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Santa Monica Wins Kudos for Bike Initiatives

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

By Lookout Staff
May 15, 2013 -- Two major bicycle advocacy groups recognized Santa Monica this week for its efforts to get people pedaling in the beachside city.

The League of American Bicyclists recognized Santa Monica as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Silver Level, while Walk Score, a national organization devoted to promoting walkable neighborhoods, named it the nation’s fifth most “bikeable” city.

Walk Score gave the city an 83 Bike Score based on bike infrastructure (lanes and trails), hills, destinations and road connectivity, and the number of bike commuters.

The League’s Bicycle Friendly Community “Silver” award recognizes communities that “actively support bicycling,” offer “safe accommodation” for cycling and encourage biking for transportation and recreation, according to the group’s web site.

“The Bicycle Friendly Community Silver award is presented only to communities with remarkable commitments to bicycling,” said Nicole Wynands, program manager for the League. “You should be very proud of this accomplishment.”

The award will be presented Wednesday to Mayor Pam O’Connor by Jennifer Klausner, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Before the award presentation behind City Hall, Santa Monica Spoke and City staff will lead a bicycle tour highlighting new bicycle facilities and honoring Bike Week.  Cyclists are invited to gather for the ride at 3:30 p.m. The ride will take place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
“Santa Monica has embraced bicycling as one of the most important strategies to help achieve its environmental, economic and quality of life goals and adopted an award-winning Bike Action Plan in November 2011,” City officials said in a statement. 

“Since then, the City has invested heavily in bicycling, in both programs: education, events, awareness, enforcement, -- and facilities: parking, lanes, sharrows, and signal detection,” officials said.
The $2 million Santa Monica's Bike Center - - the largest in the country - - recently marked its 18th month and has won over more than 200 members who use the facility on a regular basis.

The 5,300-square-foot center offers some 350 secure bike parking spaces, showers, lockers and the City's only year-round bike valet service. Located in the Public Parking Structure at Second Street and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica Place, the bike center opened in November 2011 as part of the City's comprehensive plan to get more people to ride bikes.

The League of American Bicyclists added 17 cities to its list of Bicycle Friendly Communities, bringing the total to 259 cities in 47 states.

“The BFC program is helping transform the way communities evaluate quality of life by assessing investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and municipal policies,” league officials said.

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