Hoping For A Breath of Fresh Air (Quality)

Assistant Coordinator Emily Dwyer w/the new LADOT Bike Program trailer at CicLAvia

Hi all, I’m new to the LADOT Bike Blog and wanted to introduce myself before diving into my first blog post. My name is Emily Dwyer and I got my first introduction to bicycling in Los Angeles (as a viable transportation option) by interning for the Department of City Planning, where I helped to create maps for the 2010 Bike Plan. Having grown up in a suburb of Los Angeles, I had been pleasantly surprised by the freedom I felt by not owning a car while an undergraduate student in Western Massachusetts. After moving back to Los Angeles, and eventually beginning the graduate planning program at USC, I began orienting my life around being able to take advantage of the rich transit and biking options LA has to offer. Inspired by the Bike Plan, I came to DOT in hopes of finding and pursuing ways to tangibly make the landscape of Los Angeles more bicycle friendly. I’m looking forward to sharing with you some of my adventures.

Last week, I attended the first event of the season for the 4th Annual BREATHE LA Green Salon Series, hosted by Breathe California of Los Angeles County (BREATHE LA). This year they are focusing their series on leveraging mobility to improve Los Angeles County’s air quality. Their events are free and open to the public, requiring merely an RSVP. To join in the next Green Salon or get highlights from ones you may have missed, go to www.breathela.org.

I learned that there is a commitment across the city, from a variety of partners, to make alternative modes of transportation (transit and walking and bicycling) more attractive to residents, from the national efforts of America Fast Forward to the involvement of the Bus Riders Union in a national coalition called Transit Riders for Public Transportation. While the salon I attended focused largely on public transportation, the fact that there is leadership within Los Angeles spearheading a national effort to redirect federal funds to support alternative means of transportation was heartening.

Be sure to check out pending CA legislation that could have a big impact for bikes, much of it courtesy of Transportation for America’s efforts. SB 582 would make commuting by bike cheaper for you, granting employers a tax benefit for having employees use pre-tax dollars to commute by bike, vanpool or transit. AB 147 would broaden the scope of transportation impacts in need of mitigation fees beyond those currently assessed (as they relate to bridges, roads, and highways) but also as they effect bicyclists, walkers, and transit users.

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