BIKE CENTER NEWS & EVENTS

Measure M — How Could Your Vote Help Change The Future of Los Angeles?

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DARIUS POPENHAGEN, Santa Monica, CA

The Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Sign and the Downtown L.A. skyline are some of the most iconic images of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, there is another icon that is just as well known to residents, tourists and even those who have never visited California: The endless trail of gridlocked traffic that spans across the entire city on freeways and surface streets… for hours everyday… even on weekends.

On Election Day, Angelenos have an opportunity to cast their vote on Measure M, the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan, which aims to improve mobility by implementing a half cent increase in sales tax. As a result, Los Angeles County could generate around $860 million per year to both improve and build new transportation infrastructure. Focusing on our roads, freeways, and public transit, Measure M would direct attention towards the overall connectivity of our mobility options, including bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

There is no denying that Los Angeles is a car-centric city and for the past few decades we’ve neglected other mobility options like public transit, bicycling, and walking. Our bias towards the car isn’t all our fault and is partly because we have not really been able to depend on public transportation. In the past, train lines haven’t extended far enough to efficiently connect passengers with their destinations and the overall lack of bike lanes/bike ways throughout the city has made it tougher for most people to commute by bike.

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The Expo Line, which now connects Santa Monica with the rest of Los Angeles, has seen a significant increase in ridership since it’s expansion to downtown Santa Monica. With a viable link between the east and west sides of the city, residents and tourists can explore Los Angeles without having to depend on driving their car. Additionally, bike share options at either end of the train line, such as Breeze Bike Share on the west and Metro Bike Share in downtown, extend the reach of transit options even further.

The popularity of the Expo Line extension symbolizes a changing mentality throughout Los Angeles. In 1968, a plan similar to Measure M, Proposition A, was proposed but then rejected by voters. At the time, the measure struggled to gain traction and even The Los Angeles Times did not publicly support the proposed funding for public transit through out the city. Alternatively, Measure M is receiving a different response from both residents and the media. The Los Angeles Times is now a huge supporter of the measure, stating that “L.A. County residents need alternatives to sitting in soul-crushing traffic. Vote yes on Measure M.”

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Despite support for Measure M, questions still remain regarding how it will actually change the way we commute and navigate our city. The basic goals are to ease traffic congestion, expand rail and bus systems, repave and repair local streets, and increase accessibility of public transit for seniors, students and the disabled. Additionally, Measure M would potentially create over 465,000 new jobs in Los Angeles County.

More specifically, there would be a new train station for LAX, a tunnel through the Sepulveda Pass, and significant extensions to the Green, Purple, Crenshaw and Gold lines. There would also be new transit lines and bus corridors through out the County and a street car through Historic DTLA. Huge improvements would be made to our freeways including truck and carpool lanes on the 5, an express bus lane in each direction on the 405, a 110 express lane to the 405, as well as several other major freeway projects.

Measure M proposes a massive make over for the current public transit and road systems that we use every day. These improvements will have a lasting effect on the way we travel around our city and the efficiency of our daily commute. The Santa Monica Bike Center is excited about the potential changes that this plan could bring forth and we urge all voters to educate themselves on Measure M and make an informed decision on November 8, 2016!

 

New Jersey Man Rides to Mount Whitney for Charity

Bill Zuppa with his Jamis Aurora touring bike that has been used on his "Georgie Ride" since 1999.

Bill Zuppa with his Jamis Aurora touring bike that has been used on his “Georgie Ride” since 1999.

Santa Monica, CA – September 2, 2016 – Bill Zuppa, a New Jersey resident and bike enthusiast, embarked on his annual “OneManOneBikeOneChild” ride this morning to raise funds for special needs children. This year, Zuppa will ride from the Santa Monica Pier to Mount Whitney in Inyo County. The strenuous 220 miles will see Bill riding through Labor Day Weekend, a time that most people use for rest and relaxation. Bill is using the time as an opportunity to ride his bicycle and raise money for a cause that he holds close to his heart.

For the 20th year Zuppa’s “Georgie Ride”, as he calls it, will be in honor of his nephew, Georgie Caunt, who had cerebral palsy and died, in 1995, at age 14. Each year, the funds raised by Zuppa’s ride are donated to the Piscataway Regional Day School, which Caunt attended. Specifically, Zuppa has worked with the school to ensure that the funds are donated to one child of the schools choosing.

“Doing something you love to do without concern for personal gain or monetary reward, and giving it purpose and meaning by assisting someone in need, is simply the best.” Zuppa said of the annual ride.

After this year Zuppa has his eyes set on a few future rides. Most notably a trip to the Haleakala Volcano in Maui, Hawaii.

If you would like to sponsor Zuppa, donations can be made to One Man, One Bike, One Child, P.O. Box 1172, West Caldwell, NJ 07006.

For more information, please contact outreach@smbikecenter.com.

