What’s the best way to be a part of the much anticipated open street event, Beach Streets Uptown? Why, to volunteer, of course! Give back to the Long Beach community by signing up for a four-hour shift that will leave plenty of time to experience the seven-mile carless course for yourself.
Katie Taylor, who arrived in Long Beach “friendless” from across the country five years ago, attributes her now-strong network of friends to the city’s bicycle community.
“Riding a bicycle around Long Beach means seeing people at eye level,” she said. “I wave to someone I know walking in my neighborhood. I arrive at a local restaurant and recognize a friend's bicycle next door. I compliment a stranger on their bicycle and make a new friend. Our bicycling community humanizes our city and brings people together.”
The perks of volunteering include being fed, receiving an exclusive Beach Streets T-shirt not available to the public (only 200 shirts will be made for the event) and the opportunity to be a part of Long Beach’s first large-scale open street event. Student volunteers can use their participation to rack up a few service learning hours, as well.
For Taylor, signing up to volunteer for Beach Streets was a no-brainer, a way to give back to the community that has given her so much.
[...]I can’t wait to give back,” she said. “I want to show Los Angeles the magic we have here. I want to meet other bicyclists in Long Beach and hear their stories. And I honestly really want that exclusive Beach Streets t-shirt to take the place of my CicLAvia t-shirts!”
Volunteers will work side-by-side with city enforcement to manage the flow of non-car traffic along the route, according to volunteer coordinator Hilary Kyle. Without volunteers to provide participants with information, assist with merchandise management, provide free bicycle parking at the bike valets and generally serve as the “eyes and ears of Beach Streets,” Long Beach’s own ciclovia would assuredly not be possible.
Mobility Coordinator Nate Baird told the Post, “Beach Streets would not be possible without the involvement of our local community members and businesses. We’ve had a tremendous amount of response thus far and local participation is going to make Beach Streets Uptown a great success.”
An orientation meeting will be held on Saturday, May 30 of which the location is still to be decided and on June 4, two days before the event.