And the Emmy for Best Commute goes to #bike2emmys 2015!

On Sunday night, viewers from around the world tuned in to the 67th annual Emmys Awards. Similar to the Academy Awards for film and the Grammys for music, the Emmys recognize outstanding work in American primetime television programming. The Emmys are quintessential Hollywood, with actors and actresses, editors and producers, parading in the splendor and soaking up the limelight as millions watch. Those familiar with the golden awards associate them with glitz, glamour, red carpets, fashion police, and limos. Lots of limos!

For Mad Men writer-producer and Emmy nominee Tom Smuts, however, limos are passé. Since last year, Tom has opted for a more efficient and liberating vehicle to get to the awards ceremony, his bicycle. This year, he led a 20-mile bike ride from his home in Santa Monica to the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles for his second annual #bike2Emmys ride, demonstrating that it is possible to bike anywhere in Los Angeles. Not only did Smuts and his posse bike on one of the hottest days of the year (that nearly caused one Emmy attendee to faint), they rode in their Sunday’s finest in true Mad Men style.

Riding to the Emmys in style with #bikeshareLA superstars.

Tom was joined by a City officials and bicycling enthusiasts including Councilmember Mike Bonin, Marcel Porras from the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Tamika Butler, professional cyclists Tim Johnson and Dave Zabriskie, members of the Vision Zero Alliance and many more.  Read more

It’s a wrap! #BikeWeekLA 2015 Recap

It’s a wrap! Bike Week 2015 is officially over… animated bicycling creatures, a spinning wheel of trivia, 25 foot fish skeletons, shamans, BIKE SOCKS and so much more! Thanks Metro and all the LA County partners who worked so hard to put this all together! It was truly unforgettable because Bike Weeks come and go, but the memories stay with us forever. In case your memory’s not as great as ours, or you weren’t able to attend all the events, here’s a quick recap…

This year’s program for Bike Week was jam-packed with fun. Over at the LADOT Bike Program, we made sure not to miss any of the wonderful opportunities to get up and out with Metro and our bicycle partners, propagating bike love across LA throughout the week.

Seleta Reynolds, LADOT General Manager, speaking at Grand Park's Bike Week 2015 Press Conference on Monday. Image: LADOT Bike Program.

Seleta Reynolds, LADOT General Manager, knocks our socks off at Grand Park’s Bike Week 2015 Press Conference on Monday, May 11. Image: Jose Tchopourian.

MONDAY

LADOT General Manager, Seleta Reynolds, kicked off Bike Week 2015 with a group ride into work. She led a group ride of LADOT employees from Echo Park to LADOT headquarters in Downtown. Next stop: the Bike Week kick off press conference at Grand Park!  The press conference was star-studded with #bikeLA VIPs including Councilmember Paul Krekorian,  Councilmember Jose HuizarMetro’s day 1 on the job new CEO Phil Washington, Metro boardmember and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Caltrans’ District 7 Director Carrie Bowen, LACBC’s Executive Director Tamika ButlerCICLE’s Executive Director Vanessa Gray, Good Samaritan Hospital’s Andy Leeka, and CicLAvia’s Aaron Paley. Also, lots and lots of cameras and media from local news channels.

Later that day, Metro hosted the “Is Bicycling In Your Future?” panel moderated by Frances Anderton, host of KCRW Design and Architecture and daily bicycle commuter.  The panel featured Laura Cornejo, Deputy Executive Officer at Metro; Maria Sipin, Advisory Board Member of Multicultural Communities for Mobility; Tamika Butler, Executive Director of Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition; and Sergeant Mike Flynn, LAPD Central Traffic Division Bicycle Liaison. Panelists explored whether bicycle ridership will increase as viewed through the lens of engineering, enforcement, and encouragement. We did some math on this and… short answer: YES, bicycling is in YOUR future!

