Halloween is the scariest time of the year, and we are not talking about monsters or zombies! On this day, millions of children are out on a trick-or-treat mission, where they are susceptible to the dangers of the road. In Los Angeles County, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 5 and 14. On Halloween, it’s even grimmer. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Halloween ranks as the third-deadliest day overall for pedestrians.
But it’s not all gloom and doom! By practicing a few simple steps, you can help ensure a safe Halloween for all Angelenos. Last Friday, we attended a Halloween Safety event at Apperson Elementary School in Sunland to demonstrate safe Halloween behavior. The event was led by Pat Hines (Safe Moves) and attended by the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles School Police, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.
Check out these key safety tips that were discussed at the event:
1. Opt for Face Paint Instead of a Mask
Masks are awesome, but they can reduce the range of visibility of the person wearing one. Instead, use face paint to get your scary look and maintain maximum visibility. If your costume wouldn’t be complete without a mask, just make sure to remove it when crossing the street, so you can see traffic in either direction.
2. Keep Weapons at Home
Having a sword or other type of weapon may complete the perfect costume, but they are best left at home.
3. Inspect Candy
Guardians, this one is for you. Make sure to toss any open candy or ones with broken seals. Inspect for safety before consumption.
The dark coloring of many costumes and the height of children reduces the visibility of pedestrians. In order to counteract this, make sure to bring flashlights, glow sticks, and/or reflectors on your trip.
So, now you know some best practices for people walking on Halloween. We also want to stress the importance of safe driver behavior. During the Halloween festivities, motorists should obey all traffic laws, be extra aware of our littlest (and scariest!) Angelenos, and use a designated driver. You can see LADOT’s full list of safety tips on Facebook or Twitter.
Through the collective effort of everyone, we hope this Halloween will be full of fun and the right kind of fright, the kind that gets everyone home safe at the end of the night. Happy Halloween!
We have great news for everyone who cycles in Downtown Los Angeles– the construction of a protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street (from 1st Street to Alameda Street) has been completed. Woo-hoo!
On June 16, a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Los Angeles Street Improvement Project was hosted by CD 14 Councilmember Jose Huizar, LA Public Works Commissioner Kevin James, Deputy Mayor Barbara Romero, and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. During the ceremony, a group of people rode Metro Bike Share bicycles on the newly enhanced Los Angeles Street.
The protected bike lane, featuring the city’s first side boarding islands and bicycle signals, will make bicycling safer and more comfortable from the city’s civic core to Union Station. The following image slider show the “Before and After” scenarios of the project area.
Special Design Features of the new Los Angeles Street
As the first street in Los Angeles to implement design elements from the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Los Angeles Street brings several unique roadway design features that are new to the city:
Bus platforms that “float” in the middle of roadway are named side boarding islands. Those who bike in urban environments know how frustrating it is to navigate the bike lane while buses weave in and out to reach their bus stops. According to NACTO , side boarding islands eliminate “conflicts between transit vehicles and bikes at stops.” Like the sound of that? Well, these bus platforms will also be implemented on Figueroa Street after the construction of MyFigueroa Project .
Two bicycle signal heads are now installed, with one at the Temple Street intersection and another at the Aliso Street intersection. These signals dedicate a separate signal phase to bicycles, which will reduce conflicts between right-turning vehicles and bicycles that travel through the intersection.
At the intersection of Los Angeles Street & 1st Street, and the intersection of Los Angeles Street & Temple Street, there are Two-Stage Turn Queue Boxes . This street treatment allows people on bikes to make safer left turns. As the name suggests, when trying to make left turns, bicycles should proceed to the bike box area first and then wait for another green signal to bike to the left leg of the intersection.
Image Source: NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide
Upcoming active transportation projects will continue to make DTLA more bicycle-friendly
The Los Angeles Street Improvements Project is only one part of the larger scheme to improve the connectivity of Union Station and Civic Center. Metro finalized the Connect US Action Plan in 2015, which provides guidance to implement better pedestrian and bicycle facilities connecting Civic Center, Union Station, and neighborhoods such as Little Tokyo and Chinatown.
And, there are a lot of active transportation projects to be implemented this summer. The Metro Regional Bike Share Project has begun to install its stations and will formally launch on July 7. The long-expected MyFigueroa Project, which features similar roadway improvements to Los Angeles Street (bus platforms, bike signal heads, etc), is beginning construction this summer as well.
As more and more active transportation enhancements get implemented, DTLA will become a better place for people to enjoy walking and cycling!
