Celebrating our New Bikeways and Looking Ahead

As the fiscal year draws to a close, and we head into the next, the LADOT Active Transportation Division would like to take a moment to celebrate all the new bikeways that were put into the ground in FY 2018-2019. In the last 12 months, LADOT installed or upgraded 13 lane-miles of Los Angeles’ on-street bike network in locations ranging from the San Fernando Valley to Downtown, Hollywood, Boyle Heights, and San Pedro.

This year’s major accomplishments included the completion of the City’s first two-way protected bike lane on Spring St in Downtown LA as part of the Main & Spring Forward project. Since it first opened in October 2018, downtown residents, employees, and visitors have been enjoying the new smooth ride down the east side of Spring, free of conflicts with buses and protected by vertical delineators and a lane of parked cars.

New Two-Way Parking-Protected Bike Lanes on Spring St

In the North Valley, a one-mile long Class II bike lane on Balboa Blvd was upgraded to Class IV (protected) bike lane, helping to address problems with vehicles encroaching into the bike lane and making it a much more comfortable ride.

And in the West Valley, the first phase of the Winnetka Ave Street Improvements project extended the Winnetka Ave bike lanes for a short but critical half mile to connect them to the LA River Greenway, Metro Orange Line busway and bike path, and Pierce College.

New Bike Lanes on Winnetka Ave

Other recently completed projects include brand new new bike lanes on Chatsworth St, Parthenia St, and Oxnard St in the San Fernando Valley; Mateo St in the Arts District; Cesar Chavez Ave in Boyle Heights; and Hoover St in South LA. As part of the City’s Safe Routes to School program, Hawthorn Ave and Selma Ave in Hollywood were transformed into bike-friendly streets with features that facilitate a calmer street and less stressful experience for people biking and walking. Down in San Pedro, 25th St’s previously existing bike lanes were enhanced with a new buffer and vertical delineators.

New Bike Lanes on Mateo St

 

New Safe Routes to School Features on Selma Ave

Looking ahead to fiscal year 2019-2020, we are anticipating adding even more miles to the City’s bike network. One major project you can look forward to seeing is the 12.6 lane miles of buffered and protected bike lanes along Avalon Blvd between Jefferson Blvd and 120th St in South LA, which are among many other major safety improvements being installed on Avalon as part of the Vision Zero initiative. Other upcoming improvements include a critical gap closure on Santa Monica Boulevard to link up with Beverly Hills, completion of the Winnetka Avenue bike lanes to connect with Oxnard St., new protected bike lanes on Anaheim St. in Wilmington, and the completion of Main & Spring Forward through the implementation of another two-way protected bike lane on Main St from Cesar Chavez Ave to 9th Street to complement the one on Spring.

Of course, we are also actively working on several other more long-term projects, many of which are in the design phase or (in the case of the LA River Headwaters and San Fernando Road bike path projects) are heading into construction this summer. You can check out our regularly-updated project list here.

As a complement to new and existing bike lanes, LADOT’s Active Transportation division installed nearly 300 new sidewalk bike racks in FY 2018-2019, increasing access to safe bike parking around the city. We are always accepting new requests through our Bike Rack Request form.

Thank you to all who supported these projects and all the work that we do!

LA River Path Updates – May 2019

In December 2018, we provided updates on the exciting bridge projects being constructed (or enhanced) across the section of the LA River Path between Griffith Park and Elysian Valley. Two of these projects – the Riverside Drive Bridge and the North Atwater Bridge – are still ongoing. In April 2019, work began on two more projects: the Taylor Yard Bike/Pedestrian Bridge and the Red Car Pedestrian Bridge. Each of these projects, which are being led by the City’s Bureau of Engineering, will enhance the user experience on the LA River Path by providing connections to the surrounding neighborhoods and recreation areas. At the same time, some closures along the river path remain necessary in order to accommodate the construction activities. Detour routes are developed around each construction site to allow people to travel safely through the affected areas while reconnecting the user to the river path at the next available access point.

The map below shows the latest information on closures and detour routes along the LA River Path as of May 2019. There are some areas of the path where access is prohibited due to the ongoing construction projects. These are the “hard closure” areas. In the interest of keeping as much of the path open as possible for people to enjoy, the portions of the path leading up to the hard closures will remain open, although they do not serve through travel. Anyone accessing these areas would need to turn around at the hard closures. Those seeking to travel through should use the marked detour route to get past the construction site and access the path at the next available point.

