Southern California environment news and trends

Get a free bike corral for your event in the South Bay

bikes in hermosa beach Get a free bike corral for your event in the South Bay

Going to an event in the South Bay? Now you’ve got yet another reason — besides high gas prices, traffic jams, and long parking spot searches — to travel by bike. A social bicycle-riding group called the Beach Cities Cycling Club is offering to set up bike corrals at events all over the South Bay — for free.

“I think in the South Bay beach communities especially, we’ve noticed in the summer months that we double or triple in size and traffic is always an issue,” says Jim Hannon, president of the BCCClub and organizer of the bike corral project. “And in some of those cities, even parking a bike is an issue. As a matter of fact, if you go down to some of these cities in the summer, you can’t even hardly walk down the sidewalk because of so many bikes that are chained up every place you can think of…. So having a structure [like a bike corral] in place alleviates a lot of that, makes a community more walkable, rideable, and more pleasurable for everybody.”


10 green events and freebies at Santa Monica Festival

smfest 10 green events and freebies at Santa Monica Festival

Missed all the Earth Day festivals a couple weeks ago? You’re getting your second chance to celebrate green with Santa Monica Festival this weekend. Now in its 20th year, the free annual event has become a “unique intersection of art and the environment” according to its city planners — and the packed event schedule seems to live up to that promise.

Stop by Clover Park at 2600 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica this Sat., May 7 from 11 am to 6 pm and take advantage of the many green events, workshops, deals and freebies. Here are the top 10 ideas to get the most out of the festival:

1. Valet your bike, free. Avoid traffic and parking hassles by pedaling to the festival instead. Coast to the corner of 25th St. at Ocean Park Blvd., and you’ll get free city valet service for your bike.

2. Bag a free reusable bag. Stop by the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment booth and sign a pledge to BYO bag — and you’ll get a free handcrafted bag made by L.A. veterans. You’ll get free materials to further embellish the bag at the booth — and even get to take part in a photo collage celebrating your new sustainable ways.


7th Street to get a bicycle-friendly makeover

7th street intersection after rd 7th street

Biked the whole CicLAvia route on April 10? Then you’ll likely remember cruising down 7th Street, a business street many cyclists use to commute to work. Come October, that street will become more bike-friendly 24-7, thanks to a road diet aimed at giving L.A. bicyclists more space.

From Catalina Street in Koreatown to Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles, 2.2 miles of bicycle lanes will be painted, giving cyclists more room and visibility. That room will come from cars, who’ll see their driving space reduced from two lanes down to one lane going each way. Street parking will be retained.

“There are so many workers and low income cyclists that bike up and down 7th currently, because it’s a really important connection between McArthur Park to Koreatown to downtown LA where a lot of folks will go to work,” says Allison Mannos, urban strategy director at Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, a local nonprofit that’s working with the City of Los Angeles on this and other bike-friendly projects. “And it’s nice because it parallels major travel portals like Wilshire, but there’s much less traffic.”


How to get a bike rack or corral on your street

Wish your favorite coffee shop had a bicycle rack right out front? Just request one from the city by filling out the handy online Sidewalk Bicycle Rack Request Form. Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s bicycle program installs about 400 bike racks a year by following up on these requests — though right now, new rack installations are on a temporary hold while the department waits for a new order of bike racks to arrive.

“If everything goes well, we could have them in a month, month and a half,” says Michelle Mowery, LA DOT’s Bike Program Senior Coordinator. You don’t need to wait to put your rack request in though. Mowery says her current wait list is only about a dozen requests long. Once the new racks arrive, the city will start going through that wait list, adding on to the 4000 or so bike racks already installed throughout the city.


13 Ways of Looking at CicLAvia

ciclavia1 13 Ways of Looking at CicLAvia

I went, I biked, and I got sunburned after a fun day of riding around CicLAvia, which shut down 7.5 miles of L.A. streets from cars to make room for bicycles, pedestrians, book clubs, and hoola hoopers. CBS says more than 130,000 people attended the Sunday event, but inspired by Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” here’s a recap of the sunny day from 13 perspectives. All line breaks are my own.

I’m there.

– Lance Armstrong, in a tweet to local blogger and bicyclist Will Campbell, who asked if the seven-time Tour de France winner would be at CicLAvia. Armstrong did indeed help kick off the event on Sunday. Here’s Campbell’s video of his CicLAvia ride to Boyle Heights from East Hollywood.

we spend so much
time in our cars
we often forget

– Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in a guest post for LA Streetsblog. The quote continues: “that walking or biking or skating isn’t just a great way to exercise, it’s a great way to get to know and enjoy our many vibrant neighborhoods.”