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Is Bike Safety taught to the Latino Community

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog.net

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog.net

Bicycling to and from work has increased throughout LA County due to fluctuating costs of gas and those who simply can not afford a personal car.  What is most interesting is the fact that Latinos make up more than half of bike collisions since 2011.

The Transportation Injury Mapping System shows the areas most effected by bike collisions involving Latinos and more outreach is planned to address bike safety amongst the riders.  You can see the significant amount of collisions occurring in Compton and Inglewood where each city boasts an approx. 60% Latino population.

Studies showed:

  1. Pedestrian fatalities among Hispanics were more likely to occur in urban areas (79.9%) than pedestrian fatalities among Non-Hispanic Whites (64.4%) or Non-Hispanic Blacks (73.3%).
  2. Bicyclist fatalities among Hispanics were more likely to occur at or near an intersection (37.4%) than bicyclist fatalities among Non-Hispanic Whites (27.9%) or Non-Hispanic Blacks (32.6%).
  3. 1,388 male pedestrians of Mexican origin were killed in crashes. Of these, 23.4% had alcohol involvement. The level of alcohol involvement among all Hispanic pedestrians who were killed in crashes was 22.2%.
    (http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/hispanic/sa06ba030/section_4.cfm)

With more of the cities residents using a bike as a primary mode of transportation, at what point will the cities begin to make improvements to incorporate bike lanes?  Can’t we use Measure R funds for that?  Measure R funds are an additional tax, approved by residents, to create additional money to surface streets, repair potholes and perhaps, include bike lanes.  EVERY city has Measure R funds available.  Compton’s were already misspent on unauthorized expenditures and Inglewood’s haven’t been spent since one of our main thoroughfares, Century Blvd, is still a mess with the amount of potholes/uneven parts of the streets.

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Hopefully our cities leaders, including our mayors, will be willing to address an issue that is effecting its residents.  The Coca-Cola foundation offered a grant to provide more outreach to Latinos to better educate them on the rules of the road.  A local group has been awarded the grant, the Multicultural Center for Mobility, but links to their website do not work.

Should Metro, LADOT Bike Program, LA County Bike Coalition and Streetsblog LA also be a part of the process to help provide outreach to the Latino population?

metro bike lane

Bike advocacy groups such as EastsideRiders Bike Club and Danny Gamboa bring attention to the senseless deaths with “Ghost Bikes” that appear at the scene of a fatal bike collision.  I have seen many through the streets of Compton and Gardena.  Metro promotes “every lane is a bike lane” which they are not since police ticket you for impeding traffic.  No one discusses the proper etiquette for a person on a bike to WALK THEIR BIKE through an intersection as opposed to rolling off the curb (see how fatalities for Latinos increase near intersections above).

Part of the problem is the advertising budgets of the various groups who work in the communities.  Many of the non-profits and public agencies pay outrageous salaries to employees, however, spend pennies to advertise the very programs they have been granted funds to provide outreach for.  How often do you see Spanish materials for the Latinos?  All of the agencies cite “budget” constraints but see how much the CEO’s are paid against the marketing budget.  Dismal to none.

We also need more street camera lights to catch the murderers who hit a cyclists then speed off with little or no recourse.

Put your money where your mouth is and step up efforts to include Spanish advertisements in local newspapers, blogs and media sources.  It’s as a simple as a matter of life or death!

Do you think the cities and our leaders are doing enough to make streets safer for cyclists?  Do you think more should be done by cities who have Metro rail lines traveling through them?

 

 

 


3 Responses so far.

  1. […] recently shared with you the statistics regarding the high number of deaths of Latinos who are using a bicycle as a primary means of […]

  2. Jose says:

    I think it all begins with education and of course; making streets safer for cyclists. I bike throughout Compton for pleasure. I wear my helmet, ride on the same side as traffic, ride on the sidewalk or use the bike routes. However, many cycling, the vast majority do not wear helmet or sometimes ride in the opposite side of the traffic. Not to mentioned that some of the streets with bike routes lack signs to caution motorists about people on bicycles. Or like a long the Compton Creek Bike Path, when crossing big streets it is dangerous because there is no pedestrian walk way to get from one side of the bike path to the other.

    • UrbanGirl says:

      Who should residents address about the issues the cyclists face while riding their bikes on the city streets? There district councilman/councilwoman and/or the mayor? Do you know of any current organizations that hold safety meetings for the Latinos? Why wouldn’t their employer give out information if their employees are the ones utilizing bikes to get to/from work?

      Urban Girl

About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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