Noche de las Luminarias | SGV Community Advocate of the Year | Doug Strange, La Verne Bicycle Coalition
On Saturday December 2, 2017, BikeSGV will host its annual party - 'Noche de las Luminarias' - to celebrate the progress towards a more pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly SGV. This profile is one of a series of posts highlighting some of the people at the forefront of this movement. Event information can be found here.
Doug Strange and his wife Donna have been a residents of La Verne for 27 years, where they raised two children. The founder of the popular Facebook Group “Cycling Around La Verne” and a joint founder of the current La Verne Bicycle Coalition, Doug has emerged as a driving force for a more bicycle-and-pedestrian-friendly La Verne over the past several years. Doug's influence has been instrumental in encouraging the City of La Verne to recognize the need for safety improvements to local streets, form a community Active Transportation Advisory Group, begin development of its first Active Transportation Master Plan, and partner with donors to install additional supportive infrastructure such as bicycle repair stations.
Doug's efforts are multifaceted, incorporating education outreach to create awareness, connecting multiple stakeholders to create a base, leveraging diverse activities to create momentum, and building relationships to enhance his community's capacity to make local streets safer for everyone. From leading City Council and Mayoral candidates on private bicycle tours of La Verne to facilitating regular meetings at one of the City's best (and most bike-friendly) watering holes, Doug has paired his roots in the community and a passion for the bicycle to advance change in the City of La Verne.
Thanks in part to Doug's work, 2018 is shaping up to be a banner year for local efforts to create a more bike-able and walkable La Verne. On Earth Day (4/22/18) the City will participate in its first major bicycle event as part of the 4-city to-be-named East San Gabriel Valley cicLAvia connecting the cities of San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. The City is expected to complete work on its first Active Transportation Plan (ATP) and continue work on a new General Plan which will incorporate the ATP. The City will also begin implementing street improvements including more bike-recognizing traffic signals, bike lanes on Baseline, and installing a protected bikeway along Arrow Highway, currently a dangerous, high-speed arterial that will connect to the City's future Gold Line station.
While not on a bike, Doug worked for Southern California Edison as a Senior Project Manager, often working large projects with a high level of process and organizational change. He has long been an active cyclists, enjoying cycling of all types and commuted to work regularly. In 2017 he retired from Southern California Edison, and he and Donna cycled across the country via the Trans America Trail. He now splits his time riding bikes while others are at work, planning their next bicycle tour, and working to encourage La Verne to become a more bicycle-friendly community.
Editor's note: Learn more about Doug's work on this SGV Connect podcast.
Want to learn more? Check out ActiveSGV's new podcast, ActiveLab