L.A. Introduces Bike-Friendly Districts

Will stimulate local commerce, fight smog

Feb 20, 2014
Outside Magazine

Surfing and bicycling go together like peanut butter and jelly.    Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Los Angeles might be known for its smog, and California's signature green city might be San Francisco, but those stereotypes aren't stopping the City of Angels from rolling out an initiative that exercise fiends and environmentalists alike will appreciate.

Los Angeles plans to develop a Bicycle Friendly Business District (BFBD) program to encourage bicycling in commercial areas, according to TreeHugger. The program will begin in Northeast Los Angeles before expanding to other parts of the city.

Documentation from the L.A. Department of Transportation lists the benefits, which include encouraging dining and shopping, prompting business growth, providing more parking for establishments, and supporting bicycling as a healthy, environmentally beneficial mode of transit.

LADOT chose Northeast L.A. because of its many commercial properties and conditions that will help with future evaluation: existing transit infrastructure, built environment, and the income and ages of its residents. In short, the area provides officials with lots of ways to see how the program might prosper in greater Los Angeles.

The city hopes to incorporate aspects of bike-friendly programs in Santa Monica and Long Beach, as well as New York City's, when launching the bike districts.

Los Angeles might just now be getting on the biking bandwagon, but we've been preaching its benefits for a long time. A 2013 study found that bike commuters are happiest—and cycling to work has been on the rise, if only because it's good for the soul.

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