As you know, Bike Week LA has been a great celebration of all things bicycles in years past. This year, Los Angeles is going full bike-mode by observing Bike Month for the ENTIRE month of May! Now that Bike Month is upon us, we couldn’t be happier about all of the exciting events, rides, and workshops that are on the docket.
Head over to our Bike Program Calendar to see dates, times, and locations of the events for yourself. If we are missing any that your organization is hosting or that you are planning to attend, go ahead and add them!
And, check out Metro’s awesome Bike Month Map for happenings near you:
Here is a snapshot of some of our favorite events:
LACBC’s Commuter Workshop: If you want to participate in Bike to Work Day for the first time, or if you’ve commuted before but would like a few pointers or a refresher, join the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for a free workshop to help you prepare for an awesome ride. They will cover:
- Gear needed
- Route selection
- Transit options
- Bike parking at work
- Professional bike-friendly clothing
To attend, head to LACBC Headquarters, Edison Room at 10:30am.
Los Angeles Bicycle Festival: DTLA Urban festival to entertain, educate, connect and inspire bicycle riding in Los Angeles!
12:00-12:45 Press Conference
1:00-1:45 Opening Panel
2:00-2:45 Workshops round 1
2:45-3:30 Break – invite to roam, eat “snack time!”
3:30-4:30 Workshops round 2
5:00-6:00 Closing Remarks/ Raffle Winner(s) announced
6:00-8:00 Party & Open festival
The festival will take place at Grand Park from 10am to 8pm.
Strava’s Global Bike to Work Day: Make your bike commute count on May 10, when Strava is hosting Global Bike to Work Day to encourage cyclists to upload and tag their commutes on Strava to make a positive impact on cycling infrastructure in their communities.
Using Strava Metro, departments of transportation, city planners, advocacy groups and corporations can make informed and effective decisions when planning, maintaining and upgrading cycling and pedestrian corridors. On May 10, cyclists can use their commute to help their community. Participate by uploading and tagging your commutes on Strava, as well as use #CommutesCounts on your social channels. Strava will then use the data collected that day to see which routes were used most.
LACBC’s Roadside Bike Repair Workshop: Bring your bike and LACBC folks will teach you a few basic repairs and adjustments that you can do on the side of the road. They will cover:
- ABC Quick Check
- Fixing a flat tire
- Types of flats and which are fixable
- What to do if your chain falls off
- Brake adjustment
- Seat height adjustment
If you haven’t ridden your bike in a while, take your bike to a shop for a tune up before this class, because they don’t want you to discover something that is wrong that can’t be fixed during the workshop. Along with your bike, bring:
- A new tube
- Tire levers
- A patch kit
- Portable bike pump
- Bike multi-tool
CicLAvia Southeast Cities Presented by Metro: This is the first time that CicLAvia will connect the communities of Huntington Park, Walnut Park, South Gate, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, and Watts to host the country’s largest open streets event. Streets will be closed to cars and open for cyclists, pedestrians, runners and skaters to use as a recreational space. If you are new to CicLAvia, here’s what you need to know:
- It’s FREE!
- CicLAvia closes streets to cars and opens them for people to walk, skate, bike, and play
- CicLAvia is not a race! You can begin where you like
- CicLAvia traffic flows in two directions, like regular traffic
CicLAvia starts at 9am and ends at 4pm.
The Blessing of the Bicycles: Get your bicycle blessed and meditate for a minute with like minded folks at the 13th annual Blessing of the Bicycles! This event began 13 years ago to protect bicyclists’ safe passage through the streets of Los Angeles. Ceremony and presentation of the Golden Spoke Award hosted by and located at Good Samaritan Hospital, starting at 8:00am.
Ride of Silence 2016: The Ride of Silence is a global event commemorating people who have been injured or lost while bicycling in the public roadway. The ride will cover seven miles at a pace of 10-12mph. Everyone should bring front and rear lights. Cyclists under 18 years old are required to wear a helmet. Meet at the North Hollywood Metro Red Line Station for a presentation that will start at 6:30pm. The ride will leave at exactly 7:00pm.
Bike to Work Day: One of the best parts of Bike to Work day is all of the wonderful pit stops that you can enjoy along the way! Find refreshments, goodies, and information on your morning commute to work, school or beyond! Tweet us at @LADOTBikeProg #BikeMonthLA and show us your bike to work get up.
Metro Bike Night: Join the 3rd annual Bike Night at Union Station for crafts, music, dancing, prizes, food, and bicycle love! This party gets started at Union Station at 5:30pm on Friday as the culminating event of Bike Week. Get your skank dance on with the The Lions and unwind into your bicycle filled weekend. Do not miss out on free raffles for bikes, gear and most importantly the LADOT SPIN THE WHEEL Bike Trivia game!
