Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Who is BikeSGV? By David Diaz, Investing in Place Advisory Board Member

David Diaz, MPH is an advisory board member at Investing in Place, a project coordinator at Day One, and a BikeSGV volunteer. David’s career is focused on increasing the quality of life in low-income communities throughout the San Gabriel Valley.  His work focuses on engaging communities, specifically youth, in participatory action research to address environmental policy, increase physical activity opportunities and nutrition education. Over the course of the last year, David has been working on the development of Pomona’s Health Element, the SGV Bicycle Master Plan, and active transportation related policies aimed at creating healthier environments.  David holds a Masters of Public Health from Claremont and a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior.

Bike San Gabriel Valley (BikeSGV) is a bicycle advocacy organization founded and based in the San Gabriel Valley. Since 2010, BikeSGV has been supporting a more bicycle, pedestrian, and transit-friendly San Gabriel Valley. We are a home-grown team with a shared desire to realize a cohesive network of people-friendly streets in the San Gabriel Valley, and we do so through advocacy, education, and outreach.

Most streets in the SGV have not been designed to make walking and biking safe, inviting, and comfortable, which disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color. As a region, we suffer from some of the nation’s worst air quality. In terms of health, our communities also have high obesity/diabetes rates compared to other cities in LA County.

To advance our mission, BikeSGV spearheads the following projects and programs throughout the San Gabriel Valley:

  • Bicycle Education Center (BEC): Last October, BikeSGV recently opened a Bicycle Education Center to provide the region with access to free or low-cost bicycles, repair services and workshops for the community. Located at the Jeff Seymour Family Center in the City of El Monte, the BEC is the first youth-focused bicycle education center and cooperative of its kind in the San Gabriel Valley.
  • Bike Train: Since January 2011, our monthly Bike Train (every last Sunday of the month) introduces community members to existing bicycle infrastructure and the benefits of bicycling as a sustainable form of transportation, physical activity, and recreation. Newcomers build confidence while learning cycling etiquette when riding the Emerald Necklace bike path.
  • Regional Active Transportation Planning: BikeSGV continues to help local cities plan for networks of walking and biking infrastructure. We spearheaded the 5-city Regional Bike Master Plan with the cities of Monterey Park, El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, and San Gabriel, which was unanimously adopted in Fall 2014.
  • Regional Greenway Network: Working alongside local and regional leaders such as the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, we aim to create 100+ miles of potential protected paths for walking and biking along existing washes, creeks and storm channels such as the San Jose Creek and Big Dalton Wash.
  • Conservation/Environmental Justice: BikeSGV is a member of San Gabriel Mountains Forever coalition, a diverse partnership with a mission to permanently protect the San Gabriel Mountains: to build support for protection of, and increased access to, our forests, rivers and parks; and develop a new, diverse generation of environmental stewards to care for our public lands.
  • Women on Wheels (WoW): Women on Wheels (WoW) aims to encourage more women of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to participate in bicycling and bicycle advocacy in the San Gabriel Valley. WoW hosts educational workshops and group rides for women, and conducts surveys to gather more information about why women do/don’t bike.
  • Open Streets: BikeSGV organizers facilitated in applying for Open Streets funding in Spring 2014. As a result, 626 Golden Streets (17+ miles of open streets in the cities of South Pasadena, San Marino, Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, Azusa, and parts of unincorporated Los Angeles County, the longest open streets in the country) will take place this year on Sunday, June 26, 2016. Save the date! It will be the third open streets event in the San Gabriel Valley, following Ciclavia in Pasadena (5/31/15) and VivaSGV (6/12/16).

To support our efforts, become a member of BikeSGV, and/or volunteer, visit our website: and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @BikeSGV.

South Bay Council of Governments Priorities by Mohja Rhoads, COG Staff and Investing in Place Advisory Board Member

by Jessica Meaney

Investing in Place March 29th Partner Meeting Materials

by Jessica Meaney