The Pomona Director of Public Works is inviting all "stakeholders" to join in a discussion next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. regarding an "open streets" event, or ciclovia. The Los Angeles version is called CicLAvia. CicLAvias are great opportunities to bring communities together through eliminating car traffic for six to eight hours, while encouraging active transportation. The concept began in Bogata, Colombia, in 1976.
I've been to the Los Angeles event twice and it is a great event. The Pomona one would be on a smaller scale, as the Los Angeles event attracts people region-wide, up to 100,000 of them at once. My primary concern with the Los Angeles event is the fact that some bicyclists treat it as a raceway and not an opportunity for all human-powered uses, including skateboarders, pedestrians, and just people hanging out on the street, to use the additional space created. In other words, it's a linear park, not a bicycle freeway.
It is also great to see that leadership has changed in Pomona from the retrograde days of just six years ago, when City leaders flushed a million dollar bike lane down the drain due to neighborhood opposition and political opportunism. AB 32 and SB 375 have forced Californians to be more cognizant of greenhouse gas emissions, and include greenhouse gas reductions in planning and land use decisions. An attempt to suspend AB 32 failed miserably in 2010 so it is clear that planning for greenhouse gases will only grow in the future, and one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions, increase public health, and reduce dependence on foreign oil is to provide environments where people can use active transportation for daily tasks. Even today Pomona just has one bike lane, on Hamilton Boulevard, while many of the streets in South Pomona and Phillips Ranch are excessively wide and could be restriped easily to add a bike lane.
The stakeholder meeting is on Tuesday, January 31st, at 6 pm at the Cal Poly Downtown Center. The consultant will have maps of proposed closed streets and other information for consideration.
Please RSVP to Maura Montellano at 909-620-2262 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.