This Thursday is Bike to Work Day 2019

Bike to Work Day (#BTWD2019)

Bike to Work Day 2019 in Los Angeles is this Thursday, May 16th! Grab a bike (or scooter) and commute to work in a way that is friendly to the environment and to your health.

4th Street Pit Stop

In celebration of Bike to Work Day, from 7 to 10am Thursday, LADOT will host a BTWD “pit stop” at the corner of 4th Street and New Hampshire Avenue in Koreatown, stocked with free coffee and donuts (while supplies last) to help power you along on your route to work. While you recharge at our pit stop, learn about improvements coming to 4th Street and share your ideas about how to make this corridor more bike- and ped-friendly. During the event you can also test out our pop-up mini-roundabout, one of the ways LADOT is planning to enhance 4th Street by slowing vehicles down at the intersection while facilitating through traffic on bike. We can’t wait to see everyone roll up on two wheels Thursday morning!

Free Transit Rides for People on Bikes on Thursday

LADOT Transit will allow all riders with a bicycle or bike helmet to ride DASH and Commuter Express buses for free to celebrate Bike to Work Day 2019 (details here). Similarly, Metro bus and rail, as well as many other transit agencies, will also offer free transit rides to bicyclists (details here).

See you out there!

We are looking forward to Bike to Work Day 2019! It will be a great day for new bike commuters, old pros, and everyone in between. Stop by our pit stop at 4th/New Hampshire, LACBC’s pit stop along the new two-way Spring Street bike lane in DTLA, or any of the others throughout the city and county and then…get to work!

Bike to work day 4th street pit stop flier

May is Bike Month in Los Angeles

Happy May and the start of Bike Month. While we hope that you regularly ride around Los Angeles on your bike, this month can be a great time for anyone to spend more time on two wheels. Throughout the month you will find many special events and programs geared toward getting more people on bikes. Whether you’re an experienced bicyclist, an occasional rider, or someone interested in giving biking a try for the first time, May is your month!

Events

LADOT is rolling out a busy month of bike-friendly events, starting this week with Bike to School Day. Here are some highlights:

  • Wednesday, May 8thBike to School Day on Avalon
  • Tuesday May 14th & Wednesday May 15th – Safe Routes to School: Little Street Pop-Up
  • Thursday May 16th – Bike to Work Day #BTWD
    • Free Rides on DASH and Metro if you ride your bike
    • LADOT Pit Stop at 4th St & New Hampshire Ave (water, snacks, and info on our projects on 4th Street)
    • Lots more citywide pit stops – find them on Metro’s Bike Month Map

Resources

Looking for resources on how to get started with biking in Los Angeles? Check out these sites packed with helpful information that you may need!

Bike Parking

Having a secure place to park your bike when you reach your destination is a necessity. LADOT’s Bike Parking Program has installed thousands of public use bike racks across Los Angeles, and continues to add more each month. Did you know that you can suggest new bike rack locations? Check out this form and let us know of a destination that you visit that could use a new secure place to park.

Bike Share & Dockless Mobility

Biking around LA doesn’t mean you have to own your own bike. Metro Bike Share is a great way to get around many neighborhoods in the city. Check out their online Bike Month resource guide here and learn about their 30-day pass for May 2019 for $1. Likewise, dockless mobility has also made its way onto the scene. Check out LADOT’s Dockless Mobility guide here for more information about dockless bikes and scooters.

Check out Metro’s crowd-sourced regional map and calendar for more Bike Month and BTWD events around the city.

Bike Month on Social Media

Don’t forget to share with your friends and followers throughout Bike Month. Use the hashtags #MayIsBikeMonth and #BikeLA throughout the month and be sure to follow @LADOTBikeProg on Twitter!

Winnetka Ave. Street Improvements Workshop Summary

Thanks to everyone who attended our public workshop on the Winnetka Ave. street improvements! We appreciate all the constructive feedback and important local knowledge you shared with us. If you couldn’t make it, you can view the presentation boards here.