Keep checking our LADOT Bike Program Calendar as more events get submitted, and don’t forget to submit your own!
We’ll see you on the streets!
#LeapLA tries to keep you looped into all things that make Los Angeles streets and neighborhoods more livable. Last month, Active Transportation Division had the opportunity to partner with the Department of City Planning, the Mayor’s Great Streets Initiative, and the Los Angeles Eco Village to bring Portland’s Mark Lakeman to speak to City departments. Lakeman, the founder of City Repair Project, gave a compelling presentation on how communities in Portland create natural building, permaculture, and public art projects. Lakeman’s presentation provided Los Angeles with some food for thought, illustrating how City Repair Project has served as an effective means for achieving transportation implementation goals.
The mission of the City Repair Project is to “foster thriving, inclusive, and sustainable communities through the creative reclamation of public space.” The project has facilitated simple, yet holistic approaches to improving Portland’s neighborhoods. Lakeman’s strategy emphasizes that streets are the center of cultural convergence: a community meeting place where ideas are communicated and people are compelled to interact. In this, Lakeman argues, a street should reflect the full spectrum of human expressions and serve more as a cultural continuum than a conduit to move traffic.
Culturally and physically, Los Angeles neighborhoods seeking to reclaim culture back into the streets can continue to expand their toolkit and learn from the City Repair model. Many Los Angeles communities have been touched by locally-driven placemaking efforts. From the more recent Great Streets Challenge, to well-established organizations such as Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI), placemaking in Los Angeles has generated greater connectivity and revitalized neighborhoods. Community-driven strategies like these that utilize and engage active communities can facilitate critical improvements that enhance community cohesiveness.
Lakeman’s talk explained that City Repair Projects are a unique partnership between the non-profit, the community, and the City of Portland. The projects are driven from the bottom up, largely developed by volunteers and citizen activists, but the process is sustained and facilitated by the city. The city has made the process to opt into a City Repair Project fairly simple:
- after identifying gaps and corridors, community members can pool resources and collaborate to design a project that is context sensitive and cost effective
- community members then apply with the Portland Bureau of Transportation for an encroachment permit and a block party permit, that allow them to shut down two streets (4 blocks) during a City Repair Project intersection painting
By keeping the regulatory process flexible and simple, Portland enables communities to create artistic and ecologically-oriented transportation improvements. Projects such as benches, community kiosks, gardens, street paintings, tile mosaics, and intersection treatments, though granular, integrally stitch neighborhoods together and inspire creativity and diversity.
The City Repair Project is about the intersection of transportation, art, public spaces, and community engagement. Fostering collaboration among community members, these projects create permanent and semi-permanent street improvements that benefit neighborhoods and the city at-large. Following the lead of People St and Great Streets, City Repair Project is another model that Los Angeles can adapt as a means to encourage creative and environmentally sustainable placemaking.
Cancel all your plans! CicLAvia is coming back to town on October 18 in the Heart of LA (HOLA). Five years and 14 events after the first historic CicLAvia ride on 10/10/10, the ride returns to its roots in Downtown LA. If you don’t know how or where to get more info or join the epic event-filled day, or if you are interested in meeting new and interesting people, or if you just want to be part of a movement reshaping LA, there is a group for you! BikeSafeUSC is a coalition of University of Southern California (USC) campus groups uniting students, staff and community to plan a feeder ride to the CicLAvia.
Biking to work is easily the most fun way to commute. Aside from getting your daily exercise on your way to work, riding with the breeze in your face makes for happy and productive employees throughout the day.
This week (Oct 4-10) is California Rideshare Week, a time for all of us who drive alone to try another method of commuting. Whether you ride a bike, catch a bus or train, or fill the passenger seat of your car, it’s time for Angelenos to ditch driving alone to work.
Research produced by the California Air Resources Board and Metro surveys has revealed some unsettling findings:
- 37% of Greenhouse Gases are produced by transportation (CARB)
- 71% of those emissions originate from passenger vehicles (CARB)
- 72% of Angelenos drive to work alone (Metro Rideshare Surveys)
NASA JPL reports that Greenhouse Gas emissions are at an all-time high in California and we are witnessing one of the severest droughts known to the area. It is very likely that all people choosing to drive alone to work everyday are significantly contributing to our state’s pollution problems and waterless woes.
In response, Metro Rideshare has prepared a brand new program for Rideshare Week 2015 to shed light on why we need to #ShareTheRide and how you can get started. The program provides educational opportunities as well as mega fun community engagement. Visit metro.net/rideshare for a full list of event times and locations.
