California Bicycle Coalition visits Long Beach

It’s bike month! For most eco-villagers, of course, bike month is every month… but May includes fun stuff like Bike-to-Work-Week, the Blessing of the Bikes, and yesterday’s California Bicycle Coalition Fundraiser & Bikestation Preview in Long Beach.

Dave Snyder telling it like it is

The California Bicycle Coalition is a statewide bike advocacy organization, working mostly in Sacramento. If you bike, please consider making a donation to support their work.

California Bicycle Coalition’s new executive director is Dave Snyder – a sharp and savvy long-term bike activist, formerly head of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. His presence at the helm of the CBC gives me a lot of confidence in the future of the organization.

Downtown Long Beach's Protected Bike Lane on Broadway

It’s great to visit bike-friendly places like Long Beach and San Francisco… yesterday was no exception. Long Beach has done lots of great projects in recent years, including bike corrals, green sharrow lanes, Vista Bicycle Boulevard, and their great new protected bike lanes downtown.

I took the Blue Line Train down, and got there a tiny bit early so I could ride the protected bike lanes. They’re incredibly wonderful… and definitely being used.

The reception was at the new Long Beach Bikestation building – not yet open for business. Located on the Long Beach Transit Mall at the Promenade (a block east of Pine Avenue), the new Bikestation digs are nice. A ramp circles the building, leading to upstairs bike parking. Below is an area for retail, bike rentals, etc. – including showers and changing rooms for sweaty bike commuters.

Some of the evening’s speakers included: (apologies to others who I didn’t get shots of)

The most bike-friendly man in the United States, Charlie Gandy

Long Beach’s inimitable mobility coordinator Charlie Gandy

not your everyday lobbyist Will Gonzalez

CBC’s new lobbyist Will Gonzalez

Martin Howard makes Communities Bikeable

and Bikeable Communities Martin Howard.

I had an excellent talk with Tony Cruz, a bicycle racer olympian who’s now a great spokesperson for Long Beach cycling. While most of the folks there were Long Beach community, I was happy that there was a decent contingent of L.A.-based advocates in attendance. Post-fundraiser, I had a great train-ride conversation with Jessica Meaney of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership – another great bike/walk advocate who’s doing really important and inspiring work.

It’s great to check out the surprisingly rapid progress that Long Beach is making at being a truly bike-friendly city. It’s an inspiration for us folks in that other big city in L.A. County. Looking forward to see what’s changed the next time I visit.

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One thought on “California Bicycle Coalition visits Long Beach

  1. I’m glad Long Beach is taking steps to become more bicycle friendly–because they definitely need it. While downtown has come a long way, Long Beach is a large city and there are areas which need improvement, where riding a bike feels like taking my life in my hands.

    I wish there was a way to educate drivers about the rights of bikers, like if there are three lanes of traffic going one direction without a bike lane, a biker has the right to use the far-right lane without getting yelled at, honked at, and sideswiped. And there should at least be “Share the Road” signs on roads where the city doesn’t want to install bike lanes.

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