If there was ever a community member who has created a substantial impact to the Pomona Valley region, it’s Daryl Grigsby. Daryl’s not only a devoted cyclist, he is an individual who believes in the power of change and community empowerment and has a zeal that’s impacted the lives of many. His position as Public Works Director of Pomona allowed him to move the City into a direction that gave many residents hope for the future of Pomona. When Daryl first moved to Pomona in early 2010 he immediately noticed the potential that lied within the City and he worked hard to build the cycling community and important partnerships to showcase this energy. His down to earth attitude made it easy for anyone to approach him and his lust for change was infectious to whoever met him.
His method was simple: Go out on a bike and explore your city. And he empowered people to do just that with his Ride Around Pomona (RAP) rides he created in August 2010. The RAP rides gave people the opportunity to meet one another and explore Pomona and to think differently about their City, all within a safe riding group. Soon the rides began to grow in popularity and residents from neighboring cities like Walnut, Claremont and Ontario began joining in on the fun. His twice a month rides gained regional attention and people began to notice the impact he was doing in Pomona. He spoke at conferences such as Creating A Bike-Able Los Angeles County Summit and Rail-voltion displaying Pomona’s diverse and unique community and the need for action and for partners to come together and build up the City. For Daryl, it wasn’t about the bike, it was about the community and the bike is there to build relationships and strengthen communities. He was a driving force in helping the City create a Bike Master Plan and helped push the completion of a Class II Bike lane on Bonita, connecting La Verne and Claremont. Daryl has worked relentlessly to push Pomona into the future helping create the healthy, sustainable City it’s residents deserve.
In the two years that Daryl has been in the community, he has helped put Pomona on the map and has inspired individuals to take action and change their lives for the better. The impact he has created has caused many people to think positively about Pomona and the Pomona Valley area and his efforts should not end when he leaves. Although bike rides are important in getting community together, letting your local council member know that you want to have vibrant neighborhoods, safer roads and healthier communities are equally important. Building coalitions and strengthening relationships is what will help Pomona reach it’s goals of becoming a thriving City. As for the RAP, Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition is honored to adopt the ride as one of it’s monthly rides and hopes to have different community members lead them. The coalition also continues it’s advocacy work in partnering with city staff and local organizations to create safer roads and is working to ensure the Pomona Bike Master and Active Transportation Plan will be adopted in Spring of 2013. Now with Daryl out of Pomona, it does not mean cycling efforts are over, it just means now is the time for the community to come together and continue to fight for the things that Daryl has fought so hard for. We wish Daryl the best of luck as the new Public Works Director of San Luis Obispo and although we will miss him terribly, we look forward to working with the City of Pomona and are optimistic of it’s future.
We invite those who have something to say about Daryl to please leave a comment and share your experiences with this wonderful individual.