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Activate South Bay LA Trails!

South Bay Bicycle Coalition

Non-profit organization

ACTIVATE SOUTH BAY LA TRAILS! beckons residents of 5 Cities to come outside and play on a network of trails--Redondo Beach through Manhattan Beach, bordering Hawthorne and El Segundo to Lawndale.



What does your organization do?

SBBC, now >400 members, was founded in 2009 by South Bay cyclists determined to connect local riders on a mission to unite the South Bay Cities in safe, easily accessible, fun active transportation.

Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

A vast network of trails exists throughout the South Bay region to expand available space for safe cycling and pedestrian activities. ACTIVATE SOUTH BAY LA TRAILS! will engage residents (and visitors, communicating by every possible means, the activation will bring 5 Cities of Angelenos out to PLAY, people of all ages, with a desire to meet their neighbors. By adding mapping and wayfinding, residents will connect with each other to join in the fun–activating trails throughout the South Bay.

Which of the play metrics will your activation impact?​

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?

  • LA is the best place to CONNECT
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South Bay

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?

  • Digital organizing or activism
  • Create new tools or technologies for greater civic/political engagement
  • Increase participation in political processes Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities
  • Opportunities for residents to interconnect beyond residential neighborhoods or cities

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to play?

Trails can transform areas, bringing diverse populations together from neighboring communities, and promote and support healthier lifestyles. Trails make regional assets available to populations that otherwise might not derive benefit. Physical activity becomes accessible to the widest range of people, including persons with disabilities and others who are known to be less physically active. Trails provides an amenity open to residents of every age.

Walking, Running and Biking are fun and green, curbing our carbon footprints, reducing air pollution and our reliance on fossil fuels. The momentum for active transportation is building, thanks in no small part to completion of the South Bay Bicycle Master Plan. Active transportation is perceived by more and more as a safe way to get outdoors and have fun!

For example, if by answering the call to join in on the fun ACTIVATE SOUTH BAY LA TRAILS! residents begin to support City infrastructure that supports pedestrian and cycling activities, then when an issue comes up in a City related to that, they are empowered to speak out in the public forum.

Expanding uses of linear paths will help us meet our primary goal of augmenting access to space to PLAY in the our urban environment. Since we suffer from a low ratio of park acres per thousand residents (critically underserved in some South Bay Cities), trails are a component of the solution. Seniors, adults, families and children need the benefit of playtime. Having greater access to trails will expand available play spaces, regardless of age. The importance of intergenerational connections is generally acknowledged. Although not defined as park space, trails will help to increase the opportunities for residents of all ages to meet in their pedestrian and cycling activities.

Activating the trail system will bolster the walk/bike/transit scores for every neighborhood along the way. The Walk Score offers an answer to two important questions. “What can I do to improve my personal health?” and “What can I do to improve the health of the planet?” Furthermore, living a walkable or bikable lifestyle means rush hour traffic becomes less relevant. It is well documented that real estate values are higher in neighborhoods with higher scores.

ACTIVATE SOUTH BAY LA TRAILS! Impacts positively on CONNECT and LIVE activation through communication on the project website, newsletter, twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms this project will expand residents’ social media contacts and connections around something that is valuable to all: PLAY! Social interaction can start when they join in for scheduled volunteer efforts. Activating the public for various events can start the development of social interaction among the residents of five South Cities. Activating the Trails for gatherings will strengthen the social fabric of the area.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to play

Median household incomes of residents of the five South Bay Cities vary a great deal, ranging from $144,868 in Manhattan Beach, $103,782 in Redondo Beach and $91,623 in El Segundo to $51,934 and $45,069 in Lawndale and Hawthorne respectively. This highlights disparities between communities.

Trails eliminate many barriers to access—no entrance fee, no cost for expensive equipment.

SBBC has helped with lowering barriers to bicycling by providing donated bicycles to those who lack the financial resources to purchase bikes. We will continue that effort through this project. By offering opportunities to access bicycles and helmets for fun, residents of low-income homes will not be deterred from joining in on the fun, and below are examples of the fun:

IT’S OUTDOORS! By engaging with residents of the five communities, more residents play outside which, in turn, makes it safer.

EMBRACE SIMPLE ACTIVITIES: No expensive equipment, no entrance fees–the simpler the activity, the easier to engage.

SCAVENGER HUNT ANYONE? Scavenger hunts are a great way to engage people, even educate kids and get everyone moving.

We might be communicating a weekend Trail Dash running event, nature interpretive program, a bicycle ride from North Redondo to Lawndale, a bike safety program, helmet giveaway, bicycle maintenance check, or a trail cleanup to maintain the connection we share through the Trails.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

We will define success on several fronts: the reach and interaction that we experience with core collaborators, partners and other stakeholders the methods by which residents engage, number of residents who come out to PLAY and activate on the South Bay LA Trails, and the feedback that we receive. By monitoring key activities as they happen, we will evaluate with a constructive focus and assess and report in real time. The idea is that the Project can be improved and achieve Activation more effectively.

After the event has started, the evaluation team will be receiving feedback from residents who joined the ACTIVATE SOUTH BAY LA TRAILS!–measuring the activation. Among other things, we will establish the extent to which the Project’s objectives are met and whether we can improve in any way and if so, how. We will learn from our mistakes.

Volunteers are often the front-line support and experience the process and can often articulate what works and what could be improved in an Activation. A structured feedback process helps SBBC to better understand their volunteer experience and use the feedback to better support volunteers. We use volunteer feedback after each event to make modifications that contribute to a continuous improvement process. In this way, we identify issues quickly that improve volunteer experiences, and volunteers in turn are willing to share their perspectives.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

SBBC envisions a vastly expanded network of trails within five years. This activation will raise awareness among the South Bay communities that we are all connected, and formal and informal trails are a way to interrelate with each other. Beyond this activation, we will work with our collaborators, partners and stakeholders and employ the lessons we have learned through this project to continue to activate more of the 35 miles of trails and populate more outdoor spaces to connect South Bay neighborhoods.

We also hope that our involvement and civic engagement of our members will continue to motivate local governments in the South Bay to accommodate safe active transportation within and between communities. The implementation of the South Bay Bicycle Master Plan will continue to provide impetus for improving infrastructure. With this effort to activate Trails, we will continue to be at the forefront of expanding various options for active transportation.


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