BPIT Notes, 7/5/11: Progress Marches Ever On

The most recent meeting of the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) assembled this past Tuesday at City Hall Room 721 to discuss a wide range of topics centered around a single goal: making Los Angeles a better place to ride a bike.  This BPIT meeting, while less contentious than in months past, accomplished a great deal and took the first steps on many projects that will end in miles of bike lanes, miles of bicycle boulevards, and safer bicyclists.

The meeting was dutifully tweeted by BikeBlogChris (Christopher Kidd), flyingpigeonla (Joseph Bray-Ali), and cyclotropic (Max Berson).  You can track the play-by-play with the #BPIT Twitter hashtag.  For an alternate take on the meeting, Rick Risemberg (of BicycleFixation fame) has his notes from the meeting up at FlyingPigeonLA.

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Over 30 people jammed room 721 this Tuesday

Below the fold, we’ll go through the details of this month’s meeting.  Presentations by Pat Hines of Safe Moves, updates on newly finished bike lanes by Paul Meshkin, a presentation on priority bike lane projects in central LA & NELA, and discussions about prioritizing Bicycle Friendly Streets were all covered.

Remember, the BPIT sets the agenda for implementing the 2010 LA Bike Plan.  If you think something is missing from the meetings, make yourself heard.

Heavy Attendance

Over 30 people (33, by our count) attended this month’s BPIT meeting.  In the room were representatives from LADOT, City Planning, the Mayor’s Office, Council Districts 2 & 10, the LACBC, Bikeside, various Neighborhood Councils, and interested members of the public.  First on the agenda was Pat Hines, the founder of the Safe Moves Program.

Safe Moves

Pat showed a short video and oral presentation about the work that the Safe Moves program does at schools throughout Los Angeles.  The Safe Moves program creates multiple levels of bicycle safety courses catered to the grade level of the student.  Their educational programs stress a mixture of injury prevention, knowledge of traffic laws, and healthy exercise habits.

In addition to answering a slew of questions from the BPIT meeting attendees, Pat also shared the story of what inspired her to start the Safe Moves program – a longtime friend of hers was killed in a car crash while riding her bicycle on Pacific Coast Highway.

Pat is looking to increase the scope and impact of the Safe Moves program, and, beginning this year, will start approaching Neighborhood Councils in addition to Los Angeles schools about bicycle safety education.  Attendees asked for a list of which schools are participating in Safe Moves and which turn Safe Moves down.  If you’d like to contact Pat about more information on the Safe Moves program, you can reach her at phinesafety@aol.com.

Newly Completed Projects

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Reading up on new bike lane projects

Head Bikeways engineer Paul Meshkin next gave a presentation on newly completed bike lane projects and bike lane projects that will soon be installed.  You can get all the details here.  Paul agreed to make public a document listing projects currently in design and their status – we’ll make that document available online as soon as we receive it.

Priority Bike Lane Projects – City Center and NELA

Next up came a presentation by engineer Tim Fremaux on conceptual designs for four bike lane projects: Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (Marlton to Figueroa), 7th Street (Figueroa to Soto), Vermont Ave (Venice to Wilshire), and N Figueroa Street (San Fernando to Colorado).  While we’ll cover the particulars more in depth in the coming week, here’s the presentation given to the BPIT.

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City Planning's Jane Choi taking notes

BPIT Attendees gave various types of feedback on each project.  Suggestions included increasing the scope of projects to connect with other bike lanes, solutions for avoiding expensive treatments like the possible removal of concrete medians, innovative solutions to accommodate bikes on extremely narrow streets,  solutions that would also garner the support of drivers, and new strategies for outreach on projects.  This valuable feedback will be incorporated in subsequent LADOT presentations for Neighborhood Councils and community groups.

Bicycle Friendly Streets

During the last leg of the meeting, BPIT attendees discussed how to prioritize the implementation of Bicycle Friendly Streets (BFS).  There were a wide range of ideas on how to prioritize implementation.  Some were concerned with political barriers, some were concerned with funding, some wanted to focus on streets that would have the highest visibility and ridership, some wanted to focus on streets in low-income communities, some wanted to focus on streets that have the most dangerous intersections for bikes and pedestrians.  Likely, it will be a combination of all these factors which determine how BFS’s get prioritized; the challenge will come in how to weight each factor.  If you’ve got ideas for which streets to prioritize first, let us know in comments. You can get the full list of streets being considered for BFS treatments in the July BPIT agenda.

Next Meeting

Next month’s meeting will entail another shift in direction for the BPIT.  While many of the remaining Priority 1 bike lane projects up for discussion will be reviewed in September, the BPIT will focus on programmatic priorities in August.  If you have suggestions for what types of issues the BPIT should discuss, leave them in the comments section or email them to Jane Choi in City Planning.

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