA[ACTION ALERT: SGVCOG to Vote on $3.3 Billion Funding Recommendation 7/23!]]>Sat, 18 Jul 2015 05:40:44 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/action-alert-sgvcog-to-vote-on-33-billion-funding-recommendation-723PictureComplete Streets, one option for the SGV
On Thursday July 23rd the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) will host a special meeting to take action on formal recommendations on how the region should spend an estimated $3.3 billion in potential future sales tax revenues.

The hotly anticipated successor to Measure R, which has funded the expansion of LA County's rail network since 2008 - including the Foothill Gold Line extension - would likely be placed before voters in November 2016. However, before that can happen, the Metro Board will have to craft and approve a measure they feel will be supported by 2/3rds of County voters. 

Should the region focus the lion's share of additional transportation investments on highways?  Public transit?  Pedestrian and bicycle improvements? 

How these questions are answered will determine if a future measure will accelerate the region's transition to a more equitable, sustainable and multi-modal transportation system. 

SGVCOG Draft Recommendations

The SGVCOG's Transportation Committee recommends that revenue from a future transportation measure be spent in the following manner in the San Gabriel Valley.  
  • 40% Transit - $1.32 billion for Foothill and Eastside Gold Line extensions and bus improvements
  • 39% Highways - $1.29 billion for Capacity and "efficiency" improvements to the 10, 60, 605, 71, 210 and 710 freeways
  • 7% Demand Based Program - High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) extensions and connectors (i.e. freeways)
  • 6% Modal Connectivity - $198 million for First and Last Mile (to transit) and Complete Streets improvements
  • 5% Active Transportation - $165 million for pedestrian and bike facilities
  • 2% ITS/Technology - $65 million for advanced signal technology
  • 1% Goods Movements - $33 million for railroad crossing improvements
SGVCOG's proposed funding allocations for a 2016 ballot measure

BikeSGV Comments

As a sales tax would be paid by all residents of the SGV and LA County, BikeSGV strongly feels that any new transportation measure should improve the quality of life of all residents, especially residents of disadvantaged communities who are already disproportionately burdened by our current auto-centric system. 

Active Transportation
Although a great start, the 5% proposed for bicycle and pedestrian improvements is inadequate to address existing demand, let alone the historic under-funding of such projects in Measures A, C, and R, none of which included specific set-asides for active transportation improvements. 

At present 19% of all trips in LA County are via foot or bike, yet less than 1% of all transportation funding goes towards making our streets safer and more comfortable for walking and biking. This remains a major problem in our region, not to mention a major barrier to higher bicycle modal share. BikeSGV urges the SGVCOG to support more robust funding for such improvements, like Alameda County which recently adopted an 8% set-aside for bike/ped. At the proposed level, the SGV would not be able to realize the build-out of the SGV Greenway Network; the SGV has over 100 miles of waterways, storm channels, washes and creeks that could serve as the backbone of our active transportation network and build upon existing San Gabriel and Rio Hondo river trails. Given the lack of Safe Routes to School and cohesive networks of bicycle infrastructure in most of the region's cities, the time for significant, long-term funding for walking and bicycling infrastructure is long overdue. 
  • 5% for active transportation is a strong start, but additional County-wide dollars will be needed for regionally significant bicycle projects. The SGV's Active Transportation set-aside should be at least 5% for walking and 5% for bicycling projects to address historic under-investment and growing demand. 
The SGVCOG currently suggests that 40% of expected revenue be spend on transit, specifically the extensions of the Gold Line to Claremont and South El Monte or Whittier. BikeSGV strongly supports additional investments in our Metro rail network, especially the Gold Line. However by limiting transit investments to 40%, the region will not have the resources to also invest in Bus Rapid Transit projects and other improvements needed to make the County's transportation system truly world-class. The current funding recommendation would also miss an opportunity to create Transit-to-Trails service, which could provide SGV residents without an automobile access to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and national forest areas.

When combined with the "Demand-Based Program", which also involves highway improvements, the SGVCOG's recommended set-aside for highways is the highest of any category at 46%. Should this move forward, it would be a missed opportunity for our valley and southern California as a whole. 

