For many immigrants in Los Angeles, bicycling is the only viable way to get around. A group of activists is trying to make that transportation reality safer and more reliable.
"The goals of the City of Lights program are ambitious, but the group started small, in response to complaints that immigrant bicyclists were riding on sidewalks at night (which is legal in the city of Los Angeles) but without lights or reflectors (which is not). City of Lights began distributing lights at day labor centers and were soon inundated with questions about routes and the intricacies of bike repair. Their next step was to open a weekly educational and bike repair workshop at a day labor center, south of downtown. In October, they were successful in getting the city to install bike racks in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
All small steps, the organizers concede. But they could be crucial ones in building momentum for big picture environmental justice."
Organizers say the program has been slow to catch on, but they argue that pervasive safety concerns and the amount of people in need underscore its importance.
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