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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League of American Bicyclists Awards Los Angeles as Bicycle Friendly Community at the Bronze Level

Andy Clarke, of the League of American Bicyclists, announces the City of Los Angeles’ bronze level award as a Bicycle Friendly Community.

This morning, LADOT Bikeways staff, Councilmember Reyes, and representatives from the Mayor’s Office, gathered with bicycle advocates including members from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition at Mac Arthur Park to witness the League of American Bicyclists President, Andy Clarke recognize the City as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the bronze level. While Los Angeles was only one of several dozen new bicycle friendly communities to receive an award, the League recognized the City’s distinct challenges, affirming that,  “Leaders like Los Angeles serve as a great example that even cities known for Carmageddon can take cost-effective steps to start making cycling an integrated part of the transportation system.”

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Bicycle Parking Ordinance Passes City Planning Commission

The Los Angeles City Planning Commission today took a step towards making Los Angeles a truly bicycle friendly city.  In a unanimous vote, the Commission adopted a Bicycle Parking Ordinance that would vastly expand the number of new bike parking spaces required in new developments of all kinds throughout Los Angeles. You can follow the blow-by-blows of the hearing at the twitter feed BikeBlogChris, or the hashtags #bikeLA and #lamtg.  You can download a copy of the pdf here.

Over 15 dedicated bicyclists and advocates showed up in City Hall Room 350 today to support the ordinance.  Kudos are due to Rye Baerg, the driving force behind the ordinance in the City Planning Department, and all the dedicated members of the public who have helped the ordinance reach where it is today.

Thanks, Rye (image courtesy LACBC)

The next step for the Bicycle Parking Ordinance is a hearing before the PLUM (Planning & Land Use Management) Committee.  Once through PLUM, the ordinance goes to a full hearing before the City Council before becoming part of the City’s municipal code.  When the ordinance is agendized from the PLUM Committee, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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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.

July BPIT 001

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.

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Downtown LA Bike Projects at the DLANC

This past Tuesday, LADOT Bike Blog and Bikeways Engineering staff spent their evening attending a meeting for the Planning & Land Use Committee for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC).  Several members of the LACBC and the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee also showed up to lend LADOT their support.

LADOT presenting at the DLANC

Among other items, which included Master Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) for a few downtown developments and a measure to support “adult cabaret” uses at a nightclub out in the Industrial District, the LADOT Bike Program presented conceptual designs for bike lane projects on Figueroa Street, Flower Street, Spring Street, and Main Street.  Ably covered by the excellent Blogdowtown, you can read the specifics of our presentation there.   We plan to give these projects fuller coverage in the days to come, and we will make the powerpoint presentation given to the DLANC Planning & Land Use Committee available online along with it. Read more

BAC Planning Subcommittee 5/10/11: Bike Plan, Expo, Westwood & NBC/Universal

This past Tuesday, the Planning Subcommittee for the Los Angeles BAC (Bicycle Advisory Committee) met with LADOT Bicycle Program staff to discuss a range of bicycle related planning issues. As the first line in detailed technical advice for Bikeways engineers, the BAC Planning Subcommittee helps LADOT engineers to troubleshoot infrastructure design and drum up public support for new bike lane and bike path projects. Their meetings, as always, are open to the public – held at the Caltrans building every month and noticed on the LADOT Bike Program website beforehand.

This month, the BAC Planning Subcommittee discussed environmental review for the LA Bike Plan, progress on the Expo Line bike path, possible roadblocks for bikeways along the Crenshaw Line, bringing bike infrastructure to Westwood Boulevard, and bicycle issues surrounding the NBC/Universal project.

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Foothill Boulevard Bike Lane Before the Foothill Trails NC

(Ed. Note: I, Christopher Kidd, am back from the Comprehensive Exam for his degree in Urban Planning at USC.  We’ll have a recap on yesterday’s BPIT meeting up in the next few days.  In the meantime, here’s an update on our department’s attempt to bring bike lanes to Foothill Boulevard.)

The LADOT Bike Program has, among other projects, been working to bring nearly 4 miles of new bike lanes to the north-eastern San Fernando Valley on Foothill Boulevard.  LADOT Bikeways engineers last month presented to the Foothill Trails Neighborhood Council on a 1.5 mile section of this street.  In taking comments from the NC, the specter of equestrian-bicyclist conflict once again raised its head, though in different form than we saw during the hearings for the LA Bike Plan.

Below the fold we’ll cover the project particulars, the concerns raised by the Foothill Trails NC, some possible compromises drafted by LADOT, and what you can do to make your opinion heard.

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Quick Hits: One Step Closer to Metro Bike Ban Repeal; City Planning Gets Their Due; ULI in Long Beach

A few quick notes for the LA bike community on a balmy Thursday:

Metro’s Peak-Hour Bike Ban One Step from Repeal

The Metro Operations Committee this afternoon approved Metro Staff’s recommendations to remove peak-hour restrictions for bicycles.  As we wrote about yesterday, Metro is considering both removing peak-hour restrictions on bikes for all Metro rail lines and removing a few seats in all Metro cars to better accommodate passengers with bicycles, strollers, luggage, and other large items that can sometimes block access to train doorways. The subway lines have already had this work done, but the light rail lines are being considered, as well.

