You’ve seen the warning signs: "405 will close -- Route 10 to 101." In a city whose core business is making sequels, Los Angeles couldn’t pass up an opportunity to bring you Carmageddon II, the closure of the 405 Freeway that begins this evening, Fri. Sept. 28. As members of the Culver City Bicycle Coalition we thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce ourselves, and to encourage Culver City residents to come celebrate Carmageddon with us on a group ride this Sat. Sept. 29.
The CCBC will be joining other local chapters of the LA County Bicycle Coalition to lead Bike Carmageddon -- Westside Ride, which is generously supported by Metro’s Bike Program. We will be meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the Culver City Expo Line Station. Riders will be able take a full tour of the Westside (22 miles), or just a smaller Culver City Loop (8 miles). The bicycle ride will be family-friendly, and riders can join the main group at other places, including the McConnell entrance to the Ballona Creek Bike Path. Check out www.ccbike.org for more details.
Culver City residents also have some other opportunities to support walking and biking in Culver City. International Walk To School Day is coming up on Wed. Oct. 3. Many local schools will be participating, including El Marino, Farragut, La Ballona, and Linwood Howe, which will be doing its annual walk from City Hall to the school that morning at a.m. Residents can also help encourage Culver City to move forward in its implementation of the Safe Routes To School grants. You can sign the petition of support on the CCBC website (www.ccbike.org).
And here are some musings on Carmageddon and Culver City from the members of the Culver City Bicycle Coalition:
Jim Shanman, Founder, Walk ‘n Rollers:
We are provided with a unique opportunity to explore our city not just from a new perspective, but with new friends. It's a chance to experience a simpler, healthier lifestyle in a safe, family-friendly fashion that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City Councilmember:
Last “Carmageddon" was a bike heaven. CCBC hosted a bike valet at the Eat Real Festival in the Helms Bakery complex. We parked over 600 bikes that weekend. It was the perfect excuse for people to go "car free," and enjoy the fun of a good ride on a beautiful day.
Steve Herbert, Chief Engineer at KCRW:
Carmageddon is like a local holiday, offering a break from the usual hustle and bustle centered on the 405, hurrying back and forth across the region It allows us to focus on our own local communities and
experience our local surroundings at a more relaxed place, something which is perfectly suited to a bicycle. The Westside is very ride able and easy to get around by bike if you give it a chance. Carmageddon offers everyone that chance.
Eric Bruins, Planning and Policy Director at LA County Bicycle Coalition:
I chose Culver City because it is an easy place to live my daily life without driving, so not being allowed to drive is a gentle reminder of why I fell in love with this part of town to begin with. While most people might describe our location in proximity to the 405 and 10 freeways, we're also very much on the transit grid with the Metro 733 Rapid on Venice, Culver City Bus Rapid 6 on Sepulveda, and frequent local bus service on other major routes. The recent addition of the Expo Line to this mix makes transit all the more convenient for trips near and far. Culver City also has an excellent grid of quiet neighborhood streets that allow people to bike from one end of town to the other without touching the major boulevards. And for those of us lucky enough to live walking distance from downtown, we can enjoy all the food and drink on offer without worrying about parking (or driving home after). Not driving for a weekend makes this weekend just like any other.
Brian Treanor, Professor of Philosophy and Director of Environmental Studies at Loyola Marymount University:
Like Eric, I chose to move to Culver City in part because it would enable me to leave the car in the driveway unless I was taking a trip outside the greater Los Angeles area. So, Carmageddon won't be "forcing" me to do anything I don't normally choose to do. In Culver City we are fortunate in that we can easily and safely bike to restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, art galleries, the market (including our very own Farmer's Market), and, in my case, to work. What Carmageddon may well mean for me is that the bike-centric lifestyle I've chosen will be a bit different. Fewer cars mean less traffic and noticeably cleaner air. The inconvenience of Carmageddon means that I'll likely encounter even more of my friends and neighbors on their own bikes. In short, Carmageddon may well provide me with a taste of what our city could become as bicycle, pedestrian, and alternative transportation initiatives begin to gain momentum: a cleaner, quieter, healthier, more social, happier community.
Darren Kessner, Computational Biologist / Software Developer:
Culver City is a little oasis in the middle of Los Angeles -- we have great parks and a huge variety of local businesses, all accessible by walking, biking, and public transportation. Every city must find a way to ensure sustainability into the future, and Culver City is moving on the right track, as it continues to make bicycle and pedestrian improvements around town. Culver City residents make a choice every time they leave home -- walk, bike, take public transportation, or drive. As a city, our goal should be to make it easy for residents to choose not to drive.