City of West Hollywood Approves Citywide Public Bikeshare Program

City of West Hollywood Approves Citywide Public Bikeshare Program

 New Service will Deploy 150 ‘Smart Bikes’ in 20 Self-Service Stations in West Hollywood

 Program is Anticipated to Launch in Spring 2016

 WEST HOLLYWOOD, August 19, 2015 – The City Council of the City of West Hollywood, at its regular meeting on Monday, August 17, 2015, approved the creation and implementation of a citywide public bikeshare program. West Hollywood’s new bikeshare, which is expected to launch in Spring 2016, will be operated by CycleHop, which plans and runs bikeshare programs throughout North America. CycleHop will also be launching compatible bikeshare programs in Santa Monica, in Beverly Hills, at UCLA, and in Long Beach in 2016.

“Bringing Bike Share to West Hollywood means more residents and visitors will have a transportation option that’s also great for a healthy lifestyle,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “The more bikers we have, the safer biking will become, which will eventually transform our
car-centric culture.”

West Hollywood’s bikeshare program will feature 150 Social Bicycles (“smart bikes”), which utilize wireless technology to allow riders to use a smartphone app to reserve bikes, pay for membership, and track and share ride data with friends in online social networks. The bicycles will feature light-emitting diode (LED) headlights and taillights, and cargo baskets. To tackle steep climbs to Sunset Strip, the smart bikes will feature eight gears. Twenty self-service stations will be constructed throughout the City, and the City will seek to locate a limited number of additional stations at key destinations outside City limits. The City will soon be launching a suggest-a-station website to solicit community input on desired bikeshare station locations citywide.

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‘It’s Like Riding a Bike’ Means Nothing to These Adults Trying to Learn – THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Santa Monica, Calif., has a thriving cycling culture, with an extensive network of bike lanes. A commuter bike-loan program facilitates cycling to work. The city plans to unveil a bike-share program in November. But even here, plenty of people have no clue how to ride.

RPA, a Santa Monica-based advertising agency, learned that after it launched a program among its staff that included a charitable incentive for cycling. “We realized some of our young associates weren’t participating because they don’t know how to bike,” said RPA’s Annie Elliott.

So the agency hired Ron Durgin, co-founder of Sustainable Streets, a nonprofit that offers cycling classes, to teach the few employees brave enough to admit their deficiency.

As dozens of cyclists whizzed by on a shorefront bike path, Mr. Durgin rolled out basic bikes with hand brakes and no gears for the apprentices. The biggest challenge is overcoming the fear of falling, he said. “Adults have all these psychological barriers that kids don’t have.”

EXCERPT – WALL STREET JOURNAL, MIRIAM JORDAN

 

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View the Full Article Here

New and Improved Bicycle Friendly Business Application!

With Aika Trading and Cyclepathic Fitness recently joining the ranks of Santa Monica most bicycle friendly businesses (see updated 2015 Santa Monica Bicycle Friendly Yearbook here), it’s time to let the business community know that the application has been updated and it is more efficient than ever!

The new format for the application includes multiple choice questions that allow for a faster and easier completion time (pilot testing reported average completion in 45 minutes). The new application also allows for quicker turn-around time on the designation and feedback reports. There is still plenty of opportunity for businesses to boast of their unique bicycle friendly efforts. There are now 4 deadlines per year, with the next one on July 15, 2015.

“Since the Bicycle Friendly Business program originally launched in 2008, nearly 1,300 businesses have applied, and over 960 businesses have been awarded the BFB designation.  Like the other Bicycle Friendly America programs, BFB applications have been on the rise in recent years, and we don’t expend this trend to change any time soon.  Here at the League, we have been thrilled to see growing enthusiasm for bicycling from among the private sector, and so we’re working hard to accommodate continued growth in demand for the BFB program.” – League of American Bicyclists

To support the continued growth of the Bicycle Friendly Business program, there is now an application fee, based on the number of employees at the location applying (only one location is allowed per application).  See the table below for pricing, including the discount through July 15!

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Useful Links:

BFB Applicatiion Preview

Attributes of BFB

BFB Overview Spring 2015

Full List of nationwide BFBs

Q&A with SMBC’s New General Manager!

As of May 1st long time employee, Andrea Aponte, officially became Bike Center General Manager. Ron Durgin remains a Managing Partner and is now overseeing implementation of Santa Monica’s new Bike Share. Andrea has been with us since opening day in November of 2011, working her way from Rental Assistant at the front desk to Assistant Manager and now General Manager. She’s also a certified League Cycling Instructor (teaching Adult Learn to Ride classes and Confident City Cycling classes).

1.How did you first become interested in cycling?

When I moved up to Los Angeles and began attending USC in 2004 I got back to riding a bike. I still owned a car at the time and it soon broke down on me. It was beyond repair so I decided to donate it and became inspired to practice what I preached in regards to my passion for the environment. I did not buy another car and instead started commuting by bicycle to campus and to my tutoring job in South LA. The more I rode, the more my interest grew. I started to educate myself and adopted a cycling lifestyle.

