Why You Should Ride to CicLAvia on October 18 with BikeSafeUSC

Cancel all your plans! CicLAvia is coming back to town on October 18 in the Heart of LA (HOLA). Five years and 14 events after the first historic CicLAvia ride on 10/10/10, the ride returns to its roots in Downtown LA. If you don’t know how or where to get more info or join the epic event-filled day, or if you are interested in meeting new and interesting people, or if you just want to be part of a movement reshaping LA, there is a group for you! BikeSafeUSC is a coalition of University of Southern California (USC) campus groups uniting students, staff and community to plan a feeder ride to the CicLAvia.

Archival shot from CicLAvia Heart of LA in 2011. Looking forward to recreating this magic 4 years later and greater! Source: CicLAvia

BikeSafeUSC’s mission is to promote bike safety in anticipation of the changes coming to USC campus, including the new protected bicycle lanes on Figueroa. Formed this summer based on a growing list of USC staff and student groups, the coalition is highlighting the need for improved bicycle safety through education and infrastructure enhancements. The group is coordinating with the City of LA to conduct outreach and education around the MyFig streetscape project, coming soon in 2017.

Coalition members gather for the second on-campus meeting to discuss ride planning and logistics

The My Figueroa Project will be in construction during 2016. Many upgrades are planned for the corridor. Protected bicycle lanes will separate people on bicycles from people in cars, on buses and in trucks. Transit islands will facilitate bus boarding and alighting. Sidewalk improvements will create safer and more pleasant places for people on foot. Two stage queue boxes will help people on bikes make turning movements onto east-west streets. New signals will facilitate more efficient movements through intersections. All of these improvements are generally new to Los Angeles.

David Somers (DCP), project manager for the MyFig education and outreach campaign dives into the history of the project

To help provide outreach and education around the new elements being introduced by this project, last year the Department of City Planning and Los Angeles Department of Transportation received a Metro ExpressLanes grant to work with residents, businesses, and communities surrounding the project. The goals are two fold – to notify corridor users the of the changes in advance of project construction AND to provide education on basic bike safety skills required to use the new facilities, once they are on the ground. BikeSafeUSC was formed to support this campaign, especially disseminating information on and around the USC campus.

Join the Ride!

USC Bicycle Coalition’s 2014 Bike Ride to CicLAvia rolling with the East Side Riders as Ride Marshalls in high visibility vests. Source: BikeUSC

The BikeSafeUSC campaign will kick off on Tuesday, October 13 at 1:30 pm with outreach for the upcoming Bike on Fig to CicLAvia event on Sunday October 18. The October 13 afternoon event is coordinated by the USC Bicycle Coalition with assistance from the Environmental Students Assembly and Associated Students of Planning and Development. Department of Public Safety (DPS) will set up a table to provide on-site campus bike registration. In support of the feeder ride, CicLAvia representatives will be present to answer questions about the upcoming open streets event on 10/18.

Following that outreach event, USC students and nearby residents of all ages are invited to gather at Pardee Plaza, located at the souther end of Trousdale Parkway adjacent to Exposition Boulevard, at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 18 for Bike on Fig to CicLAvia. To help people get ready, free bike skills training will be offered to help master skills like scanning, signaling, merging and turning left just prior to departure. And to help people navigate back home, free bicycle lights will be available for people that join the ride. Other giveaways and useful guides like bike safety information and bike maps from the City of LA and Metro will be distributed during the event.

The epic Bike on Fig to CicLAvia ride will then depart north on Trousdale Parkway, east on Jefferson, and north on Figueroa toward CicLAvia. Along the way, people will be able to reimagine the street with improvements like efficient bus boardings and a protected lane for people on bikes. The ride will join CicLAvia at the 7th and Figueroa entrance. From there, people can stay together or go off on their own to explore the bustling businesses and people filled streets awaiting them in Downtown, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, East LA and MacArthur Park. Don’t miss your chance to experience the Spheres of Hope at MacArthur Park, extended through CicLAvia!

Spheres of Hope fill MacArthur Park, as seen from a birdseye view Source: Spheres of Hope

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