The Winnetka Ave. street improvements project aims to increase safety, connectivity, and mobility options by closing a critical gap in the West San Fernando Valley’s bicycle network. The project team is considering a minor roadway reconfiguration between Vanowen St. and Victory Blvd. that would replace peak-hour traffic lanes with bike lanes and full-time parking. The team is also considering adding a new controlled crossing on Winnetka at Gilmore St.; currently there is no safe opportunity to cross for a half mile. This project would help connect key destinations and regional transportation facilities, including Pierce College, the Metro Orange Line busway, the Metro Orange Line bike path, and the L.A. River Greenway. The new roadway configuration could also help calm traffic speeds and create a buffer between pedestrians on the sidewalk and fast-moving traffic lanes.

In response to requests from the Winnetka Neighborhood Council and other organizations within the area, the Office of Councilmember Bob Blumenfield directed LADOT to begin studying this project. The need for safety improvements along Winnetka became even more apparent in May 2017, when a hit-and-run driver killed Ignacio Sanchez Navarro as he was cycling home from his job at a restaurant on Ventura Blvd.

The public workshop, held on August 29th, 2018 provided an opportunity for Winnetka community members to review LADOT’s existing conditions assessment and preliminary concepts for the project, and to share their feedback and ideas with city staff. Comments from attendees were unanimously in support of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements in this area, with many expressing the desire for an expanded project scope. The following themes emerged from attendee feedback:

Safety & Maintenance: As the street width does not allow for protected bike lanes, the project should include additional safety measures such as speed limit reduction, signage, and brightly colored bike lanes for visibility. Bike lanes must also be well maintained and kept clean of glass and other debris.

Project Area: Ideally, bike lanes should extend south to Ventura Blvd., providing access to Taft High School and the Ventura Blvd. commercial area.

Moving forward, the project team will be developing the conceptual design, with consideration for the feedback received so far. In addition, LADOT will be performing a traffic impact analysis to assess the impacts of the project on nearby intersections. The conceptual design and results of the traffic analysis will be presented at an open house and public hearing on the project later this year. If you have any questions or comments, or would like to be added to the mailing list for this project to be notified of upcoming public events, please email lameese.chang@lacity.org.

Northvale Gap Closure Open House Summary

Thanks to all who came by last month to comment on this project as we reach the halfway mark in our design process! We appreciate the valuable feedback from neighbors and bike path riders.

The Northvale Gap Closure project aims to close a 0.7 mile gap in the existing Expo Line Bike Path with a new bikeway between Motor Ave and Overland Ave. The resulting project will provide a safe, low-stress bicycle facility through Cheviot Hills and Rancho Park, and help complete a continuous east/west bikeway network from Santa Monica to USC/Exposition Park.

During the open house held on June 26th, 2018, City staff from LADOT, the Bureau of Engineering, and Council District 5 provided community members with updates on the project’s current design. (The materials from this meeting can be found here). Attendees were encouraged to provide their general feedback on the project, as well as vote on their preferred design option for Segment 2 (Dunleer Dr. to Putney Rd.) of the project.

The vast majority of the 27 written comments received at the open house or via email expressed support for the project. The comments featured several recurring themes:

Parking: Most commenters supported the proposal to eliminate parking on the south side of Northvale Rd between Dunleer Dr and Putney Rd in order to accommodate the new bikeway.

Signal on Motor Avenue: Many commenters were in favor of the proposed pedestrian and cyclist signal at the future bike path entrance on Motor Ave, noting that that the current configuration for turning left onto Northvale Rd from Motor Ave was unsafe.

Segment 2 Design: We asked attendees to vote on their preferred option for the street-level segment. Option 1 was two-way on-street bike lanes separated from vehicular traffic by bollards. Option 2 was a two-way bike path on raised curb with wood posts and cable railing. Many preferred the aesthetics of Option 2 (as portrayed in the preliminary rendering below). Others mentioned that Option 2 feels more “separated from vehicular traffic,” which would make the path safer to use. Based on this feedback, the project will develop the design for Option 2, which has a more visible separation from motorized traffic and will help keep cyclists safe.

Access Points: While most commenters supported Option 2 for Segment 2, many of them wanted openings along the path in order to access it from adjacent streets. Those in favor of Option 1 (on-street bike lanes with bollards) preferred this design because it allowed path users to enter or exit the path at multiple points. For Segment 1 (Motor Ave. to Dunleer Dr.), a few comments expressed concern about the access point on Walavista Rd., citing “security concerns”.

