City of Long Beach Named Bicycle-Friendy Community

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bike-friendly-communityThe City of Long Beach has been recognized as a Bike Friendly Community (BFC) by the American League of Bicyclists continuing the City’s aggressive efforts to become the most bike friendly urban city in the nation. Part of this effort includes the appointment of a new City Mobility Coordinator, Charles Gandy, a recognized bicycling authority to spearhead community efforts.

The City of Long Beach was awarded a Bronze-Level Bicycle-Friendly Community Award from the League and is one of 13 communities throughout the United States that has been newly recognized this month for providing safe accommodations and facilities for bicyclists and encouraging residents to bike for transportation and recreation.

“The League is delighted to recognize the City of Long Beach for its efforts to welcome bicyclists and make bicycling safer and more enjoyable,” stated League President Andy Clarke. “We applaud the City of Long Beach and our other BFC winners for their willingness to invest over the long-term in creating a better, more livable environment for their citizens.”

Applicant communities are judged in five categories – Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate significant achievements in each of the five categories in order to be considered for an award. The program is revolutionizing the way states and communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress and work toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. The top levels are Gold and then Platinum.

“Being awarded this prestigious distinction is exciting and will help us plan how we are going to take cycling in Long Beach to the next level,“ said Mayor Bob Foster. “We see nothing short of a platinum-level designation in our future.”

The Bike Friendly Community’s reviewers were impressed with Long Beach’s efforts to experiment with multiple types of bicycle street treatments to improve bicycle access, safety and convenience. Specifically, the City plans to:
Install dedicated bike lanes on Broadway and 3rd Street in Downtown Long Beach to encourage residents, families, and visitors to participate in a more bike friendly Downtown;
Enhance Vista Avenue to become a bike boulevard to provide a safe route to school for students at Lowell Elementary and Rogers Middle School on the east and Horace Mann Elementary on the west end of Vista; and
Install green painted bike lanes with sharrows on 2nd Street to encourage cyclists to use the streets instead of the sidewalks in this busy shopping district and neighborhood.

These bicycle street treatments will provide the City with an opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness and through community feedback, determine whether they should be replicated in other neighborhoods, and incorporated into the Bicycle Master Plan.

Long Beach Hires Mobility Coordinator

The City has hired a new City Mobility Coordinator to work with members of the community to improve the livability of Long Beach. Charles Gandy, a nationally recognized bicycling authority, will focus on identifying ways to promote and encourage physical activity through walking and bicycling, and he will work with local cyclists and neighborhoods to identify programs and physical improvements to promote more healthy modes of transportation. Gandy was selected for his expertise in bicycling and pedestrian transport, and urban design. Gandy has experience working as a community organizer and an executive director for the Texas Bicycle Coalition, an advocacy director for the Bicycle Federation of America in Washington, D.C., and an urban design consultant for cities in all 50 states.

Funding for the Mobility Coordinator position is provided by the PLACE Grant, a three-year grant award from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, for the creation of more livable communities.

Bicycle-Friendly Community

The League’s Bicycle Friendly America family of programs recognizes states, communities and businesses for their efforts to promote bicycling. The League’s bicycle Friendly Community Campaign is a national grassroots effort to increase the number of trips made by bike, promote physical fitness and help make communities more livable.

For more information about the bicycling in the City of Long Beach, please visit www.bikelongbeach.org, the City’s new cutting-edge bike website that promotes all things bike in Long Beach.

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