Monday night panel held at Caltrans Building. Image: Rubina Ghazarian

Monday night panel at Caltrans Building

TUESDAY

Tuesday opened with the 12th annual Blessing of the Bicycles! As usual the Blessing was at the Downtown adjacent Good Samaritan Hospital, accompanied by a delicious breakfast. During the morning, fallen bicyclists and advocates were recognized. Then religious figures literally bless bicyclists as they ride by, ensuring them a safe passage throughout the year.

The 12th annual Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by the Good Samaritan Hospital saw a large number of participants and a new recipient of the Golden Spoke Award. Image: Joe Linton/Streetblog LA.

The 12th annual Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by the Good Samaritan Hospital saw a large number of participants and a new recipient of the Golden Spoke Award. Image: Joe Linton/Streetblog LA.

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday’s Bike-In Movies defied inclement weather (by LA standards) by attracting a park full of people on two wheels and their fascinating chair-and-blanket contraptions. Danny Gamboa of Ghost Bikes and Metro’s Jack Moreau MC-ed the night. The shorts ranged from animated critters dealing with aggressive cartoon cars to the very solemn stories of families who have lost loved ones and found peace through the Ghost Bikes movement.

Bike-In Movie Night at Marsh Park had a full house, with over 100 people showing up on bikes. Image: East Side Riders BC.

Bike-In Movie Night at Marsh Park had a full house, with over 100 people showing up on bikes. Image: East Side Riders BC.

THURSDAY

Thursday was Bike to Work Day! This event featured hundreds of pit stops across LA County. Our very own LADOT Bike Program’s pit stop hung out with the Caltrans pit stop in front of our headquarters at Main and 1st Street. Commuters came for the freebies and stayed for fun! We offered snacks, information, and other cool bike swag. We had many special pit stop visits including Tamika Butler and Eric Bruins from LACBCFirst 5 LA, former LADOT Bike Program superstar Jon Overman, and a news crew from Biola University.

From left: Elizabeth Gallardo - LADOT Bike Program's Assistant Coordinator and Tamika Butler - LACBC's Executive Director. Image: Karina Macias.

Assistant Bicycle Coordinator Elizabeth Gallardo chillin with LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler

Later that night, creatives from across the region shared their bicycle-themed artwork with LA Metro for the Color Wheels Art Show. The reception was held at the Caltrans Building, coinciding with DTLA Art Walk. Food, music, and prizes, as well as the really cool bicycle art, helped fill the room. If you haven’t yet visited the exhibition, don’t worry, the show will be open all month! One of our favorite pieces was the fish skeleton stuffed with trash found in the LA River (Bicycle Coordinator Rubina Ghazarian not included in the art piece). The piece shows not only that our bike lanes are large enough to accommodate a giant fish towed via bike trailer from Burbank, but that we need to take better care of our streets, rivers, and oceans!

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Bicycle Coordinator Rubina Ghazarian salutes Bike Week from the Color Wheels ghost fish

FRIDAY

Bike Night at Union Station was the BEST! The event was hosted in the Old Ticket Room in Los Angeles’s most historic train station. We don’t want to gloat, but our LADOT Spin-the-Bike-Wheel was pretty cool! The trivia contest was all the rage, with people lining up again and again for an opportunity to prove their #bikeLA cred and win special prizes.

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We were extra proud to see how many young people were winning at the Wheel, exhibiting some serious street knowledge… You go, #bikeLA! Image: Jose Tchopourian.

Most exciting for us though was our opportunity to debut our brand new Bikeways Guides, hot off the presses from the print shop!  We distributed hundreds of our new maps, updating people with the first new guide since 2011!  Bike Night was also full of music, food trucks, a photobooth and sweet prizes for everyone courtesy of Metro and sponsors. Free bike valet and tune-ups services were offered by Fleet Streets. Once again, Bike Night has proven to be the champion of all Bike Week wrap-ups.

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Karina and Ben holding down the fort and thrilling crowds with Spin-the-Bike-Wheel! Image: Jose Tchopourian.