We will update this map with new information as it becomes available.

In addition to these bridge projects, we discovered erosion and storm damage on the closed portion of the path near the new Riverside Drive Bridge. Safety is our highest priority, so partial or full closures of this segment of the path may be necessary while we develop and implement a repair plan.

We appreciate your patience while this work is in progress. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the bridge projects and associated closures, please contact the Department of Public Works at (213) 978-0333. If you have questions or concerns regarding the LA River Path itself, please contact LADOT Active Transportation at ladot.active@lacity.org.

LA River Path – Updates on Temporary Closures

UPDATE (May 2019): Please refer to our latest blog post for the most recent information on project schedules and associated closures. The content and map below are provided here for archive purposes only.

Every day, many people traverse the 7.25 mile-long portion of the LA River Path that runs from Griffith Park to the Elysian Valley, whether on their daily commutes or for recreational purposes. The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering (BOE) currently has several projects planned or under construction that will enhance this portion of the river path for all users by adding more bridges across the river to link the vibrant communities and recreational resources on both sides. Unfortunately, these exciting projects mean that portions of the path must be temporarily closed for the duration of the construction. Currently there are two active projects – the Riverside Drive Bridge and the North Atwater Bridge – that require much of the northern end of the path to be closed. Where there is a closure, a detour route is provided to allow people to continue through the area and connect back to the river path at the next opportunity. In this case, the detour route directs people to use Crystal Springs Dr. and Zoo Dr through Griffith Park. Two other projects – the Taylor Yard Bridge and the Red Car Pedestrian Bridge – will tentatively begin construction in Spring 2019, at which point detours will be in place for those locations.

The map below shows the locations and dates of all the current and upcoming closures and detours, as of December 2018. As with any construction project, the dates indicated are subject to change. We will update this map with new information as it becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns about the LA River Path or the detours, please contact us at bike.program@lacity.org. Thank you for your continued patience!

 

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

 

Announcing Ballona Creek Bike Path improvements

Starting on Monday June 26, for a period of about 3 weeks, the Ballona Creek Bike Path in West LA will undergo important repair work. All repairs will take place Mon-Fri, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What are the plans?

LADOT, the General Services Department of the City of LA, and Culver City are working together to make scheduled repairs on the Ballona Creek Bike Path. Asphalt and concrete removals, root trimming and removal, and restriping will take place at 23 locations along the bike path, from Sepulveda Blvd. to Lincoln Blvd.



Repairs will take place from Sepulveda Blvd. (#5) to Lincoln Blvd. (#11).

Will the bike path be shut down entirely?

No, the bike path is scheduled to remain open. Repairs will take place starting at Sepulveda Blvd. and going westbound, but only on one side of the path at a time. This will allow cyclists to continue using the route, and flaggers and advanced warning signs will be placed at strategic locations to guide riders towards space they can use.

In the unlikely event that a full shutdown of the path becomes necessary, a detour plan will be provided.

How long will this take?

We hope to complete the project in about 3 weeks (from June 26 to about July 17). If that changes, we will provide ample notice.

Thanks for your understanding as we improve this crucial piece of bike infrastructure on the Westside.

If you have questions throughout this process, please contact Abbass Vajar at abbass.vajar@lacity.org or 213.972.4965.

Meet Our Artist in Residence (in Person)!

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

 

Safety Remains Top Priority of LA River Path

Shared bicycle and pedestrian paths are a great way to encourage exercise and active transportation. Our shared-use paths attract people with a wide range of bicycle skill levels, including young children, as well as people who walk, jog, skate, and roll. Special care must be taken in the planning, design, and maintenance of these paths to provide safe sharing of the facility with a variety of users of differing speeds and abilities

The LA River Path is a favorite transportation facility and recreation corridor for many Angelenos. Tragically, a recent collision on the LA River Path caused injuries to an elderly person who was walking. The person who hit them may have been bicycling too fast and unable to see the pedestrian or stop in time. LADOT will be working with LAPD and Council District 13 to initiate improvements that will support the enforcement of reckless and illegal riding (per LAMC 56.16)  on the Los Angeles River Path.

Cyclists should refrain from excessive speed, particularly in neighborhood areas of the path when people are walking and biking at slower speeds, and children are present. Pedestrians, as slower users of the path, should walk to the right as slow moving vehicles are required to do on roadways. We urge people to use caution while enjoying the path by keeping your head up, not wearing headphones in both ears, and maintaining a slow speed.

