Editor's note: both proposals were formally selected for funding in June 2014!
In February 2013 the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) launched the highly anticipated "Open Streets" Program, which sets aside $2 million in competitive funding for Cities in LA County to host Open Streets events. The goals of the program are to encourage sustainable modes of transportation (biking, walking and transit), provide an opportunity to take transit for the first time and foster civic engagement.
In anticipation of this opportunity, BikeSGV released a vision for CicloSGVia, a 50-mile, multi-jurisdiction "Open Streets" event that would connect the many attractive destinations and diverse communities in the San Gabriel Valley. The project was presented to stakeholders, City Councils, and various resident groups throughout the region in hopes of garnering local support. Although many regarded the idea as wildly ambitious, it was successful in creating a buzz and provoking conversation about the possibility of hosting Open Streets events in the SGV.
As soon as the application became available for agencies to review, BikeSGV organizers followed up with City staff, decision-makers and stakeholders in over a dozen SGV cities to strongly encourage their participation and partnership with neighboring communities to develop competitive, and more importantly, significant events. In the City of South Pasadena, Council Member Michael Cacciotti immediately recognized the new funding as an opportunity to host a major event in conjunction with the opening of the Gold Line Foothill extension.
The outcome of this process: TWO (2) compelling and very attractive proposals - 1) SGV Golden Streets and 2) SGV Earth Day Festival - were formally submitted for Metro funding thanks to the efforts BikeSGV organizers, volunteers and local leaders such as Council Member Cacciotti of South Pasadena.
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