The organization known as Walk Bike Glendale has a reputation in our community for supporting walking and biking for all ages and abilities by focusing on building partnerships with community organizations and businesses to improve the quality of life for all of Glendale’s employees, residents and visitors. We meet the challenges associated with Glendale’s poor traffic record with regards to safety, speeding, aggressive and distracted driving by repeated contact with educational messages in a professional tone. Relationships with the press and the city agencies have been cultivated, with particular focus on the rights of pedestrians and bicyclists and the benefits of complete streets.
As stated in our 2014-2016 strategic plan, our goals included the acquisition of grants to support and expand capacity for events, educational activities and advocacy work. To these ends, we partnered with Glendale Healthy Kids and the Glendale Community Free Health Clinic to secure a $5000 grant from Dignity Health with the aim of funding the “Kids Bike Safety & Skills Workshop.” The event was held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 10am to 2pm at the Pacific Community Center. A total of 75 children were offered free helmets with fitting, free bicycle repairs, and a series of bicycle safety drills under the supervision of League Certified Instructors (LCI).
We possess a wide variety of professional skills, technical knowledge and personal connections within the ranks of our 86 active members. The volunteer steering committee met regularly to plan events, educational activities and to promote advocacy campaigns. The steering committee in 2015 was comprised of approximately 15% of our active members. The year 2015 kicked off with a Happy Hour at The Moose Den, on Brand Boulevard, on January 15. Thereafter, steering committee meetings took place on the second Monday of all 11 months at the Glendale Arts Community Room located on the first floor of the Orange Parking Garage at 118 W. California Ave. from 7:00-8:30pm. Meetings are open to the public and anyone who is interested in improving conditions for walking and bicycling in Glendale is encouraged to attend. You do not need to be a steering committee member to attend. Steering Committee Meetings are the best way to learn about what Walk Bike Glendale is up to and find out how you can get involved.
Steering committee members are encouraged to attend trainings and development opportunities to expand the knowledge base and capacity of the organization. Investing in Place together with our larger organization, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), in partnership with the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists hosted an Advocacy Advance workshop entitled “Increasing Funds for Active Transportation” on May 1, 2015 in Los Angeles. The member who attended this workshop, presented some of his findings at the CalBike Summit on October 26, 2015 in a session titled “The First and Last Several Miles: Bicycle Access to Transit.” Another steering committee member attended Interbike, which is North America’s largest bicycle trade event and show. Interbike is over 750 companies representing more than 1200 brands – a one stop opportunity to connect with the entire bicycle industry.
Walk Bike Glendale aims to advocate for vibrant and safe places to walk and bike, promote walking and bicycling as fun and sustainable alternatives to driving, educate to increase safety on our streets, and inspire the community to get involved and make a difference.
The bicycling events we organize range from small (4 riders) to large (130 riders). Responsible Road Rides are designed to treat riders who are intermediate in experience to a long ride (25-40 miles) starting and ending in Glendale. There were three Responsible Road Rides in 2015:
- · From Glendale to Burbank (25 miles) – stop at Priscilla’s Café (March 8)
- · From Glendale to Pasadena (28 miles) – stop at Starbucks (March 29)
- · From Glendale to Sylmar (38 miles) – stop at Hansen Dam (April 26)
Walk Bike Glendale supports car-free transportation to cycling-themed events. Some of the largest events in Southern California are CicLAvias, an event patterned after the street closures in Bogota, Columbia which were implemented to reduce pollution and increase the health of the community:
- · CicLAvia feeder ride to The Valley (March 22)
- · CicLAvia feeder ride to Pasadena (May 31)
- · CicLAvia feeder ride to Heart of LA (October 12)
Bike to Work Day is an annual event held on various days in the spring across the United States and Canada that promotes the bicycle as an option for commuting to work. Walk Bike Glendale hosted a series of events in honor of this international campaign on May 14:
- · Bicycle Pit Stop @ Sonora and Flower
- · Commuter Bike Train from Glendale to Pasadena City Hall
- · Handlebar Happy Hour at the Moose Den
The walking events we hosted in 2015 are listed below:
- · Geology Hike at Duekmejian Wilderness Park (March 7)
- · Walk to Space 134 Festival and Earth Day! (May 2)
- · Fourth Annual Zombie Walk (October 24)
Events to promote safe cycling are a big part of our mission as an organization. The events listed below included tabling events, where information such as how to repair flat tires and what are the laws regarding vehicular cycling and free reflective bands were distributed. A permanent art installation featuring two cyclists and two pedestrians was created on Foothill Boulevard:
- · USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Health Fair (May 2)
- · City of Glendale, CA : Beyond The Box – Utility Box Murals (May 2)
- · City of Glendale’s 22nd Annual Cruise Night (August 29)
Large bicycle events hosted or attended by WBG members are listed below. Research by Peter Jacobsen of Pasadena showed that there is “Safety in Numbers.” Increasing the number of cyclists on the roadways increases the safety for all cyclists since common occurrences are more easily detectable by the human mind. Events in 2015 that served this part of our mission are listed below:
- · Jewel City Ride (June 7)
- “Kids’ Bike Safety & Skills Workshop.” T September 12, 2015
Some events took place in daylight, others were at night. Education of cyclists, including children, about the equipment required by law for night riding was a component of these events:
- · Ice Cream Social Ride (August 19)
- · Ambulante Film Festival “Bikes vs. Cars” (October 4)
- · Holiday Lights Ride (December 20)
Taken together, these 21 events represent a banner year for our organization, bringing us closer to realizing the elements outlined in our strategic plan. Walk Bike Glendale is in a strong position to provide community service hours for high school and other students. We hope to expand our volunteer base, so please join us in 2016. Partnerships with Rotary and other local groups assisted in elevating the profile of walking and biking in our Jewel City.