As we advocate for and implement new paths throughout Los Angeles, it is essential that we also educate people about local and state laws to ensure safety for all users.

California Vehicle Code

CVC 21207.5.  Notwithstanding Sections 21207 and 23127 of this code, or any other provision of law, no motorized bicycle may be operated on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane established pursuant to Section 21207, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail, unless it is within or adjacent to a roadway or unless the local authority or the governing body of a public agency having jurisdiction over such path or trail permits, by ordinance, such operation.

No motorized bicycles are allowed on the path unless allowed by Code.

CVC 21211.  (a) No person may stop, stand, sit, or loiter upon any class I bikeway, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public or private bicycle path or trail, if the stopping, standing, sitting, or loitering impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist. (b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law. (c) This section does not apply to drivers or owners of utility or public utility vehicles, as provided in Section 22512.

It is illegal to loiter on or block a bike path except maintenance or utility vehicles.

CVC 21966. No pedestrian shall proceed along a bicycle path or lane where there is an adjacent adequate pedestrian facility.

Due to inadequate available width, no separate pedestrian path is available (like the Orange Line Bike Path) thus pedestrians are legal, and welcome, users of the Los Angeles River Bike Path.

CVC 23127.  No person shall operate an unauthorized motor vehicle on any state, county, city, private, or district hiking or horseback riding trail or bicycle path that is clearly marked by an authorized agent or owner with signs at all entrances and exits and at intervals of not more than one mile indicating no unauthorized motor vehicles are permitted on the hiking or horseback riding trail or bicycle path, except bicycle paths which are contiguous or adjacent to a roadway dedicated solely to motor vehicle use.

No cars, motorcycles, mopeds or other motorized vehicles are allowed on the path except maintenance or emergency vehicles.

California Streets and Highways Code

S&H Code 890.4. As used in this article, “bikeway” means all facilities that provide primarily for, and promote, bicycle travel. For purposes of this article, bikeways shall be categorized as follows:

(a) Bike paths or shared use paths, also referred to as “Class I Bikeways” which provide a completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians with crossflows by motorists minimized.

Bicycle Paths are designed for the use of people on bicycles and on foot.

S&H Code 890.9. The department shall establish uniform specifications and symbols for signs, markers, and traffic control devices to designate bikeways, regulate traffic, improve safety and convenience for bicyclists, and alert pedestrians and motorists of the presence of bicyclists on bikeways and on roadways where bicycle travel is permitted.

Bicycle Path design is overseen by Caltrans (State department) and various strategies may be utilized to make all users aware of each other on bike paths.

Los Angeles Municipal Code

LAMC 56.16 – 1. No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, rollers skates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Users of bicycle paths, or bikeways, are not allowed to use bicycles, skates, etc., in a way that endangers other users of the path.

If you are a competitive cyclist in training, please consider using training options such as the Rose Bowl training ride, various criterium training loops, or the Encino or Carson Velodromes.

The LA River path is for everyone.

In the coming months, treatments will be made near the entryways of the path in Atwater Village/Elysian Valley to notify bicyclists of areas where they might expect pedestrians and where to slow down to avoid conflicts. Efforts will be made to better support behavior that best suits a shared-use path that was built for active transportation as well as the recreational enjoyment of the Path-adjacent communities. Enforcement of the corridor by LAPD will be ramped up to enforce these laws in the problem areas.

Again, please remember that the path is a wonderful resource for all users. We thank Council District 13, LAPD, LADOT, LACBC, LA River Revitalization Corporation, Friends of the LA River, and local neighborhood organizations for their continued efforts to help keep the LA River Path a safe, enjoyable resource for all Angelenos.

Biking-spiration from the Netherlands

Last month, City Hall was visited by a team of 10 business students from Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands. Hosted by Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative, avid bicycle rider and Economics Professor Louis Uljee and his students discussed their latest research on biking in Los Angeles.

The class spent their spring semester studying current transportation culture in Los Angeles and opportunities for improvement, and they finished off their research by spending two weeks bicycling all over the City of Angels. They concluded that by creating awareness of the economic and health benefits of riding a bike and increasing safety of bicycle infrastructure, LA can normalize bicycling, generate an inclusive bicycle culture, and increase ridership. You can learn more about their project on their Facebook page, HopOn.

