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.