Highlights of the week we are looking forward to include:
- A Karaoke Rickshaw with free giveaways for commuters singing pop hits in English, Korean, Chinese, and Spanish.
- Guided bike rides and carpools sharing the ride to Ambulante Film Festival.
- Eastside Commuter Interviews gathered and published through social media to engage and discuss traveling in various communities in person and online. #Mobilizate
- Prize giveaways by logging your trip on the Commute Calendar at ridematch.info. You can win 7-day Metro passes, gift cards, handbags, and more!
It’s a wrap! Bike Week 2015 is officially over… animated bicycling creatures, a spinning wheel of trivia, 25 foot fish skeletons, shamans, BIKE SOCKS and so much more! Thanks Metro and all the LA County partners who worked so hard to put this all together! It was truly unforgettable because Bike Weeks come and go, but the memories stay with us forever. In case your memory’s not as great as ours, or you weren’t able to attend all the events, here’s a quick recap…
This year’s program for Bike Week was jam-packed with fun. Over at the LADOT Bike Program, we made sure not to miss any of the wonderful opportunities to get up and out with Metro and our bicycle partners, propagating bike love across LA throughout the week.
LADOT General Manager, Seleta Reynolds, kicked off Bike Week 2015 with a group ride into work. She led a group ride of LADOT employees from Echo Park to LADOT headquarters in Downtown. Next stop: the Bike Week kick off press conference at Grand Park! The press conference was star-studded with #bikeLA VIPs including Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Councilmember Jose Huizar, Metro’s day 1 on the job new CEO Phil Washington, Metro boardmember and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Caltrans’ District 7 Director Carrie Bowen, LACBC’s Executive Director Tamika Butler, CICLE’s Executive Director Vanessa Gray, Good Samaritan Hospital’s Andy Leeka, and CicLAvia’s Aaron Paley. Also, lots and lots of cameras and media from local news channels.
Later that day, Metro hosted the “Is Bicycling In Your Future?” panel moderated by Frances Anderton, host of KCRW Design and Architecture and daily bicycle commuter. The panel featured Laura Cornejo, Deputy Executive Officer at Metro; Maria Sipin, Advisory Board Member of Multicultural Communities for Mobility; Tamika Butler, Executive Director of Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition; and Sergeant Mike Flynn, LAPD Central Traffic Division Bicycle Liaison. Panelists explored whether bicycle ridership will increase as viewed through the lens of engineering, enforcement, and encouragement. We did some math on this and… short answer: YES, bicycling is in YOUR future!
Tuesday opened with the 12th annual Blessing of the Bicycles! As usual the Blessing was at the Downtown adjacent Good Samaritan Hospital, accompanied by a delicious breakfast. During the morning, fallen bicyclists and advocates were recognized. Then religious figures literally bless bicyclists as they ride by, ensuring them a safe passage throughout the year.
Wednesday’s Bike-In Movies defied inclement weather (by LA standards) by attracting a park full of people on two wheels and their fascinating chair-and-blanket contraptions. Danny Gamboa of Ghost Bikes and Metro’s Jack Moreau MC-ed the night. The shorts ranged from animated critters dealing with aggressive cartoon cars to the very solemn stories of families who have lost loved ones and found peace through the Ghost Bikes movement.
Thursday was Bike to Work Day! This event featured hundreds of pit stops across LA County. Our very own LADOT Bike Program’s pit stop hung out with the Caltrans pit stop in front of our headquarters at Main and 1st Street. Commuters came for the freebies and stayed for fun! We offered snacks, information, and other cool bike swag. We had many special pit stop visits including Tamika Butler and Eric Bruins from LACBC, First 5 LA, former LADOT Bike Program superstar Jon Overman, and a news crew from Biola University.
Later that night, creatives from across the region shared their bicycle-themed artwork with LA Metro for the Color Wheels Art Show. The reception was held at the Caltrans Building, coinciding with DTLA Art Walk. Food, music, and prizes, as well as the really cool bicycle art, helped fill the room. If you haven’t yet visited the exhibition, don’t worry, the show will be open all month! One of our favorite pieces was the fish skeleton stuffed with trash found in the LA River (Bicycle Coordinator Rubina Ghazarian not included in the art piece). The piece shows not only that our bike lanes are large enough to accommodate a giant fish towed via bike trailer from Burbank, but that we need to take better care of our streets, rivers, and oceans!
