Changing the Mechanics:
How Bikes are Transforming the Way LA Moves
On September 19th, CenterScene hosted a discussion to map the advancement of bikes as a viable mode of transportation for an equitable LA.
Smog. Traffic. #carmageddon. Gas prices and flat tires from potholes. Alongside the Hollywood sign, these symbols have come to characterize “LA.” However, an old-school machine is emerging as a new icon on the scene to transform this picture:
On Wednesday, September 19th, CenterScene Public Programs hosted a panel of advocates working to carve out a space in LA’s landscape for this low-cost and environmentally-friendly alternative on our roads. Panelists sharead how their work is facilitating economic development, alleviating environmental issues, and addressing transportation for low-income communities, as well as making bicycle transit a safe, viable and attractive alternative for car-dependent Angelenos.
CenterScene is a wide-ranging series of public programs organized by the Center for Healthy Communities to raise awareness about the vital issues that affect the health of California's communities. Admission and parking are free at all events. Use of public transportation is strongly encouraged.
Manal Aboelata, moderator
Manal J. Aboelata, Managing Director at Prevention Institute, works collaboratively to improve access to healthy foods, prevent injuries, and increase access to physical activity opportunities. Her work emphasizes policy and community-based approaches, and demonstrates an overarching commitment to working with under-resourced communities to foster health and safety.
Manal coordinates the Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments, a statewide advocacy network involved in bringing healthy food and physical activity opportunities to all Californians. She chairs the Joint Use Statewide Taskforce (JUST), whose mission is to increase community access to playgrounds through the policy of joint use agreements between school districts and local governments. Manal is principal author of The Built Environment and Health: 11 Profiles of Neighborhood Transformation, Mapping the Movement for Healthy Food and Activity Environments: Organizational Snapshots, a contributing author for Cultivating Common Ground: Linking Health and Sustainable Agriculture, and co-authored Emerging Issues in Improving Food and Physical Activity Environments: Strategies for Addressing Land Use, Transportation, and Safety in 3 California-Wide Initiatives, which was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health. She also is a contributing author on Community Engagement in Design and Planning, a chapter in "Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability." She is certified as a California Walkability Expert by the California Department of Health Services and CalTrans.
Prior to joining Prevention Institute in 1998, Manal received her MPH in Epidemiology from UCLA, where she was inducted into the Iota Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in 2001 and into the UCLA School of Public Health Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009.
Planning and Policy Director
Los Angeles County Bike Coalition
Eric Bruins joined the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition as Planning and Policy Director in July 2012. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Eric grew up riding around his Silicon Valley suburb for transportation and for fun. He came to Southern California to study policy and planning at USC, where he raced for the USC Cycling Team and engaged the University and community in bicycle planning during the City's recent plan update. Prior to LACBC, Eric was a Project Manager at the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, where he handled acquisitions, capital projects, and countywide parks and open space planning. Eric has also interned for Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-14) and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in Washington, DC, where he worked on federal transportation and health policy.
Richard J. Jackson, MD, MPH, FAAP
Professor and Chair
Environmental Health Sciences Dept., UCLA
Richard J. Jackson is Professor and Chair of Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. A pediatrician, he has served in many leadership positions in both environmental health and infectious disease with the California Health Department, including the highest, State Health Officer. For nine years, he was Director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta and received the Presidential Distinguished Service award. In October, 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Jackson helped establish the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and state and national laws to reduce risks from pesticides—especially for farm workers and to children. While at CDC, he established the national asthma epidemiology and control program, oversaw the childhood lead poisoning prevention program, and instituted the Federal effort to “biomonitor” chemical levels in the US population. He has received the Breast Cancer Fund’s Hero Award, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Public Health Law Association and the New Partners for Smart Growth.