If, like us, you enjoy reading about bicycle planning and advocacy, you may have heard about a new initiative known as Active Streets LA, which officially launched last month. Active Streets LA is a planning and community outreach partnership between LADOT, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), and TRUST South LA. This partnership will build upon the 2010 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan by engaging the community in a design process for bicycle-friendly streets (BFS) in three neighborhoods, starting with South Los Angeles and eventually moving on to Boyle Heights and Sylmar. Active Streets LA is holding a community event at Budlong Elementary School on Saturday, October 19th, which all are welcome to attend. Details after the jump
Getting the corral off the drawing board and onto the ground was a lengthy process, but ultimately the project was able to march ahead thanks to both local residents’ support and political will. The day the bike corral officially opened was rightfully celebrated as a great stride in the city’s efforts to become more bicycle friendly.
Shortly after the York Boulevard bike corral was installed, we released a bike corral application form to gauge interest for future potential bike corral locations. Approximately a year after the city’s inaugural corral was installed, a second was placed as part of the Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake. Read more
At our most recent Bicycle Plan Implementation Team meeting, Bikeways Engineer Tim Fremaux briefly noted that the LADOT implemented a number of road diets in the past fiscal year. Although it was only mentioned in passing, after looking at the exact mileage, it turns out this is actually a big accomplishment. Of the 100 miles of bike lanes installed over the last fiscal year, 20.1 miles came in the form of road diets. This comes as particularly promising news from a traffic safety perspective in light of the great safety improvements recently observed on a section of York Boulevard that received a road diet in 2006. So let’s take a page from the SFMTA, and be proud of our road diets, and see exactly where these road diets are:
Why Data Matters For Bikeway Implementation
Over the past two fiscal years, the LADOT Bicycle Program has installed well over a hundred miles of new bike lanes, filling gaps in the city’s bicycle network and enhancing street conditions to make cycling more safe and pleasant. Alongside this effort, the LADOT will also soon be moving forward with highly anticipated bike projects in the city’s first EIR package, marking a huge step forward in the 2010 Bicycle Plan implementation process.
However, great as these accomplishment are, we don’t fully know the impact of bike lane projects and neighborhood bike networks unless we collect data evaluating the impacts of all this new bike infrastructure. How do new bike lanes and road diets affect the number of people bicycling on a street? Do bike lanes improve overall street safety? These are questions we need to answer. Additionally, we don’t know where bike infrastructure is most needed, and has the most potential if we don’t know the popular cycling corridors in the city. Simply put, data collection is incredibly important for evaluating the effectiveness of existing bikeways, and determining how best to advance new bicycle projects.
Since 2009, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) has coordinated – with the help of volunteers – bicycle and pedestrian counts throughout Los Angeles to help measure changes in the level of cycling. The results of the LACBC’s most recent counts, from 2011, observed a tremendous increase in the amount of cycling compared to 2009, particularly on streets that received bike lanes in the time between the two counts. While studies across the nation have demonstrated that building bicycle infrastructure leads to increases in the level of cycling, the LACBC bike counts attach real numbers to actual streets and bike projects in Los Angeles.
How YOU Can Help Future Bikeway Projects
The LACBC is now in the process of coordinating bike counts for 2013. They are scheduled to take place on the 10th and 14th of September, and the LACBC needs your help to put together the most comprehensive and accurate bike counts yet. Because this year’s bike counts will be conducted shortly after over a hundred of new miles have been implemented and with highly anticipated road diets on the horizon, they are especially crucial from a data collection standpoint. The LACBC’s September bike counts will offer an indication of how effective the past fiscal year’s bike lanes have been while offering important “before” data for future bike lane projects.
Ultimately, by simply continuing to count bicycle and pedestrian traffic, the LACBC will be collecting and compiling data the city unfortunately would not otherwise have, while reminding us not to overlook those walking and bicycling on our public streets. All modes of travel matter and deserve to be counted.
Take Action Now
If you can, please consider signing up to volunteer for the LACBC’s bike counts. The simple act of collecting accurate data on bicycle and pedestrian usage on our streets will simultaneously help educate Angelenos on the growing popularity of active transportation, evaluate the effectiveness of existing bikeways, and provide valuable data on streets slated for future bikeways.
For more information on the LACBC’s September 2013 bike counts, click here– and to be directly linked to the LACBC bike count volunteer form, click here. For those on facebook, check out the 2013 Bike Count event page.
After you sign up to volunteer, you MUST choose a volunteer orientation session to attend.
Approximately forty advocates, stakeholders, and City staff were present at the last BPIT meeting on July the 2nd in the California Bear Credit Union Community Room. The workshop included discussion on the Bicycle Plan program prioritization and Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) implementation.
The Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) will be meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, July 2nd at 1 PM in the California Bear Credit Union Community Room. Get ready for a fun and engaging workshop activity where we will be continuing our discussion on Bicycle Plan program prioritization and Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) implementation.
The BFS planning activity will be comprised of two step. First is to indicate on the map priority neighborhood network, based on some of the criteria discussed in our past meetings. The priority network should create a direct, low-stress access to local services as well as the greater backbone bicycle network. The base maps include the complete Bicycle Plan neighborhood network, the proposed Bicycle Enhanced Network (BEN), and neighborhood destinations such as parks and schools. Base maps representing specific geographies are available in order to help focus on your geographic area of interest. Just select and print one or several of the following to prepare for the exercise: Valley, West, Central-East, Harbor and SouthLA.
On Monday, June 3rd, councilmember Huizar announced his support for the implementation of buffered bike lanes along Colorado Boulevard during a public meeting held at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts. Staff at Council District 14 report over 200 people signed in at the entrance to the community event and about 80 stakeholders filled out speaker cards to voice their opinions regarding the specific design proposals. Feedback to the presented proposal was largely positive though some understandably expressed concerns over impact to peak-hour travel times. Several media outlets were in attendance, as well; the Eagle Rock Patch, Fox 11, LA Streetsblog, and The Eastsider LA have all provided coverage and commentary on the meeting. Read more
Twenty-seven advocates, stakeholders, and City staff were present at the last BPIT meeting on April the 2nd. Discussion topics included the update to the General Plan’s Mobility Element, recently implemented bikeways, prioritizing plan programs, and Bicycle Friendly Streets.
Mobility Element Update
Claire Bowin of the Department of City Planning opened the meeting by presenting on the Mobility Element update. Currently in the Environmental Impact Report scoping phase, the update includes plans for a Bicycle Enhanced Network (BEN) in which a 180-mile subset of the City-wide bikeway system is identified for enhancements. The intensity of the enhancements will vary, with features such as right-of-way infrastructure improvements, signal timing improvements, and end of trip facilities. The bikeway inclusion criteria emphasize 1) connectivity between regional centers and major destinations; 2) locations with a higher presence of bicyclists and 3) bicyclist-involved collisions; and 4) designation within the backbone or Neighborhood Networks. Read more
Last Monday concluded the official comment period for a package of prioritized bike lane projects that L.A.D.O.T. and City Planning have been analyzing for implementation. We’ve been gauging the support for these projects at four public hearings across the city (in addition to a webinar), and taking in ideas regarding how best to install them should we move forward.
All of the proposed bike lane projects are expected to change — to varying degrees — how the involved streets currently function (in most cases, existing traffic volumes will be served by one or two fewer travel lanes). To that end, we’ve gone about fulfilling the requirements of the newly passed bike lane exemption law, AB2245, which exempts bike lanes from C.E.Q.A. (even if traffic is affected), but requires a traffic and safety impact report, public hearings, and measures to mitigate any impacts. In this blog post, you’ll find a summary of the presentations we made at our hearings, as well as an overview of where we’re at now with these projects and where we’re headed next.
Each of our public hearings consisted of two key parts. We began each meeting with a presentation explaining how and why these projects have been selected, how we expect them to be installed at this point (including travel lane removal, and in some cases, limited parking removal), how much vehicular travel delay the proposed changes are expected to add to studied intersections (based on existing volumes and post-project lanes available), and what benefits we expect to receive. Read more
City Planning’s David Somers filled us in a couple of weeks ago on the release of the draft EIR for the First Year Bicycle Lanes project. While AB 2245 exempt bicycle lanes from CEQA, it still requires a public hearing process and traffic/safety assessments in order to file the exemption.
Those hearings will be occurring as follows:
February 13, 2013, 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Los Angeles River Center & Gardens
570 West Avenue 26
Los Angeles, CA 90065
February 14, 2013, 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Caltrans District 7 Building, Room 01.040 A, B and C
100 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
February 19, 2013, 6 pm to 8:30 pm
LADOT Western Parking Enforcement Office,
11214 W. Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
February 21, 2013, 6 pm to 8:30 pm
North Hollywood Regional Library
5211 Tujunga Ave.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
As a refresher, the First Year Bicycle Lanes project includes the city’s first protected bicycle lanes as part of the MyFig streetscape project, a continuous bikeway from Hollywood through Silver Lake and Echo Park to Downtown, and strategic gap closures in the existing bicycle lane network. Somers also discusses the approval process going forward in another blog post.
Make sure to attend the meetings and have your voice heard on this exciting process.