Business students from Rotterdam University visiting USC. Courtesy of HopOn

Rotterdam University business students biked to USC. Courtesy of HopOn

From their presentation, we learned a lot of interesting things about bicycling in the Netherlands. Dutch bike culture is so ingrained in every day life because most people begin biking at a very young age. Usually, families and friends in various neighborhoods accompany young children on the ride to school from when they start school at four years old until they turn 10, at which time all children take a “bicycle exam” at school. The exam tests students’ abilities to be safe while riding, including proper hand signaling and bicycle positioning. Passing the test proves to school districts as well as children’s parents that the student can ride to school alone.

In the presentation, the business students shared a brief history of how the Netherlands became one of the world’s most bike-friendly nations. Before World War II, bicycling was the most widely-used form of transportation. After the war ended, increased affordability of cars encouraged the Dutch to trade in their bikes for vehicles, and bike lanes disappeared as roads became designed for fast-moving vehicles. Over the course of three decades, injuries and deaths of people on bikes, especially children, caused by accidents with cars spurred a series of protests in the 1970s.

In the 1970s, people in the Netherlands protested car-dominant roads with sign that read "Stop Child Murder". Courtesy of the Dutch National Archive

In the 1970s, Dutch people protested car-dominant roads with signs that read “Stop Child Murder”. Courtesy of the Dutch National Archive

Also during this time, increased oil prices simultaneously encouraged people to ride bicycles. With a renewed sense of the health, safety, social, and economic benefits of bicycling, Dutch citizens and government began working to create an expansive transportation network that was accessible and connected by bike.

Fast forward to four decades later in 2016 and the Netherlands is home to some of the most innovative bicycle- and people-oriented infrastructure in the world. The Rotterdam students described these exciting innovations in the Netherlands and Scandinavia:

Hovenring Bicycle Roundabout

The Hovenring Bike Roundabout courtesy of Huffington Post Canada

The Hovenring Bike Roundabout in Eindhoven. Courtesy of Huffington Post Canada

Students from the University of Delft designed the suspended Hovenring to allow for safe bicycle crossing above car traffic. Can you imagine if we had a bicycle roundabout like this above our freeways? Bikeway connectivity would skyrocket!

Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path

Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bike Path. Courtesy of CNN

Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bike Path in Nuen. Courtesy of CNN

Designer Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure made the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path out of thousands of twinkling stones inspired by ‘Starry Night’. A sparkling bike path? Yes, please.

BikeScout

BikeScout was installed in March in Eindhoven.

BikeScout was installed in March in Eindhoven. Courtesy of Heijmans

Dutch company Heijmans Infrastructure created the BikeScout to increase safety at intersections. Radar trackers positioned along the road for 150 ft. leading to the intersection measure the changing positions of people who bike, walk, and drive. If there’s a collision risk, the LED lights lining the intersection flash, warning cars to stop. A BikeScout in LA would for sure help us reach Vision Zero goals.

CycloCable

The lift was originally built in 1993 and was remodeled in 2013. Courtesy of CityLab

The lift was originally installed in 1993 and was remodeled in 2013. Courtesy of CityLab

The POMA Group, a French cableway company, built the CycloCable bicycle lift on a steep hill in Trondheim, Norway. The user places their right foot on a footplate while the left foot remains on the bicycle pedal, and once a button is pressed, the bicyclist is pushed to the top of the hill. I can think of a few hills in Los Angeles that would become a lot easier to bike up with the help of a CycloCable!

Red Bike Lanes

Red bike lanes keep Dutch bicyclists visible to cars and clearly communicate where bikes should be used. Courtesy of Maurits90

The Netherlands has designated red as the official color for all bike lanes. Courtesy of Maurits90

Red bike lanes keep Dutch bicyclists visible to cars and clearly delineate where bikes should be used. Currently, Los Angeles and many other US cities are working to paint bike lanes bright green to enhance safety for all road users.

Even though I left the presentation and discussion with serious bike envy, it was inspiring to hear from the Rotterdam students about bike culture and infrastructure successes in the Netherlands. Here in LA, we have a lot of basic bikeways improvements to be made before we can even think about some of the complex infrastructure that was described to us by the Dutch students. The fact that it has taken about 40 years for the Netherlands to accomplish what they have reminds us that the changes we are making today will undoubtedly have an incredible impact on future generations. Working toward a safe, accessible multimodal transportation network is what keeps us going everyday at LADOT.