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Long Beach mourns loss of bicycling advocate Mark Bixby

I never met Mark Bixby in person, but during his campaign to convince officals to include separated bicycle and pedestrian paths on the new Desmond Gerald Replacement Bridge at the Port of Long Beach, I came to know him as a dedicated, passionate, and savvy advocate. Despite the daunting challenge of getting bicycling and walking paths included in a $1 billion bridge project, I always came away from phone calls with Mark feeling more confident and optimistic about the future of bicycling in Long Beach and beyond. Every community in America would be lucky to have an advocate like him. Therefore I was enormously sad to hear that Mark had been killed in a plane crash on March 16th.

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Mark Bixby. (Photo source: cdmcyclist.com)

Mark’s death came just two days after he had¬†achieved¬†his long-sought goal:¬†general contractors bidding for the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project will be required to include both separated bicycle and pedestrian paths in their proposals.¬†“The bike path is a¬†mandatory requirement. When the bid is received it must include those elements in order¬†to be a responsive bid,” said¬†Dr. Bob Kanter, Environmental Planning director for the Port of Long Beach, according to a press release from Bikeable Communities. Mark had been tirelessly working for this requirement and had been¬†chronicling¬†his campaign at As The Wheel Turns.

According to Dr. Bob Kanter, Environmental Planning director for the Port “the
solicitation package to the design-build team bidders will require their bid include a Class
One bike and pedestrian path on the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The bike path is a
mandatory requirement. When the bid is received it must include those elements in order
to be a responsive bid.”

There is a memorial, including a bicycle ride to the top of the Gerald Desmond Bridge, scheduled for 8:00 a.m. this morning starting at Leeway Sailing Center on the Peninsula in Long Beach, according to the Long Beach-bsaed President of Bikestation, Andréa White-Kjoss.

Our hearts go out to Mark’s family, friends, and the entire Long Beach community. He will be missed.

Update: Thanks to Andrea for passing along photos from the memorial ride.

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