KEN EDWARDS CENTER — Recreation and Parks Commissioner Phil Brock would like his 82-year-old mother to feel safe riding her bike down Arizona Avenue to reach Santa Monica’s Downtown Farmers’ Market.

But with a dedicated bike lane that ends before reaching the market — not to mention inadequate signs letting motorists know the road should be shared with cyclists — he said Santa Monica is a far cry from being the bike friendly city he envisions.

“We need to do a much better job,” he said.

That’s why he and fellow Recreation and Parks Commissioner Richard McKinnon, a bike advocate, are getting set to host a series of planning meetings aimed at empowering the cycling community and urging City Hall to make the streets friendlier for bike riders.

Also on their list of priorities: creating a city-wide bike sharing program similar to the ones in places like Paris and Amsterdam. U.S. cities like Denver have also created successful bike sharing programs and could serve as a model for Santa Monica, he said.

“I would rather Santa Monica not be the last city in Southern California to have a bike sharing program, I’d rather it be the first,” he said.

At the first meeting, to be held 7 p.m. on Monday, July 26 at the Ken Edwards Center, Brock said he hopes to listen to input from the cyclist community and “get the public mobilized behind the idea of making our streets in Santa Monica safer for bicycles and safer for pedestrians.”

Monday’s meeting is the first in what Brock said would be a series of meetings geared toward improving conditions for bicyclists in Santa Monica.

nickt@www.smdp.com

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