Southern California environment news and trends

Anaheim prepares to launch citywide bike-sharing service

Mercer 18631

Argonne National Laboratory/Flickr

Two people delighted to be participating in a bike sharing program.

This Saturday, July 21, Anaheim will unveil the first of 10 kiosks to launch a new citywide bike-sharing program. As reported by KCET, the unveiling of that initial kiosk and the first 10 of ultimately 100 sharable bikes is scheduled for 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. at Harbor Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue near Center Street Promenade. According to the City of Anaheim, the “festival type” event will feature music, food and a bike agility course. Attendees to Saturday’s launch event will also receive a free 30-day membership to the program.

The one-year pilot program is in partnership with Bike Nation, a company based in Tustin. Bike Nation is funding the entire project, financing kisok installations and maintenance. All of it will be at no cost to taxpayers.

"We want to start in our own backyard, then look at other opportunities for expanding," said Derek Fretheim, chief operating officer of Bike Nation to the OC Register.

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WalkScore rates the most bike-friendly cities in America

Photo by Gary Rides Bikes via Flickr Creative Commons

Santa Monica is a bicycle-friendly town.

In case you missed it, today (May 17) is Bike to Work Day in Los Angeles (the day is celebrated nationally tomorrow by the League of American Bicyclists). In recognition of the day, L.A. County MTA is offering free rides on trains and busses to riders with their bikes and/or bike helmets.

With May being National Bike Month and all, website Walkscore has upgraded their services to include "Bike Score," rankings of the 10 most bike-friendly cities in America and Canada.

A review of the ranked American cities finds that only San Francisco made the top 10 to represent California, coming in a very respectable third in the rankings.

As reported by Treehugger, scores were “based on the availability of bike infrastructure (lanes and trails), the hilliness of the area, destinations and road connectivity, and the number of bike commuters.”

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LA cyclists ride free on Bike To Work Day

San Franciscans Alter Commute On 15th Annual Bike To Work Day

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In case you missed it, the League of American Bicyclists declared May 2012 as National Bike Month. Dubbed “an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride,” the month is being highlighted by National Bike To Work Week (May 14 – 18), which culminates with National Bike To Work Day on Friday, May 18.

Locally, the L.A. County MTA is offering free rides on Metro buses and trains to cyclists who bring their bike and/or bike helmet with them on Thursday, May 17.

According to the San Fernando Sun, Culver CityBus, DowneyLINK, Glendale Beeline, LADOT, Montebello Bus Lines, Norwalk Transit, Pasadena ARTS, Santa Clarita Transit and Torrance Transit will also be offering free rides to commuters with a bike and/or bike helmet (although if you’re riding a bike on Southland streets, you should really be wearing a helmet. If you’re under 17, wearing a helmet is the law in California). Metro will be co-sponsoring 80 bicycle “pit stops” throughout L.A. County where riders can fuel up on snacks and the occasional giveaways (find exact locations here).

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Transportation bill amended to keep pedestrian, bicycle funding alive and local

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An amendment has been made to address concerns that the Senate’s transportation bill threatened funding for bicycle and pedestrian programs.

Named for sponsors Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the amendment ensures that 2 percent of the transportation budget is set aside for such programs, as celebrated in Chicago Now.

According to D.C. Streets, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has included “much” of the Cardin-Cochran amendment in his own “manager’s mark” for the bill. It also allows local government direct access to that money, as opposed to giving the state power to delegate the funds.

“States usually focus on building larger projects, but those projects often need further refinements within those communities in order to function well,” argued Transportation For America in support. “The amendment would give local elected leaders — who know the transportation and safety needs of their constituents best — more direct control over how to spend those funds and allow them to revitalize their communities while building out the full transportation network they need.”

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Conscious cruising: rolling deep with Wood Bicycle

Jim_Briones

Friends and family back home in the Midwest love to razz me for living in Southern California. I get the earthquake jokes, plastic surgery jabs and my personal favorite, “How’s the land of fruit and nuts?” That one just never gets old.

I just smile and laugh along with them. I also wait for glorious days like today, when the early January temps soar into the 80s and I’m cruising Venice Beach on a bike. Back home, the temperature is hovering somewhere around the freezing point of 32 degrees Celsius. It’s the perfect time to call and have that whole “Why I live in L.A.” conversation. They just love that.

I’m also a fan of the artistic minds that like to call California home, much like the guys of Masterworks Wood and Design and their offshoot, Wood Bicycle, in San Jose. Led by Bill Holloway and Mauro Hernandez, the men of Masterworks craft gorgeous and ornate wooden bicycles, often from the wood of reclaimed and condemned trees from urban areas. They also utilize wood from the Green Sawmill in San Mateo, who specializes in “urban timber recovery”: wood that would otherwise end up in landfills, chippers or burned.

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