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The Green Life: Good News for Bicyclists in Los Angeles

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March 03, 2011

Good News for Bicyclists in Los Angeles

Bike_lane If there's something that almost everybody wants more of in America's second largest city, it's roads that are more open. And this week, the future looks a little less congested for L.A.'s cyclists, after the city council signed the 2010 Bike Plan.

The plan notes that less than 1% of Angelenos commute daily by bike. To increase that low number, the plan seeks to improve streets' accessiblity for cyclists and promote car-bike coexistence, mainly via education efforts. A major component of the plan is the Citywide Bikeway System: 1,680 miles of bike-friendly space, from short connectors across congested areas to long routes through major thoroughfares.

Josef Bray-Ali, a bike activist and co-owner of the Flying Pigeon bike shop in L.A.'s Highland Park neighborhood, thinks that the increasingly diverse biking community that has emerged in his city in recent years will be instrumental in making sure the plan gets implemented: "The people that are into cycling are more in tune with their communities and what's going on in their neighborhoods," Bray-Ali said. "We're going to harness that more. We've got that engagement of local communities."

Funding sources and negotiations with the L.A. Department of Transportation still have to be determined before the plan can be put into action. Supporters hope that reducing the hazardous road conditions associated with riding bikes will encourage more Angelenos to bike on a daily basis.

Bray-Ali has already started to see change: "Today I saw a good dozen people I've never seen before riding bikes," he said, "I don't know anyone in this neighborhood that rides around in spandex anymore."

--Rosie Spinks

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