Talking the talk and walking the walk, we want to share what some Angelenos did during the week. A bike ride held by UCLA Urban Planning students and alumni (and former familiar faces from the Bike Program) visited NoHo Arts Districts, Chandler Bike Path, Griffith Park, LA River Bike Path, North Atwater Park, and Golden Road Brewing on Saturday, May 16. Across the City and beyond, many other rides took place during the week. Please share with us what you did during Bike Week in the comment section!

This group of UCLA students and alumni got together and rode from NoHo to Golden Road Brewing on Sat, May 16. Image: Jose Tchopourian.

This group of UCLA students and alumni got together and rode from NoHo to Golden Road Brewing. Image: Jose Tchopourian.

Bike Week hooks you up with the events and people to begin or continue your bike journey! And probably most importantly, it provides you the tools to navigate the streets of Los Angeles by bicycle safely.  Sadly, Bike Week 2015 has ended, but the fun continues because May is Bike Month!

Ride safely and we hope to see you on the road whether it’s Bike Week or not because at LADOT every week is Bike Week!

Active Streets L.A. brings together residents, planners and advocates to understand their neighborhood streets

The Bicycle Program would like to thank all the people who attended Active Streets L.A. last weekend to talk about walking and bicycling in their neighborhoods. Using a large-scale image of the neighborhood’s street network, locals pointed out intersections with difficult crossings and areas that felt uncomfortable for bicycling. The event was a great opportunity to identify existing conditions and key opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian improvements around the Vermont Square Neighborhood. The insightful comments we received will help us plan where traffic calming measures such as roundabouts, bulb-outs and future crosswalk locations will be most effective. We look forward to hearing more greats ideas and comments at the next Active Streets L.A. event!

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A resident uses a sticky note to indicate a difficult crossing on our map of the surrounding neighborhood.

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We received comments from residents of all ages!

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This family rode over on their scooters!

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The event had a great turnout!

Visit us at the LA Bicycle Commuter Festival!

Credit: Bruce Chan http://jiachi.tumblr.com/

Credit: Bruce Chan http://jiachi.tumblr.com/

The LADOT Bicycle Program is excited to take part in the Los Angeles Bicycle Commuter Festival & Summit! This day-long event is intended “to entertain, educate and connect the ‘bike curious’ of Los Angeles to the joys of riding bicycles for transportation.” The festival features workshops and information on the basics of biking for transportation, local bicycle advocacy efforts, group rides and all things Bike-L.A. related.

Workshops and panel discussions will provide a platform to exchange ideas and experiences with other bicycle commuters. Visitors are encouraged to learn about new and existing resources to help make their bicycle commute a more enjoyable experience. In addition, there will be a number of cool bike vendors attending, a silent auction of bicycle goodies and a party immediately following the main event.

LADOT Bicycle Program will be at the festival with our usual collection of reflective ankle straps, lights, maps and other information. In addition, LADOT People St will be in attendance to answer questions and explain how residents can help transform Los Angeles’ streets into active, accessible public spaces through the implementation of plazas, parklets, and bike corrals.

The festival takes place Sunday, February 16 from noon to 8 p.m. at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza at 1125 N McCadden Pl, Los Angeles, CA.  Please note that this is a ticketed event; registration is $10 for individuals and $15 for families. See below for full details. Hope to see you there!

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Planning for the Northvale portion of the Expo Bicycle Path moves forward

Back in September, we had our first public meeting with residents of Cheviot Hills and other members of the public about the Northvale segment of the Expo Bicycle Path. The purpose of the meeting was to gather public input from the community before LADOT begins to design the bicycle path. Receiving public input before designing the path allows us to better address the comunity’s concerns about the bicycle path. LADOT’s preliminary design will be communicated at a future public meeting.

About the Northvale portion:

The Northvale segment of the Exposition Bicycle Path will be on the north side of the Expo Light Rail line between Overland Avenue and Motor Avenue, as shown in the image below. This path is being funded and constructed separately from the Expo Line and is projected to open in 2017. Many factors including steep hills, convenience, and cost were considered when locating the bicycle path at this site. This path will not go under the freeway with the Expo Train because the existing tunnel is not wide enough for both. Widening the tunnel would be prohibitively expensive for the project.

