Bicycle Advisory Committee: Planning Subcommittee 1/11/11

On a date consisting of five consecutive 1’s (1/11/11), the Planning Subcommittee of the Bicycle Advisory Committee met with LADOT Bike Program Coordinators, LADOT Bikeways Engineers, and City Planning staff to hash out details and progress for a number of projects.  If this post tickles your fancy, the BAC Bikeways Subcommittee is meeting tomorrow from 1:00-3:00.  You can read their full agenda and RSVP here.

If subcommittees just aren’t your thing, you can attend the full Bicycle Advisory Committee bi-monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 1st.  They meet at 7:00 at Hollywood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave.

 

The full BAC in August, courtesy Biking in LA

In a wide-ranging meeting, the BAC Planning Subcommittee covered:

  • The newest updates to the LA Bike Plan;
  • Progress on the Expo Bikeways;
  • NBC/Universal’s planned expansion;
  • Bikeways along the Crenshaw LRT line, and;
  • Creating a demonstration project which will fully engage a community before, during, and after construction of a bicycle facility.

In attendance from LADOT were Michelle Mowery, Nate Baird, Christopher Kidd, Tina Backstrom, Tim Fremaux, and Paul Meshkin.  From City Planning was Jordann Turner.  From the BAC were Kent Strumpell, Glenn Bailey, Jonathan Weiss, Jeff Jacobberger, Jay Slater, and Larry Hoffman.

Follow below the fold to get all the juicy details.

After a rousing discussion about the adoption of minutes, notes, and action items from the previous Planning Subcommittee meeting (Nov. 10), the gathered attendees were able to move on to the day’s agenda items.

LA Bike Plan

City Planner Jordan Turner was on hand to give an update on the draft LA Bike Plan.

  • The Bike Plan is in the Mayor’s office right now for their comments and recommended changes.  Typically, the Mayor’s office concurs with the rulings of the City Planning Commission.
  • A preliminary date has not yet been set for the LA Bike Plan to go before a joint session of the Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) and the Transportation Committee (T-Comm).  Jordann considered “early February” the most likely date for the dual hearing.
  • The final actions and recommendations of the City Planning Commission are going to go up on the LA Bike Plan website by the end of today, January 24th.
  • The Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) will oversee progress on the new Bike Plan once adopted.  Chaired by City Planning, meetings will be open to the entire bicycle community as well as the public.

The BAC members expressed their concern that the BPIT did not have a specifically defined role for the BAC.  They introduced and passed a motion to give the BAC a formal seat on the BPIT.

The BAC also expressed concern that roadway projects in the future may have negative impacts on bicycle facilities or might preclude the implementation of future bicycle facilities.  The example given was the effort to exclude the Wilshire BRT from the Westside.  While the effort is mainly geared around preventing bus-only transit lanes along Wilshire Boulevard, this issue also effects bicyclists because the lanes would operate a “bus-bike” lane.  By precluding a bus-bike lane, it would create significant difficulties in implementing bicycle facilities on Wilshire as part of the Backbone Bikeway Network.  To that effect, the BAC subcommittee passed a motion that the T-Committee should hold a hearing for any roadway project or improvement that might preclude the implementation of the LA Bike Plan throughout any corridors or street segments.

Expo Bikeway

Next was an update on the bike path/bike lanes that are to accompany the length of the Expo line from Expo & Vermont all the way to Expo & Centinella (check out our projects map to get a better idea).

  • Expo Phase II will likely select a contractor for Design/Build in February.
  • The new preliminary environmental report should be completed within two months.
  • There is still disagreement over which department will maintain the majority of the landscaping along the bikeway.  Metro’s Landscape Advisory Committee is looking into resolving the matter.
  • The Expo Construction Authority is looking into the formation of an Expo Bicycle Advisory Committee

NBC/Universal

The Bureau of Engineering and the County of Los Angeles are writing joint comments to the EIR scoping session for the NBC/Universal project which insists the developer must provide a bike path along the LA River for the entire length of the project.  This will help to further extend the LA River Bike Path.

As part of their project, NBC wants to create a bike lane on a north-south street through their property to make up for a road widening on Barham which would preclude safe biking on that street.  The BAC subcommittee passed a motion to submit their own comments to the EIR scoping session. These comments will express their opinion that a bike lane within the NBC/Universal project does not make up for removing bicycle connectivity on Barham and that the project plan should make more attempts to connect with bicycle infrastructure in the surrounding community.

Crenshaw LRT

Bikeways Engineer Tina Backstrom next gave an update on the Crenshaw LRT project.  This next stage in Mayor Villaraigosa’s 30/10 plan will connect the Purple Line, the Expo Line, LAX, and the Green Line.

  • For all above-ground/at-grade sections of the Crenshaw Line, bike lanes will be installed as well.
  • The project may be underground from Expo to either Vernon or 48th.

The BAC subcommittee passed a motion calling for a Crenshaw LRT bicycle advisory committee.

Demonstration Project

Brainchild of BAC member Kent Strumpell, this “demonstration project” would be a multi-faced bicycle facility and demonstration program meant to gauge community response and receptiveness towards implementing the new LA Bike Plan.

Different locations were discussed, some very receptive towards bike projects (Venice) and other areas historically more unreceptive to bike projects.  The BAC subcommittee identified the need to work with many groups such as the LACBC and Neighborhood Councils where a demonstration project might have the greatest impact and chance of success.

The BAC – You should care

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee is meant to be just that: a body that represents bicyclists in all of Los Angeles.  In addition to their own meetings, they constantly meet with the LADOT Bike Program and City Planning staff to discuss bike projects and work out conflicts with the bicycle community.  They collaborate with LADOT on upcoming projects and presentations – like the Main Street Bike Lanes in Venice.  If you have bicycle concerns that aren’t being met by the BAC, it’s essential for you to attend BAC meetings (or email BAC members) and make your needs heard.

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