My Bicycle Route: NoHo to UCLA

My bicycle route is mainly on neighborhood streets, providing a lower-stress and more pleasant experience.

Jose Tchopourian, LADOT Bike Program.

The Los Angeles region is vast and challenging to navigate by any transportation mode. Some residents, like myself, find it more enjoyable and oftentimes faster to commute using a bicycle alone or in combination with public transit.

Before guiding you through my “hybrid commute”, which combines bicycling and transit, I would like to point you to some helpful resources for making trips by bicycle: bike maps and infrastructure, transit maps and timetables, bike rules of the road, and fun bike rides and education.

Since September, I have been commuting from my home in the NoHo Arts District to class at UCLA’s Urban Planning Department. My trip combines a bike and Metro’s underground Red Line subway. The total commute is 14 miles long and takes about 1 hour door to door.

I start my trip on the Metro Red Line at the North Hollywood station in the direction of Union Station. I ride the train two stops, departing at the Hollywood/Highland station. The train ride takes about 9 minutes. If you are riding Metro Rail with your bike, keep the following in mind: 1) use elevators or stairs to enter and exit stations 2) if the train is full, wait for the next one 3) give priority to passengers in wheelchairs, and 4) stand with your bike in the designated area for bikes, which are clearly identified with a yellow decal adjacent to the car doors.

Holding my bike while riding the Red Line Subway into Hollywood.

Holding my bike while riding the Red Line Subway into Hollywood.

The second part of my commute, an 8-mile bicycle ride, takes about 45 minutes and allows me to experience the sights and sounds of multiple neighborhoods.It is important to follow the rules of the road while operating a bicycle. Obey all traffic signals and stop signs, yield to pedestrians, and use lights to be visible at night. I find that riding predictably and communicating with other road users makes my ride safer.

The route I have selected avoids steep mountainous terrain. Instead, I experience slight inclines during my trip. In addition to elevation, I also consider the type of streets I will be using to get to my destination. Eight years of using a bicycle for moving through Los Angeles have taught me that safety comes first. Even if riding on arterial streets might bring me to my destination a few minutes earlier, I prefer to trade time saving for the lower-stress experience of riding on residential and neighborhood streets. When I do ride on arterial streets, I pick those that have bike facilities on them.

Here is my route. If you see me on the road, say hello!

If you would like to share your favorite route, send it to bike.program@lacity.org.

Sharing the road with Sharrows

Sharrows on Westholme Dr. in Los Angeles

A pair of sharrows on Westholme Dr. in Los Angeles

We’re excited to announce that LADOT crews will be installing approximately 20 miles of new shared-lane markings — or “sharrows” — in neighborhoods across the city.  Sharrows are intended to supplement the bicycle lane network in Los Angeles by:

  • Providing gap closures in the Class II (Bike Lane) network
  • Enhancing Class III (Bike Route) Bikeways- This includes future BFS facilities
  • Improving bicycling conditions on two-lane roadways with dashed centerlines

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Click here to access or download the original spreadsheet

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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!

Notes from the October 1st BPIT Meeting

BPIT

Approximately 17 advocates, stakeholders, and City staff were present at the last BPIT meeting on October 1st in the Controller’s Office Conference Room in City Hall East. The workshop included discussion on the prioritization of the Neighborhood Streets Network as part of the new Mobility Plan 2035.

Implementation Update

Michelle Mowery from LADOT gave a brief implementation update announcing the successful installation of three miles of new buffered bicycle lanes on Colorado Boulevard. In addition to the ‘Dodgers Bus Lane’ along Sunset Boulevard, this is the first major project to be installed as part of the First Year of the Five Year Implementation Strategy (and recently joined by 7th St). The buffered bicycle lanes installed along Colorado Boulevard are a critical phase in completing the 2010 Bicycle Plan Backbone Bicycle Network in the Northeast Area.

Neighborhood Network Prioritization Exercise

Building off of previous BPIT workshop activities related to neighborhood streets, David Somers, from Department of City Planning presented draft maps of priority backbone and neighborhood streets networks that are proposed to be included in Mobility Plan 2035. The five priority network maps represent five geographies of the City that include Central-East LA, South LA, West LA, the Valley and the Harbor. The intent of the maps is to highlight a subset of the Backbone and Neighborhood Networks that demonstrate high network connectivity, and to select those facilities to prioritize, in addition to the grading criteria, in the Bicycle Plan implementation process.

BPIT members asked questions after the presentation of the prioritized network maps. BPIT participants discussed the feasibility of some of the treatment design options, the importance of connecting to transit stations, if the priority network would present a disconnect between implemented facilities and what is used by bicycle riders, and if the Mobility Plan is the right planning level to select priority lanes given the fine grain details and neighborhood support needed to select the routes that should receive the neighborhood street treatments. Participants also expressed desire for a network performance metric for proposed or installed bicycle facilities.

BPIT participants then divided and gathered around tables organized by the geographies, and added their feedback on priority network maps, adding notes of the constraints and opportunities presented by the specific neighborhood network corridors.

 Active Streets LA

Eric Bruins from LACBC announced an upcoming Active Streets LA workshop on October 19th at Budlong Elementary School. Active Streets LA is a partnership with LACBC, Trust South LA and LADOT, whose aim is to work with community members in South LA to create safe walking and bicycle routes along their neighborhood streets.

Active Streets LA will bring Bicycle Friendly Streets to LA’s neighborhoods; community walk/ride Saturday 10/19

Active Streets Walk Bike Live

Credit: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition la-bike.org

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

Notes from the July 2nd BPIT Meeting

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.

BPIT_Nate Presentation

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BPIT Neighborhood Network Planning Exercise–July 2nd!

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.

Neighborhood Network

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, WestCentral-EastHarbor and SouthLA.

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Notes from the April 2nd BPIT Meeting

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The Bicycle Plan Implementation Team convened at City Hall for the second quarterly meeting of 2013.

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

January 8th BPIT Meeting Summary

BPIT_BFS

We had another quarterly Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013  with approximately 40 in attendance. Discussion topics included bikeways implementation updates, the First Year EIR priority package hearing schedule, Bicycle Friendly Streets (BFS) prioritization, grant funding updates, and general questions and feedback from BPIT participants.

Implementation Updates

The meeting began with Sr. Bicycle Coordinator, Michelle Mowery, providing a general update on bike plan implementation progress. This fiscal year, LADOT has installed over 25 miles of bikeways and continues to move forward with a number of on street projects, including Bicycle Wayfinding; Safe Routes to Schools funded Bike Friendly Streets; and the expansion of the Bicycle Corral Pilot Project. Read more

Notes from the October 2nd Bicycle Plan Implementation Team Meeting

BPIT participants discussing Neighborhood Council communication.

This past October 2nd, the Los Angeles Departments of City Planning (LADCP) and Transportation (LADOT) held their quarterly Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting. Over 20 people were in attendance, ranging from city employees from various departments, representatives from city council offices and several bicycling organizations, to many bicyclists and residents intrigued to see where bike infrastructure in Los Angeles is heading.

(Check out the meeting’s agenda to better follow along with these notes.)

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