Members of the LACBC, LADOT, the BRU, the BAC, and FAST all spoke in support of removing the restrictions and removing limited seating on trains.  CEO Art Leahy was also extremely supportive of staff’s recommendations to make Metro a truly bicycle-friendly transit system.  Leahy pointed out that removal of 2 seats on a train would create room for “5 standees” per car when trains are at capacity.  Creating more capacity on Metro without increasing operating costs is just another strong argument to add to the list in favor of staff’s recommendations.

One of the Operations Committee members wanted staff to provide a report on the impacts to current Metro riders if ridership levels increase due to more bicyclists riding on Metro.  He worried that current riders wouldn’t be able to get seats during rush hour were ridership to increase due to more bicyclists riding the train.  This seemed to miss the mark a bit for me: Increased ridership should be a boon, not an impact, to Metro; and aren’t bicyclists Metro riders, too?

After discussion between committee members ended, they voted to move the recommendations on to the full Metro Board.  The full board may hear the item as soon as next week, so keep your digital eyes on the LADOT Bike Blog throughout the week for new developments.

City Planning Wins Fitting APA Award for LA Bike Plan

The Los Angeles Section of the American Planners Association (APA) just came out with their 2011 planning awards.  For their work on the 2010 LA Bike Plan, City Planning is receiving the APA “Hard Won Victory Award”.

Two years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Los Angeles having a new bike plan at all, much less the visionary bike plan that has earned admiration and envy across the country.  Much of the reason we have that great bike plan today is due to the tireless efforts of City Planning staff Claire Bowen, Jane Choi, and Jordann Turner.  It was their hard work, their endless optimism, and their tireless coalition building that brought together advocates, the City, and the public around a plan that we can all be proud of.

Though the award is being given to City Planning, it’s my opinion that everyone involved in the bike plan deserves a piece of the APA award.  The process was a “hard won victory” on all sides, and everyone involved should be truly proud of helping make Los Angeles a better place for all.

ULI Hits Long Beach

On the heels of opening their very first set of cycle tracks, Long Beach will play host to the Urban Land Institute – Los Angeles Branch.  The ULI is holding a Mobility Tour and Case Study of Long Beach’s bicycle infrastructure on May 4th.  In addition to the tour, a panel featuring Charlie Gandy, Sumi Gant, Michael Bohn, and Casey Burke will discuss Long Beach’s strategies, implementation, and lessons learned in implementing cutting-edge bicycle infrastructure.  Space is limited, and you can register on ULI’s website.

BAC Notes 4/5/11: Welcome New BACer Jennifer Gill!

First Tuesdays can be busy! In addition to the monthly Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting in the afternoon, the day also featured the bi-monthly Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting in the evening. It was the first full meeting as BAC Chair for Jay Slater and featured a brand new BAC member, as well.

Jennifer Gill, who manages outreach efforts for  the Metro Bicycle Roundtable meetings, was present for her first meeting as the new BAC representative for CD 1.  Council Member Ed Reyes, long known for his strong support of bicycling, made a great decision in appointing such a capable and progressive supporter of bicycling.  We wish Jennifer the best in her new role on the BAC and hope that she can bring new energy, ideas, and gravitas to the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Tuesday’s meeting was well attended by both BAC members and members of the public.  Fourteen out of the 19 sitting BAC members were in attendance.  And 15 other individuals – including Alexis Lantz of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Don Ward of SafeStreetsNorthridge and Midnight Ridazz fame – made the trip to 6501 Fountain Avenue (Google map it).

Below the fold, we’ll get into highlights of the meeting: an update from Sergeant Krumer, discussion of the LA County Bike Plan, more specifics on the BAC Liaison Program, the BAC’s future website, an update on City Planning’s Bike Parking Ordinance, and the effort to bring a universal bicycle registry to Southern California.

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BPIT Notes 4/5/11: 7th Street, Venice Blvd, Sunset Blvd, and More

This last Tuesday, folks from LADOT, City Planning, the Mayor’s Office, Council Offices, LACBC, Bikeside, and other concerned bicyclists all piled into City Hall Room 721 for the monthly meeting of the Bike Plan Implementation Team.  If you missed it, you can get the meeting notice and agenda here.

It’s becoming more apparent with each meeting that City Hall Room 721 may not fulfill the needs of the ever-growing BPIT: the 37 people who showed up this month were practically flowing out into the hallway.  It’s encouraging to see that so many members of the public and so many representatives from various parts of the City are committed to making the LA Bike Plan a reality.  Rick Risemberg weighed in with a very uplifting recap of the BPIT at the Flying Pigeon blog.  Dan Rodman, an excellent new writer for Bikeside, gave his own recap of the meeting.

Up on the docket for the BPIT were updates on current LADOT Bikeways projects, progress on 7th Street, the Wilshire Grand project, Sunset Boulevard, getting started on Venice Boulevard, and future program priorities for the City.

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