Thank you once more to all who came to the June 2018 open house and shared their thoughts with us! As we finalize the design, we will take into account the suggestions, including those on safety and access points. Continue checking the blog for updates on this project as it moves forward.

Open House: Expo II Bike Path – Northvale Gap Closure

Our June 2018 open house for the Expo II Bike Path – Northvale Gap Closure Project was a big success! Over 50 people came to check out design updates, ask questions, and offer feedback on the project. For those who weren’t able to attend, feel free to look through the PDF of the presentation boards linked below. We are still accepting comments via email – please send to Charlie Ho (charlie.ho@lacity.org) by Friday, July 6th.

Stay tuned for our upcoming post with a summary of community feedback on the project!

June 26 Open House Presentation Boards: Expo II Bike Path – Northvale Gap Closure

Expo II Bike Path – Northvale Gap Closure Fact Sheet – June 2018

 

Meet Our Artist in Residence (in Person)!

The Engineer’s Corner: Oliver Hou, Transportation Engineering Associate II

Welcome to the Engineer’s Corner. This post is a special one, because we are spotlighting one of our program’s first interns: Oliver Hou. Lucky for us, his graduate school internship in the LADOT Bike Program inspired him to stick with transportation, and we’re grateful to say he’s become an integral part of the Bikeways Division. 

LeapLA Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Oliver Hou: My undergraduate background is in civil engineering.  After college, I started at a pre-cast concrete contractor doing architectural pre-cast design and building for construction.  During this time I was able to learn how to use AutoCAD as well as manage projects.  After a few years, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree and serendipitously came across the field of urban planning, which helped to answer a question that I always had while constructing buildings – what are the drivers behind development projects?  During my time studying urban planning at USC, I was fortunate enough to intern with LADOT Bikeways, which helped to fuel my personal interests in all things transportation.

For fun, I enjoy exploring cities around the world, including Los Angeles, for their cultural diversity.  If I’m not out trying new places to eat, I’m at home with my wife cooking healthy dishes.

Oliver enjoying the new protected bike lane on Van Nuys Blvd

Oliver enjoying the new protected bike lane on Van Nuys Blvd

Can you describe your commute? What is it like getting to work?

I live in Koreatown and my daily commute typically consists of catching a Metro Local bus to the Red Line Vermont/Wilshire station.  After a few stops, I exit the Civic Center station and either walk or take an LADOT Dash bus to the office. On occasion I will ride my bike to commute the 3 miles between Ktown and downtown.

My commute time is consistent and takes about 30 minutes each way. That is the part I like the most. In addition, I enjoy using apps such as GoLA, Smartride, and LADOTbus to navigate and track my transit options.  The only downside to my commute are the multiple transfers, so on days I don’t feel like dealing with it I will drive or hail a rideshare.

So how did you become interested in becoming an engineer?

I have always enjoyed building things, starting with Legos and Simcity as a kid.  And although I’ve never particularly enjoyed taking math/science classes, I excelled in them and like the idea that there tends to be only one “right” answer. My undergraduate program offered a broad-based math/science curriculum and I ended up choosing civil engineering because of the possibility of fieldwork and the opportunity to create projects that you can see and have a lasting impact. At LADOT, I have an opportunity to work in an area where the fields of engineering and planning intersect.

How long have you worked at LADOT and in which divisions?

I have worked at LADOT for about 5 years and in addition to being in the Active Transportation division as an engineer, I have been in the Bicycle Outreach and Planning group as an intern, and the Specialized Transit and Grants division as a planner.

What do your day-to-day duties consist of?

Each day is unique because we always have bike lane projects that are in varying phases. These projects could be facilities that are part of the Mobility plan, facilities intended to close gaps in our existing network, or facilities that need maintenance and modification. Some days, I am out in the field checking installations or investigating conditions on the ground. Other days, I will be in the office working with our team to develop plans.  

Before coming up with a plan, I often seek the opinions of other engineers throughout our department and at our district offices so I can try to consider all the impacts. The size and breadth of our City is truly amazing, with DOT having a hand in anything transportation related – it seems that I am always learning about new functions and personnel!

Oliver Hou and Bryan Ochoa, Assistant Project Coordinator, hard at work in the Bikeways Division.

Oliver Hou and Bryan Ochoa, Assistant Project Coordinator, hard at work in the Bikeways Division.