Bike Night at Union Station was the BEST! The event was hosted in the Old Ticket Room in Los Angeles’s most historic train station. We don’t want to gloat, but our LADOT Spin-the-Bike-Wheel was pretty cool! The trivia contest was all the rage, with people lining up again and again for an opportunity to prove their #bikeLA cred and win special prizes.
Most exciting for us though was our opportunity to debut our brand new Bikeways Guides, hot off the presses from the print shop! We distributed hundreds of our new maps, updating people with the first new guide since 2011! Bike Night was also full of music, food trucks, a photobooth and sweet prizes for everyone courtesy of Metro and sponsors. Free bike valet and tune-ups services were offered by Fleet Streets. Once again, Bike Night has proven to be the champion of all Bike Week wrap-ups.
Talking the talk and walking the walk, we want to share what some Angelenos did during the week. A bike ride held by UCLA Urban Planning students and alumni (and former familiar faces from the Bike Program) visited NoHo Arts Districts, Chandler Bike Path, Griffith Park, LA River Bike Path, North Atwater Park, and Golden Road Brewing on Saturday, May 16. Across the City and beyond, many other rides took place during the week. Please share with us what you did during Bike Week in the comment section!
Bike Week hooks you up with the events and people to begin or continue your bike journey! And probably most importantly, it provides you the tools to navigate the streets of Los Angeles by bicycle safely. Sadly, Bike Week 2015 has ended, but the fun continues because May is Bike Month!
Ride safely and we hope to see you on the road whether it’s Bike Week or not because at LADOT every week is Bike Week!
A new stretch of bike path on San Fernando Road is here! Last Thursday morning, Councilmember Felipe Fuentes of the Seventh District, City agencies, and community partners announced the installation of a new bike path on San Fernando Road from Branford Street to Wolfskill Street, opening the bike path for its inaugural ride.
LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds joined representatives from Metrolink, Metro and LAPD, along with local families and friends to check out the new installation. Reynolds says, “This section of the San Fernando Road bike path increases opportunities for people to unplug and spend time with friends and family. LADOT looks forward to working with our partners, city leaders, and the community to connect this system to the City of Burbank in the near future. ”
This 2.75-mile segment of the path connects Angelenos to the existing San Fernando Bike Path. This addition is the second phase of the planned bike path that sits adjacent to San Fernando Road. Phase 1, completed in 2011, included 1.75 miles of bike lanes on San Fernando Road from Hubbard Street to Roxford Street.
LADOT Engineer Tina Backstrom says that the bike path is a challenging design, as it involves a lot of coordination and partnership with agencies like Metrolink and Metro. The long-awaited Phase 2 improvements include lighting, striping, traffic signs, and landscaping. Metrolink also enhanced the safety of the Bike Path project by making railroad and traffic signal improvements. Specifically, the bike path design has taken the opportunity to upgrade all the pedestrian crossings that intersect with the railroad. Backstrom says, “We’re looking at safety for everyone,” with the new path making things safer for people on bikes, walking, driving, or riding the train. Read more
- Karina Macias, LADOT Bike Program Graphics Guru
2014 is a big year for the LADOT Bike Program identity! For the past 8 months we’ve been blessed with the ultra talented Karina Macias, our pro-bono consultant who designed new Bike Program stickers, spoke cards, and took the Bike Program graphic identity in an entirely new direction. The Bike Blog took a moment to sit down with this graphics mastermind to get to the bottom of her brilliant design strategy.
Bike Blog: Why #BikeLA?
Karina: “We wanted to encourage a community, within social networking, of people who ride their bicycle in LA. [#BikeLA] would be the easiest way for bicyclists to share their ideas and stories. This is the Bike Program’s way of identifying with them and building a community around bicycling.”
Bike Blog: Why green?
Karina: “Bikes mean money… I mean, green is a comfortable color. The Spring Street bike lanes are green and it makes bicyclists feel comfortable.”
Bike Blog: What about the spoke cards? I see there’s a golden ticket…
Karina: “With the City of LA’s growing bikeways network, I felt this was the Bike Program’s way of giving bicyclists a golden ticket to a transportation network, to pedal powered transportation.”
Bike Blog: And the anatomy of a safe bike?
Karina: “That stems from my own ignorance of what a safe and well maintained bike should look like. I wanted to share with everyone what I researched.”
Karina also designed a very handy spoke card that outlines the rules and regulations every Los Angeles bicyclist should know and carry on their bike. The card includes both State and LA City bicycle laws.
We are so proud of these new promotional materials! Please stop by an outreach event soon to stock up on our fun, informational, and awesomely designed stickers and spoke cards!
And, if you want, you can follow Karina on Twitter! @kmacfromla