By Lookout Staff
May 4 – Santa Monica was awarded a Bronze level distinction by The League of American Bicyclists for the beachside city’s “remarkable commitments to bicycling,” the group announced Friday.
Santa Monica and Long Beach, which was among this year’s honorees, are the first cities in western Los Angeles County to win the prestigious award. They join Claremont and Santa Clarita, which are previous winners.
The award recognizes the 8.3-square-mile city’s efforts to make bicycling a major mode of transportation by providing 16 miles of bike lanes, 19 miles of bike routes, and a 3 mile Beach Bike Path.
City officials also have made bicycling a key component of the Land Use and Circulation Element Strategy Framework that will dictate where development will take place and how traffic will flow over the next quarter century.
Santa Monica’s Bicycle Valet program offered free of charge at community events year round parked more than 20,000 bikes last year.
The City has also installed bicycle racks on Second Street and plans to install others on the cross streets to the Promenade and Fourth Street, the public parking structures and Santa Monica Place.
In addition, the City is planning a Bike to Work Day on May 14.
Municipalities are recognized for their role in actively supporting cycling for fun, fitness and transportation and are judged by their record in promoting bicycling in five key categories: education, engineering, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation, according to the league.
Nationally, 108 of the 274 communities that have applied have been honored, representing some 37 states.
“This designation is one with real meaning—it is difficult to earn, and all applications are carefully evaluated by a team of local cyclists, national experts, and League of American Bicyclists staff,” City officials said in a statement.