Steve Clark Audits Long Beach

Allan Crawford introduces Steve Clark

Allan Crawford introduces Steve Clark

Today is Allan Crawford’s last day as the Long Beach Bicycle Coordinator. He’s hoping to go out with a new Gold rating, Bicycle Friendly Community-wise.

That’s why the League’s Steve Clark was in town. Steve’s doing audits of the BFCs throughout the west — last night it was time to share his observations.

We met in the Long Beach Library and Steve kept saying, “We have the room til 9pm,” but I never thought he’d have that much to say. Eventually Security came in to clear the room which was the only way this well-attended session was gonna break up.

Public Works was well represented – after all, it’s their handiwork that’s being judged. Everyone else that’s part of Long Beach’s bike royalty was present, too: Charlie Gandy, Georgia Case, Melissa Balmer, April Economides and others I was meeting for the first time.

Since my LB friends have taught me everything I know, I wanted to bring a couple of friends to this Ph.D.-level review of “The Most Bicycle Friendly City in America”.

Long Beach is clearly on its way to earning that distinction. Steve’s PowerPoint slides included more than a few shots of Long Beach infrastructure — a dead give-away of the esteem the city has earned.

Will he walk out with the Gold? Allan’s done an amazing job improving conditions for cyclists. A Silver-rating would be nothing to turn your nose up at either.

As I sat in the audience I experienced many emotions — comparisons to Long Beach point to so many places where we need a lot of improvement. Long Beach doesn’t have to contend with Levels of Service as mandated in our case by OCTA – some of our obstacles are institutionalized.

Steve held his biggest critique for the end of the evening – equity, as the League calls the 6th “E”. Mayoral candidate Doug Otto arrived late, but echoed similar sentiments,

In 10 years Long Beach will be 70% Hispanic, yet they’re not here at the table.

Crawford’s successor will inherit a great foundation, but there’s still a lot of opportunities to improve cycling in Long Beach.

well-attended

 

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Frank Peters

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