Support our Campaign for Bike Lanes in Skid Row


Click HERE to sign a petition in support of our campaign for Bike Lines in Skid Row.

For more information on this campaign and our July 8th community bike ride read below.

19800614_10154795536357473_7191868320333753553_o “Ride On! LA CAN leads community bike ride to demand bike lanes for Skid Row”
Written by Daniel Capparella and Ellen Hee
Why is it that almost all parts of Downtown Los Angeles have bike lanes but Skid Row does not? On Saturday, July 8, LA CAN organized a mass bike ride to address this question. This type of bike lane inequity is a direct result of the historical disinvestment and devaluing of residents in Skid Row. The bike lane on 7th from Figueroa to Spring creates a literal divide between the affluent areas of DTLA and the under-resourced community of Skid Row. The ride on Saturday served as a call to action towards Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Huizar, and all those who have continuously ignored our demands for public safety.

According to organizers, the ride was the first of many rides to come as part of a campaign for better bike infrastructure in a neighborhood with more bikers than drivers. Around 50 riders arrived at LA CAN on Saturday at 1pm to prep for the ride – with many receiving repairs for broken tubes, flat tires, and mangled chains. Shortly before hitting the streets, organizers Ariana Alcaraz and General Dogon provided a short history of the neglect that Skid Row has experienced in terms of public safety and pumped the riders up to take to the streets and demand justice for the community.

19780543_862465870719_9037625169489583996_o“Bike Rides are a great tool for community organizing because not only are they fun, but you get to be creative in how you express your message and your demands in different places in a short amount of time,” said Alcaraz. Despite the 100-degree heat, riders took to the streets around 2pm and began their route from Central Ave and 6th and made their first stop at City Hall – nearly taking up the whole street with dozens of colorful and unique bikes. City Hall was the first of three stops intended to educate riders about the issue at hand. The importance of involving Skid Row’s Councilmember Huizar in the implementation of bike lanes was expressed at this stop, as well as a call for a study to be done by the Department of Transportation on the feasibility of bike lanes on 5th and 6th.

The mass of bikes then progressed to the Los Angeles Poverty Department on Broadway, where riders were provided with refreshments from Skid Row Coffee to combat the increasing temperatures. After this stop riders stopped in several intersections, such as Broadway and 5th and Main and 6th, waved their Orange LA CAN bandanas and directed the 50+ riders to move in a circle while chanting “Skid Row Bike Lanes!”

“I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were no police the entire ride, and I was very impressed at how patient the drivers were when we obstructed traffic,” said Matt Horns.” The ride continued onto the last stop at LAPD Central Division. In front of the mural that decorates the front of the building, Pete White, LA CAN Founder and Executive Director, gave a powerful speech regarding the “dirty divide” in Downtown LA and the lack of access to public safety and public health in Skid Row. One rider, Donald Capparella, described his first time at an LA CAN event, “I was inspired to be a part of a very important protest. The fact that the bike ride and the circles in the intersection were so connected with the goal (the bike lanes) was really smart.”

The ride concluded with a barbeque and awards contest, in which most creatively decorated bike and best show bike awards were given out. This first ride, like many other LA CAN battles for equity, was just the beginning in a fight for a simple but import public safety measure in the Skid Row community. Next steps include a meeting with the office of Councilmember Huizar as well as Mayor Garcetti in hopes of putting bike lanes in Skid Row.

According to organizers, the ride was the first of many rides to come as part of a campaign for better bike infrastructure in a neighborhood with more bikers than drivers. Around 50 riders arrived at LA CAN on Saturday at 1pm to prep for the ride – with many receiving repairs for broken tubes, flat tires, and mangled chains. Shortly before hitting the streets, organizers Ariana Alcaraz and General Dogon provided a short history of the neglect that Skid Row has experienced in terms of public safety and pumped the riders up to take to the streets and demand justice for the community.

“Bike Rides are a great tool for community organizing because not only are they fun, but you get to be creative in how you express your message and your demands in different places in a short amount of time,” said Alcaraz. Despite the 100-degree heat, riders took to the streets around 2pm and began their route from Central Ave and 6th and made their first stop at City Hall – nearly
taking up the whole street with dozens of
colorful and unique bikes.

19780335_10154795580677473_2252986367705741728_oCity Hall was the first of three stops intended to educate riders about the issue at hand. The importance of involving Skid Row’s Councilmember Huizar in the implementation of bike lanes was expressed at this stop, as well as a call for a study to be done by the Department of Transportation on the feasibility of bike lanes on 5th street and 6th street.

The mass of bikes then progressed to the Los Angeles Poverty Department on Broadway, where riders were provided with refreshments from Skid Row Coffee to combat the increasing temperatures. After this stop riders stopped in several intersections, such as Broadway and 5th and Main and 6th, waved their Orange LA CAN bandanas and directed the 50+ riders to move in a circle while chanting “Skid Row Bike Lanes!”

“I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were no police the entire ride, and I was very impressed at how patient the drivers were when we obstructed traffic,” said Matt Horns.” The ride continued onto the last stop at LAPD Central Division. In front of the mural that decorates the front of the building, Pete White, LA CAN Founder and Executive Director, gave a powerful speech regarding the “dirty divide” in Downtown LA and the lack of access to public safety and public health in Skid Row.

One rider, Donald Capparella, described his first time at an LA CAN event, “I was inspired to be a part of a very important protest. The fact that the bike ride and the circles in the intersection were so connected with the goal (the bike lanes) was really smart.”

The ride concluded with a barbeque and awards contest, in which most creatively decorated bike and best show bike awards were given out. This first ride, like many other LA CAN battles for equity, was just the beginning in a fight for a simple but important public safety measure in the Skid Row community.

Next steps include a meeting with the offices of Councilmember Huizar and Mayor Garcetti in hopes of putting bike lanes in Skid Row.