Bicyclists Rub It In Drivers’ Faces Even More At Re:Imagine Garden Grove

Posted: October 16, 2014 in Art, Events, Orange County
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A California law recently passed that drivers must remain at least three feet away from cyclists at all times. Since the passing of this law, I have witnessed countless cyclists abusing this law by riding on busy streets, cutting off traffic, riding against traffic, riding without helmets, and other malpractices. The momentum appears to shift towards the favor of the cyclists, as evident by bicycle events such as CicLAvia and this past weekend’s event in Orange County, Re:Imagine Garden Grove. At this free and all-ages downtown open streets event, multiple streets around Garden Grove closed to vehicular traffic in order to pave the way for cyclists and pedestrians. The three-mile stretch contained a handful of things to do and see, such as food trucks, arts & crafts, a beer garden, live entertainment, and more. Along a stretch of the path, numerous triangular orange structures marked the future locations of trees and works of art, such as sculptures and statues. The rest of the course contained mainly arts & crafts for children, and live entertainment featuring Richard Blade on the turntables.

For a first-time event, I did not walk in with high expectations, as I anticipated stumbling into beginner’s mistakes. The only mistake I severely encountered involved the sheer openness of this event. What should have attracted thousands of visitors only managed to attract just a little over a thousand. Aside from the main hub of Main Street with all the booths and attractions, the rest of the course appeared barren throughout the day. I cannot say anything negative about their marketing, as everyone and their mothers knew about this event going into the day. But honestly, does Garden Grove need one of these events? When you look at the surrounding cities (West Anaheim, Westminster, Santa Ana, etc), one never actually feels safe riding a bicycle through those neighborhoods. This event would receive greater reception even in North Long Beach, where the number of cyclists outnumber the amount of visitors to Re:Imagine Garden Grove, albeit at least one person gets killed daily in North Long Beach. The organizers have the right ideas with the right execution, but they may have marketed to the wrong crowd. If they try again in a more receptive city next year, they may see a greater turnout.

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