Trailblazers travel down Bonita in support of the climate

Sydney Ferris
Staff Writer 

Bikers, runners, walkers, skaters and people of all ages lined D street as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority presented 626 Golden Streets, Heart of the Foothills, a free community event that promotes sustainable, active modes of transportation. 

Metro launched the “Open Streets” program in February 2013. The program was put in place to not only promote eco-friendly ways of transportation such as biking, skating and walking but also to foster civic engagement.

The first golden streets event took place on March 5, 2017 and was one to remember, stretching across 18 miles and eight communities.

ActiveSGV wants to help the San Gabriel Valley thrive. The program wants to see local and regional investments that can help solve issues like climate change and housing affordability. They also want to help people of all ages and backgrounds flourish. Lastly, one of their main goals is to help communities develop codes in health sustainability, governance and public policy. 

Participants are allowed to decide where they start and finish their journey. There are also no winners, losers or awards. Coming out, being active and celebrating mother earth during earth month is the main goal of the event.

Besides the usual non-automobile modes of transportation that are usually thought of, attendees are welcomed to roller skate and dance through the streets as well.

The event kicked off at 8:15 a.m. with an opening ceremony at Palomares Park in Pomona where free t-shirts and raffle tickets were given out to all in attendance. 

Six and a half miles of Bonita Avenue and Arrow Highway were temporarily closed to make room for those embarking on the trek. The open streets event crossed through the cities of Pomona, Claremont, San Dimas and La Verne.

D Street was filled with vendors entertaining the passersby. Some of these vendors included Operation Smile, the La Verne Historical Society, the La Verne Fire Department and La Verne Police Department.

There was a free photo booth for the attendees to capture their memories. Children were welcomed to paint at a designated station and pick up goodie bags full of stickers, candy and coloring books from LVPD and LVFD. 

Cassie Upton and Katie Shadrick, Bonita High School students, were two of many volunteers.

“I wanted to volunteer because I thought it would be cool to see all the cities come together,” Upton said. 

Upton and Shadrick both attend Bonita High School and volunteered through the National Honor Society. They were working the information booth, giving out maps, pamphlets and stickers.

“I think it’s really cool to see everyone have fun and exercise,” Shadrick said. “It’s hot out here but it’s fun to see my friends, family and everyone else.”

Brenda Ramirez, a San Dimas resident said she wanted to come out because of how local the event was. 

“We are enjoying the event,” Ramirez said. ”We live right on Bonita Avenue. When we saw the flier, we decided to go out for a ride.”

Many people were excited that the event was passing through La Verne, including Leslee Rodriguez, a University of La Verne Alumni.

“We came out a few years ago,” Rodriguez said. “We are always excited to come out and ride the streets. It is really fun for the whole family.”

The event 626 Golden Streets was full of exercise, laughter and fun. Whether the journey was biked, ran, walked, or skated. All those in attendance made a difference for the earth by leaving their cars at home for the day. 

Sydney Ferris can be reached at sydney.ferris@laverne.edu.

Sydney Ferris is a junior communications major with an emphasis in public relations and a staff writer for the Campus Times. Her interests include sports, fashion, beauty and animals.

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