Your friendly neighborhood Greenius has been a proud member of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition ever since there was one, and I’ve been on the Board of Directors just as long. I do it because I love to ride my bike and because here in the South Bay – which happens to be the best climate in the whole world in which to ride your bike – we need lots more zero emission people-powered bike trips to replace car trips, especially fossil fuel powered cars. Our obesity and diabetes rates need it too.
In fact back in 2010 that’s why the County of Los Angeles Health Department gave our South Bay Bicycle Coalition (SBBC) a $250,000 grant. We used that money to create and then help get passed the world famous Seven City South Bay Bicycle Master Plan. That’s the 20 year plan that lays out the blueprint for connecting bikeways in the cities of El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Lawndale and Gardena. The plan that’s now being implemented bit by bit all over the place.
And now the SBBC is having its first fund raiser, cause there’s no more grant money and we need the dough-ray-me to buy bike helmets for kids who don’t have one of their own. We need the Benjamin to pay for certified instructors to teach bike safety classes to elementary school kids and to conduct rules of the road and safe biking workshops for adults. We need the scratch to pay for printing up rules of the road booklets and to offer free bike parking corrals at major events throughout the South Bay. We’re an all volunteer organization and we’re fiscally responsible and frugal too. So you can feel damn good about how hard your money works for better biking on the streets right here in your communities.
And, if like me, you’ve never been to a hipster event at the private rooftop poolside venue at the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, South Bay Bike Night on Saturday, February 28, 2015 is your opportunity.
Why would your Creative Greenius walk away from his high-paying, highly rewarding executive role at CBS EcoMedia where I was working to fund environmental, education, and wellness projects all across the USA, just as the company hit more growth milestones and was likely to pay generous bonuses?
And so it is that I resigned from my position as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs for CBS EcoMedia effective the first of this month and I will now be devoting my full time to working on climate change response with the South Bay 350 Climate Action Group, the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and 350.org
I had no other choice once I did The Math and saw what things add up to – and how little time we have left before the global temperature goes past the Game Over limit of 2°C.
Today is Earth Day 2012, a day filled with celebrations of the environment and all the things being done to try and improve it and make it more sustainable . You can go to events where you recycle your old paper tax records, your motor oil, your cellphone, computers and other electronics.
You can go to festivals and visit the booths of green nonprofits and solar energy companies, take part in composting workshops, learn about wildlife protectors and electric car companies. You might even get the chance to hug a person wearing a polar bear costume.
You can participate in beach cleanups, ride your bicycle with large groups in parades or march in protests against coal-fired power plants, polluters and planet-pummeling profiteers. You can even watch NBC-Universal TV and see how they turned their logo green and laugh at their funny PSAs about cutting your energy use or carbon footprint.
But what you cannot do at any Earth Day event – or any other day’s events – is change the sense of urgency of the U.S. government or the majority of our population about taking the immediate and dramatic steps necessary to avoid runaway climate change or the hell and high water that’s coming with it.
How’d you like to enjoy 7-and-a-half miles of L.A. streets free of motorized vehicles and open only to bicyclists and pedestrians? Stroll, play, talk, celebrate -do whatever you want on the public street without sucking up gas fumes or fearing for your life from drunk drivers, texting drivers, drivers eating or putting on makeup or just plain dangerous behind the wheel lunatics.
That’s exactly the scene you’re going to get this Sunday, April 10 from 10am to 3pm at the second ever L.A. CicLaVia where public streets from Boyle Heights to Downtown, MacArthur Park to East Hollywood will be shut down to traffic and open to you and me emission free.
My favorite part of this next CicLaVia is the Bike Parade coming from my friends at Greenpeace and Sierra Club which they’re calling ROLL AGAINST COAL. In case you didn’t know, the City of Los Angeles still gets 40% of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, the dirtiest polluters and greenhouse gassers on the planet. It’s long been time to kick coal out of L.A.’s power supply and that’s exactly what Greenpeace and Sierra Club have in mind with their BEYOND COAL CAMPAIGN.
Sunday’s bike parade is part of that campaign and designed to call more attention to it. Not only will those Rolling AGainst Coal have a traveling good time together as we bike parade throughout the event, but we’ll be busting out the Creative Greenius with the decoration of our bicycles and the visual aides and props we also sport to raise awareness about the city’s addiction to coal and the life-saving difference Los Angeles could make if it fully commits to the green vision for a clean energy future! Get all the details you need after the jump.
I’ve written before about the sharrows Hermosa Beach painted on Hermosa Ave earlier this year and how much I like them. I continue to use them and I like them even more now. I feel safer when riding on Hermosa Ave and the cars on the road don’t seem to have any real problems going around me if they need to.
Since I stop at all the stop signs, I get a certain amount of respect from the vehicles I’m sharing the road with too.
I think a lot more streets should feature sharrows throughout Hermosa Beach and the newly resurfaced Upper Pier Ave is a good place to put them next. I think most of my friends in the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and the Beach Cities Cycling Club agree with me.
My recent bicycle tour of Long Beach with their Mobility Coordinator extraordinaire, Charlie Gandy, further convinced me of the benefits of sharrows. Their green painted sharrow lane on 2nd Street in the Belmont Shore neighborhood produced 30% more cyclists with fewer crashes, 20% fewer cyclists riding on the sidewalk and a 50% reduction in car/bike crashes.
A big part of the reasons sharrows work so well in Long Beach is because of the great job they did educating their elected officials, the police force and the public. They made sure they got the word out, that people in the community understood what the rules were and what the benefits would be from working together. The result? Long Beach is fast on the way to becoming the most bicycle friendly city in California.
There’s no reason Hermosa Beach can’t follow that same sharrow story of success and indeed if Hermosa really wants to be taken seriously as a “Green Idea City” or wants to actually achieve carbon neutrality it’s going to need sharrows and a lot more bicycle infrastructure and friendliness to get there.
Step one to get there is for a strong bicyclist turnout for Wednesday (Oct 20) night’s public forum on Hermosa Beach Sharrows. Check out the details after the jump.