Back from the Dead: Bike Corral on York Boulevard

It sometimes seemed like the day would never come. And yet:

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Now, what could be at that intersection?

That’s right, a Bike Corral is finally coming to Highland Park.  In the coming weeks, a bright & shiny bike corral will be installed in front of Cafe de Leche at York Boulevard and Avenue 50.  First leaked to Highland Park Patch, a tentative date of February 18th at 9:00 AM has been set for the corral’s grand opening.  Flying Pigeon and CicLAvia have also posted jubilantly about the impending bike corral.  But before jumping into specifics, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane.  How did we get here?

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Main Street Bike Lane project goes before Venice NC

Last night, members of the LADOT Bike Program and the LA BAC presented plans to for bike lanes on Main Street to the Venice Neighborhood Council.  You can take a look for yourself and download last night’s powerpoint presentation: Main Street bike lanes.  The presentation was a joint collaboration between Assistant Coordinator Christopher Kidd, Intern Derek Levoit, LA BAC member Kent Strumpell, LACBC Planning & Policy Director Alexis Lantz, and the technical advice of LADOT Bikeways engineers.

Click here to download the powerpoint

Bike Community Fanfare

Both Streetsblog and the LACBC alerted their readers this week to the Neighborhood Council meeting, where the case was made for a road diet to extend existing bike lanes along Main Street from the Santa Monica City Limit to Windward Circle (a project listed as “pending work orders” on the LADOT Bike Blog Bike Lanes Projects Page).  The concept of a road diet, which would create enough room for bike lanes on Main Street, was covered earlier this month by LADOT Bike Blog in our piece Safety, Traffic, and You: The Case for Road Diets.

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Safety, Traffic, and You: The Case for Road Diets

Much Ado About 1 Lane

As we here at the LADOT Bike Program experienced late last year, there can be quite a kerfuffle over removing even the slightest amount of roadway space for drivers.  The controversy over the Wilbur Avenue road diet last year caused quite a bit of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth.  In the LA Times, on Streetsblog (a few times), the Beckford Ave School PTA, the LAist, LACBC, City Watch, Biking in LA; coverage on the project was as broad in scope as it was diverse in opinion.

Bike Lane on San Pedro looking South at 115th

A successful road diet on San Pedro in South LA

What it all came down to was a change of 4 lanes of traffic on Wilbur Avenue to 3 lanes  – with bike lanes added to both sides of the street.  At the time, some painted the road diet as a real estate grab for bicyclists at the expense of drivers.  There were claims that the road diet would make traffic unlivable; that it would force cars onto other streets and make the surrounding neighborhoods less safe.

Fighting for Road Diets

While some of these claims might be chalked up to the dreaded Fear of Change, it would not be productive to treat them as such.  Instead, it demonstrates a need for those who support traffic calming and livable streets to communicate their vision more effectively.  When it comes down to it, both those who support and those who oppose road diets want good neighborhoods, they want less pollution, and they want safe streets.  As roadways with excess capacity have been the modus operandi of traffic engineering for the last 50 years, it falls on the shoulders of those who support road diets to make their case.  Many have already done so.

This is our case, made in favor of Road Diets.

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4th Street Improvements Abound

Less than a month after a bike ride/meeting along 4th Street, the LADOT Bike Program is moving forward on Bicycle Friendly Street improvements. Not only will the LADOT Bike Program be adjusting or replacing all loop detectors along 4th Street to pick up bicycle wheels, but we’re also going to extend the 4th Street Sharrows to either La Brea Avenue or Cochran Avenue.

That’s another 1.7-1.8 miles of Sharrows, which more than doubles the length of the existing Sharrows on 4th Street.

Sharrow on 4th and Gramercy facing East Bound

Get ready for more of these

This is big news. Getting something like this done in less than a month at the City is like getting it done in 2 hours in the real world. It just doesn’t happen that often. Yet, here we are.

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Mayor’s Recommendations go To Metro Committee Tomorrow

(Ed. Note:  LADOT Bike Blog is not versed in the intricacies of Metro – heck, even some LADOT procedures are new to us – and thus mis-characterized the purpose of tomorrow’s meeting.  Our sincerest apologies to the folks at Metro.)

Short notice, we know, but you should probably know about Metro’s Executive Management & Audit Committee meeting taking place tomorrow morning at 9AM.  Among other agenda items (you can read the agenda here, h/t to the Bike Metro Facebook Page), the committee is being asked to “receive and file actions being taken to respond to the September board directive on Metro’s Bicycle Policies and Program”.  Born out of the Mayor’s Bike Summit this summer, the “actions” referenced above make up 10 requested initiatives, both short-term and long-term, to make Metro more bicycle friendly.

The initiatives come in a 10 item matrix, consisting of:

  1. Recommend increased bicycle funding in Metro’s 2011 Call For Projects (tentatively increasing the bicycle modal category from 7% to 15%, pending MTA board approval).
  2. Develop a phased plan to install triple racks on all MTA buses
  3. Develop a cost estimate, implementation schedule, and funding sources to retrofit subway and light rail  cars for bicycles
  4. Propose a revised Customer Code of Conduct to be more bicycle friendly and create a “how to ride metro” document for large package, bicycles, strollers, etc.
  5. Identify the feasibility of adding bike racks to MTA vanpool vehicles
  6. Provide estimated costs and potential funding sources to install improved way-finding signage at all Metro stations
  7. Include bicycle mode messages in all Metro marketing materials and provide updates on Metro’s Bicycle Safety Advertising Campaign
  8. Work with LA County Sheriff to track bicycle theft and crime at all Metro stations and suggest safety improvements
  9. Include ramp designs for stairs at all new Metro stations so bicyclists can wheel their bikes up the stairs; and
  10. Incorporate robust bicycle facilities in all new transit project designs to facilitate first/last mile transit access

Also on the docket is the property swap at the Hollywood & Vine Metro station that will allow for the construction of a new bike station.  The action item is meant to:

  • “Approve transfer of $92,105 in one-time payment from Hollywood-Vine Hotel Developer to the bicycle parking program for future implementation of the Hollywood-Vine Bike Room Demonstration Project.”

Give Me 3 Posters Available at Bicyclela.org

Today, there was a bit of confusion at LA Streetsblog over disappearing Give Me 3 posters on LA’s streets. As you may remember, the Give Me 3 campaign was launched this summer as a coordinated effort between the Mayor’s Office, LADOT, LACBC, LAPD, and Midnight Ridazz.

While we’re going to clear up any confusion about the Give Me 3 campaign and what happens to the posters, we also want to let you know how you can get your very own Give Me 3 poster.  It’s absolutely free of charge and you can get it within mere moments of submitting your request.  That’s because, well, it’s available online as a pdf on the LADOT Bike Program website, bicyclela.org.

Give Me 3 poster pdfs available at bicyclela.org

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Busy Weekend: Park(ing) Day & cicLAvia Bicycle Beauty Pageant

It’s an event-filled weekend for bikes and LADOT Bike Blog.  Friday marks Park(ing) Day and Saturday will see a great fundraiser for cicLAvia.  Make sure you get in on the fun.

Make Park(ing) Day doubly green: ride your bike there!

Gussy up your bike and get it down to Atwater Village this Saturday night

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