Cycling in Los Angeles: Findings from a Survey of Los Angeles Cyclists

 The Los Angeles region suffers greatly from the many negative externalities associated with driving such as poor air quality and traffic congestion. An April 2010 report released by the American Lung Association ranked Los Angeles among the top three cities in the nation with the worst air quality (ozone and particulate pollution). 1 Moreover, Los Angeles is often cited by the Texas Transportation Institute as the metropolitan area with the worst traffic congestion. 2 At the same time, Los Angeles has a temperate climate and relatively flat terrain, conditions amenable to the use of alternative modes of travel such as bicycles. However, thus far, city and regional leaders have done little to improve the city’s bicycling infrastructure and to encourage greater use of bicycles among all types of users. According to the Southern California Association of Government’s 2008 Regional Transportation Plan, almost 12 percent of all trips in the region are made by walking and bicycling, yet less than half a percent of funds are invested in projects supporting these modes. For work trips in the City of Los Angeles, 0.9 percent of all commuters travel by bicycle.3 Despite the lack of investment in bicycle infrastructure, cycling in Los Angeles is increasing.

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