Do you have a favorite part of your work or a favorite project?

My favorite part of my work is seeing projects come to fruition, and seeing these facilities be used. What begins as a concept or vision has much to go through before becoming reality, particularly when it comes to some of our more innovate facilities such as the protected bicycle lane on Los Angeles Street with bicycle signals.

What are the most important things to keep in mind when planning for Los Angeles’ transportation future?

(1) Safety is our primary concern. While this may not have been the case in the past, the driving force of our department is to get people where they need to go safely and comfortably. In fact, with the City’s adoption of a Vision Zero Policy, it really has become a citywide effort. Safety for pedestrians and bicyclists should be what guides our decision-making when it comes to street design.

(2) From a mobility standpoint, our City already has amazing infrastructure in place that has endless potential for evolution.  That is, we have lots of roads and lots of lanes. Therefore, we are able to reconfigure this space to meet our transportation objectives, often with some simple paint on the ground, as our GM and many. This makes me very excited for what our future holds – whether it is a network of bus-only lanes that can maximize our throughput, or groups of super-efficient autonomous vehicles that put an end to traffic as we know it.

When you’re not hard at work making the streets of LA more bike friendly, what do you like to do in your free time?

My free time is mostly taken up by following all types of sports. I enjoy playing basketball (although not as often as I use to) and golf (not as often as I like).

Thanks, Oliver! We’ll see you on the streets!

LA River Path Closure Update

Last month, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Los Angeles District began removing non-native plants along the LA River path between Fletcher Drive and Riverside Drive. This work is part of an LA County Drainage Area Project to remove non-native vegetation and improve capacity of the channel.

In order to complete this flood risk management project, USACE has closed the access path from 7am to 4pm Monday through Friday, while the path remains open on evenings and weekends. USACE has placed closure signs and barriers along the path, and LADOT has coordinated the detour route.

USACE organized a public workshop on November 7 at Friendship Auditorium to address concerns related to the closure and the detour. Approximately 100 people attended, including users of the LA River path, people who live near the path, and community members. Also in attendance were representatives from Council District 13, Friends of the LA River, USACE Specific Divisions, LAPD Northeast Division, City of LA Engineering Divison, and LADOT Bike Program.

The Public Workshop at Friendship Auditorium was well attended and informative. Photo: Phil Serpa

The workshop at Friendship Auditorium was well attended and informative. Photo: Phil Serpa

The purpose of the workshop was to bring stakeholders together in order to address concerns and complaints. The workshop was a poster and table session in which people from the community could ask participants questions about path closure, detour route, the LA River, and the plant removal project.

Over the course of the evening, we recorded an exhaustive list of comments from attendees. We have compiled the key concerns below.

Comments from attendees

  1. Closure signage along the path looks unofficial and has too little information about the USACE project
  2. Detour signage does not provide information about the closure schedule
  3. Detour route feels unsafe for people on bikes and is disproportionately long compared to the closed segment of the path
  4. Closure time of 7am-4pm overlaps with commute hours
  5. Daily updates have not been shared on social media

Our team is in the process of reviewing these concerns internally as well as with Council District 13 and USACE.

For more information about the LA River, you may visit www.spl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Operations/

If you have questions or comments regarding the path closure, you may contact AMoperations.Branch@usace.army.mil

If you have questions or comments regarding the detour route, send us an email at bike.program@lacity.org

 

Hollywood Walk of Fame has a new star

Cycle hoops are the newest star of Hollywood the Walk of Fame!

In case you’re scratching your head, a cycle hoop is a steel ring that attaches to a parking meter post. Two bikes can be locked to the hoop at once, with one on each side. Check out the cycle hoops that were installed in Westwood a few months ago.

We are very happy to announce that we began our second installment of cycle hoops along the Walk of Fame Corridor this week. With the help of the Mayor’s Office, Great Streets Initiative, Council District 13, and Los Angeles Conservation Corps, we installed 49 cycle hoops.

There are now 49 cyclehoops in the Walk of Fame district.

There are now 49 cyclehoops in the Walk of Fame district.

