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:
City officials and residents recently celebrated the latest addition of L.A. river bike path in the city, in the West San Fernando Valley. The new 1 mile portion of bicycle path between Winnetka Ave. and Vanalden Ave. was officially opened to the public on November 16th. The official ribbon cutting ceremony drew over 60 supporters, including Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilman Dennis Zine, and Friends of the Los Angeles River founder Lewis MacAdams, among others. Phase 2 of this project is currently under construction and expected to be completed soon. It will extend the path 1 mile further, from Winnetka Ave. to Mason Ave. Read more
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) is the newly- passed Federal Transportation Bill, signed into law last month. This bipartisan piece of legislation was passed under a quickly-approaching deadline due to the expiring former bill: Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The new bill is an attempt by Congress to reduce federal spending, as MAP-21 is estimated to cut costs by $16.3 billion over the next ten years. The Act included part of the America Fast Forward program initiated by Mayor Villaraigosa in an effort to accelerate thirty years of infrastructure projects into a ten-year period. Senator Boxer spearheaded the addition of this component of the bill. Federal funding will be provided via the Transportation Infrastructure Financial and Innovation Act (TIFIA) to channel funds toward public transit options, in particular light rail and subway lines. The inclusion of America Fast Forward will help provide both significant economic and environmental benefits.
Despite the praises accumulated for attempting to cut federal expenditures and improving the financing options for transit development, many have deemed MAP-21 a step backwards in transportation policy for bicyclists and pedestrians. Even Ray LaHood, the US Secretary of Transportation, has called this new bill “highway-centric.” Partisan politics had a big factor in the final formation of the bill, as portions of the Act regarding environmental protection and bicycle safety were removed via a mutually null-ing trade with Republicans, who had wanted the Keystone XL oil pipeline approved via the bill. Read more
The mayor’s office has created a new YouTube video that showcases CicLAvia’s transformative effect on how we use our streets. The event has helped Angelenos discover that life without a car is not only possible, but preferable. CicLAvia encourages Angelenos to experience their city through alternative forms of transportation–including transit, walking, and bicycling. The next CicLAvia will take place on October 7th, 2012 from 10AM – 3PM. There will be lots to look forward to, including a new route that takes participants into South L.A., Exposition Park, and Chinatown. Be sure to check out CicLAvia’s main site and L.A. Streetsblog for more information on this fall’s CicLAvia event.
Another awesome CicLAvia event is now in the books and we have a lot of fond memories to look back on. We thought we’d take some time to thank and acknowledge our LADOT co-workers who help make the big day possible. It takes a small army of LADOT staff to make sure that large events like CicLAvia go off without a hitch. LADOT is responsible for managing the logistics of street closures – or in this case, street openings for bicycles and pedestrians. Read more
You may have heard at this morning’s CicLAvia press conference that the City of Los Angeles will soon be launching its very own bike share system. Details are still being worked out but we can confirm that Bike Nation USA – a local Southern California based firm – will launch and operate the system in collaboration with the city. The entire system will be privately launched and operated, and will not require any public funding. L.A.’s Bike Nation bike share system will be comprised of 400 kiosks, 6,500 docking stations, and 4,000 bicycles.
Last night, you may have heard if you follow @ladotbikeprog and/or @lacbc on twitter, that the LADOT Bike Program has been working with the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation to develop a campaign to educate the public regarding the illegality of blocking bike lanes with trash receptacles. The campaign will be comprised of three parts; advertisements on the side of Bureau of Sanitation vehicles, language to be included in print materials distributed to the Bureau of Sanitation’s customer base, and staff training to ensure that after pick up, trash receptacles are not deposited in bike lanes.
Mayor Antonio Villraigosa’s Office of Environment, Energy, & Sustainability has produced a video that highlights what local businesses think of CicLAvia – the ever popular event that closes several miles of streets to automobiles and opens them up for bikes and pedestrians, including segments through Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) the last few dates.
The video asks, “What happens when bikes take over the streets of Los Angeles?” A few local businesses provide their own unique perspectives. It turns out that businesses enjoy the event just as much as everyone else does. Read more
Under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Transportation Initiative, LADOT will soon be adding a total of 95 new green, compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to the city’s transit vehicle fleet – 32 of which will be deployed as early as this December. The LADOT Bike Blog is happy to report that these new buses will all have bike racks that can accommodate up to three bicycles; a 50% increase over the common two capacity bike rack. For more information about bikes on LADOT transit vehicles, please visit the LADOT transit website by clicking here. More on bikes and transit below the fold.
Rumor has it the Governor is considering vetoing SB 910, the 3′ passing distance bill for California. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is opposing the bill and its our understanding that the Governor may consider CHP’s wishes over the safety of bicyclists. Please, please, PLEASE call/email/fax/write the Governor NOW, and tell him to sign the bill.
Personal stories and information as to why this is so important may be key to getting this bill passed. For more information, go to California Bicycle Coalition’s Give Me 3 campaign page. They’ll have complete text of the bill, and some sample letters of support as well as contact info for the Governor and other elected officials.