Southern California environment news and trends

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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Greencore: L.A. hardcore band It’s Casual rock out for the MTA’s Red Line

Mercer 21182

David McNew/Getty Images

Passengers wait to board a North Hollywood-bound Red Line MTA train.

If there’s one thing all L.A. residents know intimately, it’s traffic. Our fair city is legendary for it, but the harsh reality of getting around Los Angeles behind the wheel is often the very definition of stress. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.

Thankfully, L.A. does have a working public transportation system, the Metropolitan Transportation. Before you go in with the snarky comments about it working, trust me: it does. Try getting across town in my beloved home city of Detroit publically, and then come talk to me.

For Boyle Heights hardcore band It’s Casual, living and working in Los Angeles on the MTA is not only a way of life, but the inspiration behind the band’s new album, The New Los Angeles Part I: Through The Eyes Of A Bus Rider, scheduled for release on March 13. Adamant about sending “a green, pro-public transportation message across the globe,” the album’s first single is an aggressive anthem “The Red Line,” which eschews the virtues of hopping the bus and reminding us that indeed, “the freeways are not so nice.”

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