Over the past few weeks, LADOT Bike Program surveyed parking meters throughout the Walk of Fame Corridor to idenfity those that are well suited for cycle hoops. To determine which would be the most secure and accessible, we selected parking meters that are:

  • Near the entrance of a business or visible through a storefront window,
  • At least three feet away from street furniture and trees, and
  • Far enough away from pathways so that parked bikes do not obstruct accessibility.

The street parking on the Hollywood Walk of Fame itself is serviced by Pay Stations, which means there are only a handful parking meters. To make sure we provided a substantive number of cycle hoops, we decided to also install on Sunset, Cahuenga, Vine, and commercial side streets.

Los Angeles Conservation Corps members installed the first cycle hoop at White House Pizza Cafe.

Los Angeles Conservation Corps members installed the first cycle hoop at White House Pizza Cafe. Photo: LACC.

These meter post bike racks offer a convenient and secure way for people to park their bikes and visit restaurants and shops. Plus, they are more cost effective than standard U-racks and take up less space on the sidewalk by building upon what is already there. We special-ordered the hoops from Bike Fixtation that make it easy to safely lock various bike frames and tires.

In Los Angeles, locking your bike to a parking meter post is still illegal, but Ordinance 183951, which was passed last year, lifts the ban for the purpose of allowing this cycle hoop pilot.

Previously, we have posted about how this pilot program seeks to increase bike parking along some of LA’s most crowded sidewalks. Due to its high-volume bike useage, Westwood Village was top priority. Now that we have outfitted the Walk of Fame with brand new bike parking, Venice Boulevard will be next on our list. Then, we will continue installing hoops on the rest of the Great Streets Corridors. Additional meter post parking districts will be identified as we evaluate the program’s success and report back to Council. You can share your experiences using these meter post bike racks by tweeting us at @LADOTBikeProg.

While we are testing these new racks, they will not be available for requests under our Sidewalk Bike Parking Program. To request a U-rack, complete an online Bicycle Parking Request Form and check out our bicycle rack location criteria to make sure your requested location qualifies. Email us at bike.program@lacity.org with questions or if you notice that a rack has become loose, damaged, or missing.

Get out there, #BikeLA, and enjoy your new bike parking!

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Are you as excited as we are to try out this new cycle hoop? Photo: LACC.

Venice Welcomes a New Bicycle Corral to the Neighborhood!

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Bright and early this morning, the LADOT Bike Program, City Council District 11, the LA City General Services Department, and LADOT Field Crews installed the City’s newest bicycle corral at 15 West Washington right in front of the local neighborhood favorite, Hinano Cafe.

This installation is part of both the LADOT’s strategic plan, Great Streets for Los Angeles, and the 2035 Mobility plan which call for the installation of over 25 bicycle corrals throughout the metropolitan area.

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Secure, safe bicycle parking is an essential element of a comprehensive bicycle network. Demand for bike parking in Los Angeles has continued to grow as ridership increases and the City’s bicycle network expands. A lack of adequate parking not only discourages ridership, but also encourages people to lock their bikes to parking meters, trees, or sidewalk furniture. Where there is bicycle traffic and limited sidewalk space, on-street bicycle parking offers a worthwhile alternative…. That’s where bicycle corrals come in!

Our bicycle corrals can accommodate up to 16 bicycles in the same area as a single vehicle parking space. They work best where sidewalks are too narrow to accommodate bicycle racks and in areas with both high levels of people bicycling and demand for bicycle parking like West Washington Blvd. When placed near street corners, a corral also increases visibility and creates an additional buffer between people walking and people driving which increases safety for all.

These new bicycle corrals have already proven popular throughout the City and our newest one was no exception.  In fact, no sooner than the installation was complete, we had our first user!

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Want a Bicycle Corral of Your Own?

Our People St Corral application cycle is currently on an open and rolling basis! You can learn more on our People St Bicycle Corral page where you can find the answers to FAQs and the application.

Eligible sponsors include business or property owners, non-profits, and community organizations. Sponsors must sign a maintenance agreement with the City in which the sponsor agrees to keep the corral clean and debris-free. Please note that corral placement restricts street sweeping. We suggest reaching out to our staff at peoplest@lacity.org to advise on any proposed location prior to submitting a full application.

Find a Corral

Looking for other corrals to park your bike around the City?  You can find a list of all existing bicycle corrals on our corral page, and you can check out our awesome new City of LA Active Transportation Map to find a corral near you.

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