Green L.A. Sign-On Letter Regarding City Bike Plan

4 June 2009

Here’s the text of letter that the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition brought to the Green L.A. Coalition Transportation Work Group for discussion and sign-ons.  The final letter below was sent to Mayor Villaraigosa on May 22nd.  At that time, the new city bike plan, which was slated for draft release in late 2008, had been stalled for half a year – in departmental review.  Advocate pressure has resulted in the city releasing its draft bike plan maps of bike facilities.  Though there’s plenty more to do as the maps appear less than adequate to green transportation advocates, the draft proposals are at least being aired with public discussion and input, which is a small victory that the Green L.A. Transportation Work Group played a role in.

May 22, 2009

The Honorable Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
200 North Spring Street, Room 303
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

The undersigned are members of the Green LA Coalition Transportation Work Group. We write to urge you to prioritize the prompt release and approval of the new City of Los Angeles Bicycle Plan.

Los Angeles has some of highest levels of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, largely due to our excessive dependence on automobiles. Our children are facing problems of obesity. More people are developing asthma and heart conditions. The new city of Los Angeles Bicycle Plan offers L.A. an opportunity to improve many of our worst environmental and quality of life problems.

You are already well aware that bicycles are a very important piece of a broad green mobility agenda. We applaud your Plan on Energy and Environment and on Traffic and Transportation, and its focus on improving public health and increasing public transit use. Bicycling improves public health. Bikes also make public transit more effective. The number of people using a bicycle as a mode of transportation is steadily rising. It is an inexpensive transportation alternative accessible to all Angelenos, including many immigrants. By creating safer and more efficient ways to travel by bike, you will help get people out of their cars, and improve public health, air quality and transportation equity.

As you know, the departments of Planning and Transportation are in the process of updating the city’s Bicycle Plan. The new bicycle plan was due to be released in late 2008, but has been delayed. We urge you to prioritize the prompt release and approval of the new City of Los Angeles Bicycle Plan.

Please work with your planning and transportation staff to ensure that the new plan is a visionary one that will brings Los Angeles closer to your goal of becoming the greenest big city in the world. Let’s work together to approve the plan, so the city can be poised for capitalizing on implementation opportunities including this year’s federal transportation bill authorization and potential future federal economic stimulus.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Taylor
Work Group Coordinator, Green LA Coalition

Ron Milam 
BikeSage

Marlene Grossman

Colleen Callahan
Manager of Air Quality Policy & Advocacy, American Lung Association in California

Joe Linton
Program Associate, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute

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