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First Annual LA County Bike Summit Explores Strategies for...

Marketwatch: First Annual LA County Bike Summit Explores Strategies for Healthy Communities

Elected Officials, City Staff and Bike Coalition Convene to Build Bike-Friendly Communities

LONG BEACH, CA, Sep 29, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Los Angeles County officials and city staff will convene on September 30 for the first-ever Creating a Bicycle Friendly LA County Summit. Coordinated by the LA County Department of Public Health's RENEW LA County initiative and the LA County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), the summit will explore successful bicycling infrastructure including new roadway design manuals, education programs, bicycle master planning and enforcement efforts.

"Our mission is to create a better, more bikeable LA County and this event gives city staff and elected leaders an opportunity to learn about the tools, funding opportunities, and benefits of creating communities that are better for bicycling," said Jennifer Klausner, executive director of the LACBC. "Even people who may never ride a bicycle benefit from communities that are safer for bicycling."

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster will kick off the summit at 9 a.m. at the Long Beach Convention Center, and will recognize local elected officials who have made a commitment to creating bike-friendly communities. Featured presenters include Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Cyclists, Dr. James Sallis, director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Active Living Research Center, and Long Beach Councilmember Suja Lowenthal, who will discuss why these policy and infrastructure improvements are important.

"Communities across the country are realizing that being bike friendly is more than just a nice thing to do -- it's a critical part of creating livable, sustainable communities in which people want to live and companies want to locate," said Clarke.

The host city of Long Beach, working toward a goal of becoming the "most bicycle friendly city in America," has installed amenities throughout the city, including a world-class Bikestation -- a new facility that provides 24-hour bike parking and offers lockers for commuters, bicycle rental and repair, classes, restroom and changing facilities; a bicycle boulevard; and the region's first separated single track bike-way, with special bicycle traffic signals.

"Long Beach is proud to host the first bicycle summit of its kind for Los Angeles County," said Mayor Bob Foster. "This is a great opportunity for cities to exchange ideas on how to create more bike-friendly communities."

For more information on the summit, go to www.la-bike.org/LACountyBikeSummit .

For more information on healthy living in LA County, connect with Choose Health LA online, which represents all of the public health efforts of RENEW LA County. Visit Choose Health LA on Twitter @ChooseHealthLA, on Facebook and at ChooseHealthLA.com.

About RENEW LA County The LA County Department of Public Health's RENEW (Renew Environments for Nutrition, Exercise and Wellness) initiative seeks to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and reduce obesity in LA County. RENEW LA County is made possible by a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative.

About LA County Department of Public Health The LA County Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health, visit publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit the YouTube channel at youtube.com/lapublichealth, find Public Health on Facebook at facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow Public Health on Twitter: LAPublicHealth.

About the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Founded in 1998, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) works to build a better, more bike-able Los Angeles County. LACBC is the only nonprofit, membership-based organization working exclusively for the millions of bicyclists in Los Angeles County. Through advocacy, education and outreach, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to make the entire L.A. region a safe and enjoyable place to ride.