ALHAMBRA - With May being proclaimed "National Bicycling Month," the West San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition is doing its best to make the area more bicycle friendly.
Vincent Chang, an Alhambra-based immigration attorney and member of the group, said the coalition is trying to get more in the valley to ride their bikes and to get local governments more responsive to their concerns."People want to get things started in the San Gabriel Valley area, to have better access by bicycle," Chang said. "There's a lot of folks riding on the sidewalk, all over the place, not a very safe thing to do and without helmets."
Chang said he hopes to change things locally.
"We're trying to change and improve the environment for them, who not only ride for recreation, but also for transportation. A lot of folks who ride during the day are riding to get to work, not necessarily for exercise," Chang said.
He added the roads can be tough terrain for bicycle riders, especially at certain times of the day.
"If you have to go to work, you ride at 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning," he said. "You ride with the rest of traffic and it's not very safe."
One thing Chang said the group is trying to do is get the roads themselves changed.
"We're trying to get bike lanes wherever possible," he said and added he is hoping to have more bike routes established, "not on extremely busy streets, but from the Gold Line starts. This is so folks can get to go wherever they need to go safely and effectively. We're looking for more consistent cycling access."
The first city where Chang is trying to get things changed is in Monterey Park where he said progress is coming.
"They seem to be very receptive and enthusiastic in supporting a bike plan," Chang said of Monterey Park officials.
Chang added he is also, in areas, trying to make it easier for bikes to share the roads with cars.
"We're hoping to get bike lanes, but where not possible, we're trying to get sharrows, which is sharing the road with the cars," he said. "It doesn't set up a bike lane, but it puts divots on the street in places where bicyclists might be there to share the roads.
"They would be markers as painted on the ground."
Chang said they have these in Pasadena and Long Beach and that they originated in Europe, where bicycling is much more common than in the United States.