Bicycle coalition awarded Kaiser grant

DOWNEY - The recently formed Downey Bicycle Coalition, in tandem with the City of Downey's Healthy Downey campaign, has been awarded a Kaiser Community Benefit Grant to support its activities in the Downey community.The DBC came into existence last December through the interests of a burgeoning group of cycling enthusiasts and environmental advocates. Thanks to the initiative of Roger Pardo, who now chairs the group, the DBC affiliated itself from the beginning with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, creating ties to a well-established organization promoting the advantages of bicycling countywide. Pardo and Eric Bruins, planning and policy director for the LACBC, collaborated in the submission of the Kaiser grant application. The DBC also dovetailed its efforts with those of local environmental activists Steve Perez and Alex Gaytan, who had begun monthly bicycle rides last fall, and is now sponsoring community bike rides on various routes throughout Downey every month, on the last Saturday of the month. Participation thus far has been in the range of thirty to over seventy riders, including families, beginning bicyclists, avid riders, and seniors. Beginners' bicycle training for children was also offered at the last ride. This increased bicycling activity is also taking place as the City is about to submit a Caltrans grant application to fund a Bicycle Transportation Plan, often called a Bicycle Master Plan, for the City of Downey. Such plans quantify the City's goals for improvements to bicycling accessibility and infrastructure and are keys to other funding opportunities through State and Federal agencies. The Downey Bicycle Coalition's next Community Bike Ride will take place on Saturday, March 30, at 8 a.m., starting at Furman Park, and making a 6-mile rectangular loop around the City, including City Hall. Rides are currently leisurely and social, designed to generate public awareness, but more ambitious, longer rides are also being planned.

********** Published: March 21, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 49