  1. What’s the story on your sweet pink road bike?

I’m not too much of a girly-girl, but my coral-colored Centurion Ironman bike is definitely the prettiest thing I own! The bike is about as old as I am, built around 1985. It totally compliments my love for all things vintage. It was a gift from my father-in-law, who’s also a cyclist. Despite its steel frame, I’ve now done two Centuries on it. One of its more interesting features is the small 24” front wheel.

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2015 Santa Monica Sustainable Quality Awards Bike Sponsorship

At this years 20th annual Sustainable Quality Awards, the Santa Monica Bike Center encouraged attendees to travel the emission free way to the most notable sustainable business event in Southern California. The Bike Center sponsored the ticket prices for the first 35 registrants that arrived by bike. This year’s initiative brought attention to the importance of bicycling as a direct way to reduce auto trips, meet GHG emission reduction commitments, and promote active living.

This sponsorship was a huge success, and over 30 people rode their bike to the event! This success reflects a dramatic increase in attendees who bicycled to the event. In 2014, only two people arrived to the Sustainable Quality Awards by bicycle.

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In 2010 the City of Santa Monica adopted its Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) as part of Santa Monica’s General Plan. One of the important goals stated in the plan is, “to achieve numbers like those in Davis, California, where bicycling trips represent up to 14 percent of work trips, and Copenhagen, Denmark, where the number rises to over 35 percent (Santa Monica LUCE, 4.0-34).” The Sustainable Quality Award event attracts 250 attendees. Applying the City’s 14% goal to the number of attendees, at least 35 people should arrive by bike.

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SMPD Joins Forces with Bike Center to Promote “Smart Cycling” in Santa Monica — SANTA MONICA NEXT

Smart Cycling from SMDP

When we published our Bicycle Action Plan update a couple weeks ago, we wanted to highlight all the work that has been done in the last three years since the plan had been approved to encourage more bike riding in Santa Monica.

While the BAP has plenty of bike lanes, sharerows, and other infrastructure improvements outlined in its 300 pages, it also includes a robust plan for education, which the BAP champions as an important component for improving safety for all road users, whether they are on foot, on a bike, or in a car.

That’s why the Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Division and Community Affairs teamed up with the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Bike Center, and Perry’s Cafe to create a comprehensive and illustrated guide to “Smart Cycling in Santa Monica.”

The guide, a four page color brochure, explains with clear graphics what the rights and responsibilities are for people riding bikes in the city.

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National Bike Challenge 2014 Results

Santa Monica Bike Center
outreach@smbikecenter.com

National Bike Challenge 2014 Results

In its third year, the League of American Bicyclists hosted the annual National Bike Challenge uniting over 47,000 bicyclists nationwide to compete for awards based on team, community, workplace, and individual performance. The Challenge motivates riders of all levels and experience to log bicycling miles for both transportation and sport.

Melissa Koepke, an employee of the Santa Monica Bike Center, states, “After seeing so many others commute by bike, it has made me appreciate my small commute that much more!”

In the workplace category, Santa Monica Bike Center employees pedaled over 17,000 miles to a first place finish in the Bike Shop/Bike Industry sub-category. Likewise, City of Santa Monica employees finished 26th out of 276 in their workplace category. Koepke adds, “I never added up the miles I would ride in a week until the bike challenge. It definitely makes me feel good to see the amount of miles I’ve ridden since the start of the challenge. It pushes me to want to do even more miles!”

The City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Bike Center and local advocates also joined forces to formulate a community-wide team called ‘Bike Santa Monica.’ City Manager, Rod Gould an avid rider for the team states, “In 2011 City Council made a significant community investment via the bicycle action plan.” Francie Stefan, another team rider and Transportation and Strategic Planning Manager for the City of Santa Monica, notes, “Santa Monica has seen an increase in bicycling by over 50% in only two years.”

Together team Bike Santa Monica placed 14th out of 1100 teams nationwide. “Nearly three years later, our success in the National Bike Challenge demonstrates the positive impact bicycling has in Santa Monica. To pedal 97,000 miles in five months is an outstanding accomplishment,” adds Rod Gould.

For a complete list of award winners and team results see the League of American Bicyclists news page. Each year the challenge improves and gets more competitive with more participants! We look forward to the 2015 Challenge! Pedal on and ride safe!

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How the National Bike Challenge Positively Impacts Cyclists in Santa Monica

The National Bike Challenge has swept through the Santa Monica cycling culture and empowered avid and new riders alike. Team Bike Santa Monica, a community-inspired team aimed at encouraging all skill-level riders, young and old, to keep track of their miles ridden each day and log them for the team. This camaraderie has given traction to several excellent cycling events, happy hours, socials, and rides that have benefited and improved the overall cycling fabric and community in Santa Monica.

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