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A site plan of the Northvale segment of the Expo Bicycle Path.

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A Big Thank You to the 2013 Los Angeles Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Volunteers

The LADOT Bicycle Program would like to thank the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC)Los Angeles Walks, and all the volunteers who helped with the 2013 Bicycle and Pedestrian Count. The results from your hard work will help us gain a better understanding of bicycling in Los Angeles. Bike count data helps planners to understand where people are bicycling, where infrastructure needs exist, who is bicycling and ultimately, helps us to better accommodate the needs of bicyclists in our community.

About the Bicycle and Pedestrian Count

The Los Angeles Bicycle and Pedestrian Count is a massive data collection effort that collects the number of people bicycling and walking at over 120 locations at 3 different times throughout a one week period. Counts occur during peak travel times from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and again that same day from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. A third count takes place on the following Saturday from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. In 2011, the bike count effort recorded 15,000 bicyclists and 75,000 pedestrians. We’re excited to see the results of this year’s bike count and thankful for all the volunteers who make this effort possible. The LACBC, in partnership with Los Angeles Walks, helps to organize the counts, recruit volunteers and process the results. Check out the results from the 2011 counts in this publication about biking and walking in Los Angeles.

Coming Soon: More Bike Corrals!

The site of the soon-to-be installed bike corral in Atwater Village.

It seems so distant, but February 18th, 2011, just two and a half years ago, was when the city’s first bike corral was installed on York Boulevard in Northeast LA.

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

Sign up for LACBC’s September 2013 Bike Count! Data is Important!

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New bike lanes have been popping up all over the city, including this one on Eagle Rock Blvd. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock

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

LACBC Bike Count Flyer

LACBC Flyer Promoting the September 2013 Bike Count. Click image for printable version. Image credit: LACBC

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

Bicycle Parking Ordinance Has Passed!

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Expect to see more of this!

The LADOT Bike Program is happy to report that the Los Angeles City Council has passed the long awaited Bicycle Parking Ordinance. This will mean improved bicycle parking standards citywide at commercial, industrial and residential-type locations. The ordinance includes a number of forward-thinking changes  including:

  • Formal definitions for different types of bike parking 
  • New standards for different types of bike racks including long-term and short-term bicycle parking
  • Improved standards for where bike racks are located on a property
  • Clearer  requirements for short-term and long-term bike parking.
  • New provisions allowing bike parking to be substituted for car parking for up to 20 percent of  the total automobile parking required for non-residential uses or up to 30% of the auto parking required near Transit Oriented Developments (TODs). Residential buildings will be able to swap up to 10% of their car parking, and if located within 1,500 feet of a transit facility, up to 15%. This exchange would occur at a rate of four bike parking spaces, per automobile space.
  • New standards requiring properties with  20 or more long-term bicycle parking spaces to also include 100 square feet of bicycle repair and maintenance space for residents and employees.
  • A Permitting process for allowing bike corrals to be installed in the public right of way.

Read more

Alex Baum Bridge re-dedication ceremony this Thursday (You’re invited!)

Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge

Making way for the new plaque to be installed

On Thursday, from 11 to 12 p.m. LADOT and Council member Tom LaBonge will be re-dedicating the Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge in a ceremony from 11 to 12 at the bridge, located above Los Feliz Blvd. The dedication ceremony will showcase new bronze plaques (unveiled earlier this year at the Blessing of the Bicycles) honoring Alex Baum and his role in promoting bicycling in Los Angeles (just in time for his birthday.) Parking will be limited so we are encouraging attendees to bike, take transit or carpool to the ceremony. Join in the celebration to get a first-hand look at the plaques and a chance to hear guest speakers honor Alex’s accomplishments and L.A’s long bicycling history.

Please note, that the bicycle bridge will be closed to bicyclists from 10:30 to 11:30 for the purpose of the ceremony. A clearly signed detour will be available for bicyclists passing through the area at this time.

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