The SGV and LA Basin continue to suffer from some of the worst air quality in the entire United States, resulting in higher than average rates of asthma, respiratory illness, heart disease and premature death. Local air quality has also been getting worse in recent years due to increasing average temperatures and the lack of rain. Local communities, especially low-income neighborhoods in close proximity to a freeway, are disproportionately impacted by this pollution. Adding more cars and trucks to already congested highways in the SGV, rather than investing in cleaner, more comfortable and efficient transportation alternatives, will only increase the health burden these communities have carried for the past 50 years.  

Increasing highway "efficiency" (i.e. capacity) will also make it harder to reach state goals to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions statewide, accounting for almost 40% of total GHG emissions. Furthermore, highway investments are highly unlikely to shorten anyone's commute over the long-term, as increases in roadway "supply" induce demand for more trips. The recent widening of the 405 freeway is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Despite adding an additional lane to one of the most congested freeways in the country, at a cost of well over $1 billion, average commute times have not improved, and residents of San Fernando Valley still do not have a convenient transportation alternative to the automobile if traveling to the Westside. Perhaps due to this failure, the SGVCOG's counterpart in the Valley - the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments - has recommended its funding allocation be spent entirely on transit and active transit improvements. 
  • Proposed funding allocation is highway-heavy and misses a historic opportunity to fund transformative transit opportunities such as Bus Rapid Transit lines connecting and complementing planned light rail extensions (e.g., Pasadena-Burbank)

7/23 Meeting Details - Join us!

The SGVCOG's public meeting to discuss this issue will be on Thursday July 23rd. Public participation is far too infrequent at these meetings, so we welcome your attendance and comments!

Thursday, July 23, 2015 – 3:00 PM
Rosemead Community Recreation Center
3936 North Muscatel Avenue, Rosemead, CA 91770
<![CDATA[Help Shape the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument: Your Input Needed at Upcoming Public Meetings!]]>Sat, 20 Jun 2015 05:50:31 GMThttp://www.bikesgv.org/news/help-shape-the-san-gabriel-mountains-national-monument-your-input-needed-at-upcoming-scoping-meetingsPictureBike Train riders at El Encanto Wilderness Park.
The United States Forest Service will be conducting a series of public meetings next week to gather input for the management plan for the newly designated San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. 

As a member of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever campaign, BikeSGV has been actively involved as a voice for people who bike and use public transit in the San Gabriel Mountains. We strongly support the development of public transit links from the San Gabriel Valley to the national forest, which is currently only accessible by private automobile. A "Transit-to-Trails" shuttle service could be piloted on weekends and holidays to provide SGV residents access to park sites, trail heads, camp sites, and other amenities along Highway 39/Azusa Canyon.

Why should you care about these issues? The San Gabriel Mountains cover 70% of LA County's open space! Many low-income communities in the San Gabriel Valley are park-poor and suffer from health disparities because of this. Improving access to the San Gabriel Mountains is a relatively simple, tangible way we can address this problem, introduce residents to the beauty of our natural environment, and educate the public about their continued importance for our health and well-being. As part of our Bike Train route, we ride up the San Gabriel River and stop at El Encanto River Wilderness Park at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. To improve access to and within the mountains for people on bikes, it is vital that we engage in the ongoing management process.

Your voice and opinion is very important to ensuring the needs of the local community will be reflected in the USFS' final management plan. Please join us at one of the upcoming meetings or provide comment online here.

Bike Train riders on the San Gabriel River bike trail.
Upcoming USFS Public "Open House" Meetings

June 22, 4-8 p.m.
Pacific Community Center 
501 S. Pacific Avenue
Glendale, CA 

June 24, 4-8 p.m. 
Glendora Public Library 
140 S. Glendora Avenue
Glendora, CA

June 25, 3-8 p.m. 
Pico House 
424 N. Main Street 
Los Angeles, CA 

If you can't make it to the meetings, submit a comment online here