So we had a 'round 1' meeting up here for the LA County Bike Plan tonight, pretty fair turn-out, probably 20 bike specific attendees were interested enough to show up. Round 1 is the information gathering phase and the introduction of the plan to the affected community areas. This plan is all about the unincorporated parts of LA County and connecting existing bike ways to the unincorporated areas where feasible.The panel was as informative as they could be, this is the very beginning phase of this proposed bike plan. Proposals take a long time to turn into anything, this one for example is projected for full adoption by the end of 2011. Full adoption of a proposal means they will then start looking for funding, eh, whatever, it gives us hope out here at any rate. I managed to get the first question in, (go figure - right?) and asked what we all need to know up here - what about the funding? There was no answer for the funding, directly. The panel did say that after the specific things (paths, trails) are identified and implemented into the plan then they look at funding - yeah, oh boy. The Antelope Valley has always been the proverbial step-child of LA County; we get the very last consideration when it comes to any funding - it was that way before when I was a Town Councilman up here and in fact there have been "proposed" upgrades for the AV since the general plan of '75/'76 that have never been implemented. I don't fault the panel of folks going through this bike plan exercise for being somewhat vague about the funding, although it was nice that they did lay out the long ardous process any government related proposal goes through. I do have hope though that if we get enough people up here together and interested in this plan we can become the 'squeaky wheel' and keep the AV on the higher side of the list instead of the bottom, where we usually reside.
The economics of this great country of ours and our state in particular are not necessarily going to get better any time soon. No, the bike lanes won't be built any time soon either, but, meanwhile we can show people that there is an option to using their car for errands. As we educate more and more people of the benefits of using a bike once they are done with their work day, the more voices we can add to our cause to become the 'squeaky wheel'. Using a bike for everyday errands is very cool, and the health aspects are innumerable, plus it's really really fun!! I know the distances my wife and I ride to do our errands seem overwhelming to many of you, but think about your own errands - I'm sure that there is at least one that could be done by bike rather than car and spring time is the perfect time to try it out!