A recent University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study found that twice as many cyclists are killed by cars in L.A. as they are nationally.
Bad news for the bike set?
Not at L.A. City Hall, the home of magical thinking.
City officials planned to announce this morning that …
… Los Angeles is getting a “bronze award” as one of the top three bicycle-friendly communities in the nation. (The other two are Nashville and Miami). It's given by the Bicycle Friendly Community Program of the League of American Cyclists.
What, you say, a top award for this home of the hit-and-run?
Yeah. A city press release gushes:
As of 2012, 500 communities have applied, but only 215 have been awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum designation. This is the first time the City of Los Angeles, ranked a Bronze status, has been awarded a designation of any type. L.A. has supported the cycling community in recent years with the approval of the 2010 Bicycle Master Plan. This has led to the addition of 75 miles of bikeways in 2011 alone and sets the stage for 1600 miles of bikeways over the next 30 years. The City has also aggressively increased bicycle parking, incorporated bicycle friendly streets, and has tried out innovations like green bike lanes and bicycle corrals.
To be fair, we do have CicLAvia, the closed-street ride through L.A. that has delighted many in the two-wheeled world.
(And by the way, the blog Native Angeleno and others have questioned the Michigan study, noting that the results could simply mean L.A. has a lower proportion of car fatalities versus pedestrians and bicyclists, not that the latter two are so much greater than the national average. Or something like that),
But we're sure some of the more ardent bike activists concerned with bicycle-versus-car accidents in this town will raise their eyebrows at this award.