• Federal Grant Makes Bike Safety Classes in L.A. County Possible

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Beginning and advanced bicyclists throughout Los Angeles County will get a chance this summer to brush up on their traffic safety skills through free lessons funded by a $203,000 federal grant.

    The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro, today announced 120 weekend classes, available in English and Spanish. They beginning Friday in communities throughout the county, including in Los Angeles, Rowland Heights, El Monte, Santa Monica and the City of Commerce.

    The classes will be taught by three bicycle advocacy organizations and are being offered in response to the growing popularity of bicycling and the increasing risk for traffic accidents involving cyclists.

    “With bicycling becoming wildly popular in L.A. County, it is critically important that our cyclists know the safe ways to ride their bikes on busy L.A. streets, whether for work, school or recreation,” said Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois.

    Fewer young adults nationwide are getting driver’s licenses, while bicycling has become more popular in Los Angeles County, according to Metro, and since 2005, the number of miles being driven in the United States has also been on the decline.

    The first of these classes, which are available in three- and eight- hour sessions, begin July 12 and runs through September. Those who complete the classes receive a helmet, bicycle lights and a safety manual.

    The English-language classes will be taught by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and BikeSGV, while the Multicultural Communities for Mobility will offer 30 three-hour classes in Spanish.

    The classes will provide “in- depth, hands-on bicycle skills training,” said Colin Bogart, Education Director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. “These classes give bicyclists the tools to assess and manage the potential risks of riding in an urban setting, so they can freely ride anywhere with confidence.”

    A full schedule of classes can be found at http://www.metro.net/bikes/bikes-metro/upcoming-bike-metro-events/.

    The grant for the classes was awarded to Metro by the California Office of Traffic Safety and is part of funding offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Metro is also hosting 20 group bike rides led by a trained guide and has also offered classes to increase driver awareness of bicyclist rights and safety.

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