Happy 1st Birthday Bike Safe Bike Smart!

Dear Bike Safe Bike Smart readers,

A little over a year ago, Parks Recreation and Community Services commissioner Catherine Yanda suggested I write a bike safety and education column in one of the local papers. Thankfully, my fellow Culver City Bicycle Coalition boardmembers agreed to collectively write it with me, and Culver City News editor Scott Bridges graciously offered us a weekly column in this paper. We believed (and still believe) this column could serve as an important educational tool to help both cyclists and motorists become aware of laws, recommendations, and information for safe riding, just as Culver City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan began implementation.

The very first Bike Safe Bike Smart article, “Wear Your Helmet!” was published on Jan 6 2010. Since that time, Culver City Bicycle Coalition (CCBC) members have written an article per week for the last year with advice, news, encouragement, and important bike education.

Highlights include:

“Can Biking Make You Smarter? The Academic Benefits of Exercise” by CCBC co-founder Darren Kessner

“Riding With Children” by CCBC co-founder Jim Shanman

“Be Bright, Use Your Lights” by CCBC member Steve Herbert

“Bicycles: The Efficient Way to Go” by CCBC member Brian Treanor

“Culver City Bicycle Pedestrian Plan Faces Its First Crisis” by CCBC co-founder Howard Cohen

and the recent two-part series on buying from local bike shops by Jim Shanman and myself

In addition to the articles, CCBC has been busy educating, advocating, and supporting local cycling. Led by Darren Kessner, CCBC hosts fun family rides each month to highlight the best routes in Culver City, suitable for children and adults. In September, CCBC partnered with Transition Culver City, Sustainable Streets and Bikerowave for the global “Moving Planet Day,” initiated by 350.org. We co-hosted an Alternative Transportation Parade to the soon-to-be opened Culver City Metro station, exploring the existing bike routes leading toward the station, and brainstorming on ways to improve it.

CCBC members have been on the forefront of Culver City’s Safe Routes to School initiatives to make it safe for families and residents to bike and walk around Culver City schools. The city garnered an over $450,000 grant at Linwood E. Howe Elementary for infrastructure, education, and enforcement improvements. Additionally a $500,000 Safe Routes to School grant was received to expand the program district-wide (unfortunately without the infrastructure improvements – we are hoping future grant opportunities will address that).

For the first time, CBBC officially hosted a station at the annual California Coastal Cleanup at Ballona Creek in September. We partnered with the City of Culver City, Heal the Bay and Ballona Creek Renaissance to help volunteers participate in this worldwide volunteer effort to keep our waterways clean.

More recently, CBBC members have been strong advocates for a Clean Mobility Center at the Culver City Expo Line station, where cyclists can safely park and repair their bicycles before boarding the Metro (which is scheduled to arrive within the next few months). Jim Shanman has been invited by the Expo Board to be part of a working group that will ensure delivery of this facility.

Howard Cohen has been following regional issues, including work with the Council of City Governments, connecting bike facilities between Los Angeles and Culver City. He also represents CCBC for the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition.

Steve Herbert created and regularly updates our new Facebook page (among many other things!): http://tinyurl.com/6qxzz2e, while Brian Treanor has been writing professional-quality articles, which have raised the bar for all of us!

Readers, please let us know what you think of our articles. Is there a topic you’d like us to cover, a question you’d like us to answer, an observation you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you, and wish you a very happy and healthy 2012.

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