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What L.A.'s New Bike Plan Means For Cyclists—and the City

Today, Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa signs a comprehensive new bike plan for the city. We asked local experts what it means for cyclists.



Despite Los Angeles' near-perfect weather, mostly-flat terrain, and an enthusiastic biking community, cyclists in L.A. still remain second-class citizens behind those piloting automobiles through the city. After yesterday's City Council ruling, that all could change. The 2010 Bike Plan, to be signed this morning, is perhaps the most ambitious pro-cyclist action in L.A. history, designating a 1,680-mile bikeway system and sweeping new bike-friendly policies.

The plan promises several changes for L.A. bikers: the Citywide Bikeway System [PDF] will introduce three new interconnected bike path networks—Backbone (long crosstown routes on busy streets), Neighborhood (short connectors through small streets) and Green (along recreation areas)—throughout the city, a new pledge for Bicycle Friendly Streets will make streets more pleasant for riders and walkers, and a series of education programs and safety policies will help cars and cyclists co-exist (you can download the entire plan here). Of course, this is just a plan, and one that's long overdue—for more on that, read last week's cover story in the LA Weekly. The real challenges may prove to be finding the proper funding to drive the plan towards implementation. That will take some massive commitment on behalf of the city.

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KCET Tells the Real Story of the Misunderstood Los Angeles River

A new series by local public television station KCET uncovers stories surrounding one of the world's most misunderstood bodies of water.



There is perhaps no body of water more misunderstood than the Los Angeles River. What other concrete-lined waterway winds almost imperceptibly through the center of a major metropolitan area, swirling with both the mythology of Terminator and actual (yes!) fish? But most Angelenos don't know even a basic history of the river itself. Most people wouldn't know, for example, that until the 1800s the river flowed into the Pacific at Marina del Rey; a flash flood in 1825 diverted it 20 miles away to Long Beach, where the mouth is now.

KCET's Departures, which creates immersive interactive experiences of neighborhoods across the city, is focused on telling the real story of the river, starting with a giant interactive mural of all its 50 miles. And in a multi-part series that launched last week, Departures will be using video, audio, photography, and user-generated stories to focus on the neighborhoods around the river, starting with the headwaters in mountains high above L.A.

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A Village Grows in Los Angeles

L.A.'s Eco-Village aims to demonstrate higher quality living patterns at a lower environmental impact—and is finding new ways to fund the effort.


Glamour, excessive consumption, and a daily traffic snarl maybe the streotypical hallmarks of LA living, but that is hardly the kind of life at the Los Angeles Eco-Village (LAEV).

Unknown to most Angelenos, LAEV has occupied the two early 1900s apartment complexes a block east off Vermont Avenue in Koreatown for almost 15 years. LAEV moved into the scorched neighborhood in the aftermath of the LA riots, working to revive the community. Over the years, its thirty or so residents have eco-retrofitted the decades-old facilities in their units, repainting the walls with low-VOC paints, and refurbishing the floors to more insulating materials. Their once thirsty lawn is now an edible landscape that grows bananas, peaches, cherimoyas, chard, and lettuce, and even conduct permaculture workshops on site (below). Most units also have solar and gray water systems.

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