Getting ready to bike on the new Los Angeles Street

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.

Ceremony Photo

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:

Side Boarding Islands

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 .

Bus Platform

Bicycle Signal Heads

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.

Bike Signal Head

Bike Box (Two-Stage Turn Queue Box)

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.

Two-Stage Turn Queue Boxes Diagram

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!

 

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.

Spring St. Material Testing this Sunday

0% chance of rain! The weather couldn’t be better for the planned material test on Spring St.

Abundant sunshine. That’s what we have been waiting for, as Spring Street’s green bike lane will finally be undergoing a planned material test starting this Sunday, July 15th. Testing will occur along three blocks; 1st St. to 2nd St., Cesar Chavez Ave. to Arcadia St., and Aliso St. to Temple St. As many of you already know, we’ve had to cancel a number of past material tests due to inclement weather, but it looks like mother nature will be cooperative this weekendRead more

A tour of the coming Downtown L.A. Bikeway Network

UPDATE: There will be an Open House tomorrow (5/30/2012) between 5:00PM and 8:00PM to discuss the upcoming Downtown Bikeway Network. The event will be held at Aiso Plaza (Judge John Aiso Street & 1st Street). For more information, click here.

First St. at CicLAvia

First St. at the last CicLAvia. This stretch will have bike lanes in the next two months.

We hope everyone had a great Bike to Work Day! Special thanks to all the riders and pit stop volunteers that made the week’s festivities possible. Hope everyone got to enjoy their Cliff Bars and other promo items at the various pit stops! 

Just a year ago, Downtown Los Angeles was devoid of any dedicated bicycle infrastructure. Last April, the 7th Street bike lanes brought the first dedicated bicycle facility right to downtown’s doorstep. Then in late November, the highly anticipated southbound Spring St. green bike lane brought the first true bikeway to the heart of downtown Los Angeles, connecting Chinatown, the Civic Center, and the Historic Core to the edge of South Park. This past February, Main St. joined the fray, extending the Spring St. bike lane southwards between 9th and 16th/Venice Blvd with a two-way facility.

We’re happy to report that within the next three months, LADOT will be installing the highly anticipated complimentary northbound lane to Spring St. on Main St. from 9th to Cesar Chavez, giving Downtown L.A. a true north-south backbone for its burgeoning bicycle network. While Main St. is an important facility, it is just another piece of the downtown Bikeway network coming together.

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If You Build it They Will Come

Main St. bike lane

We’re looking forward to seeing similar results along the future Main St. bike lane

We’re happy to share some great news from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. After conducting bikes counts on Spring Street – both before and after the installation of the green-buffered bike lane project – the numbers are in. Results show that more people than ever are biking on Spring Street. The weekday morning and evening counts showed a 12% increase in ridership.  Weekend counts showed an impressive 250% increase in number of riders. Read more

Spring St. material testing this weekend

Material testing will begin this Sunday, April 1st (and that's no joke)!

Update: Canceled yet again due to weather forecasts for rain. We’ll try again soon. More news to come.

The Spring St. green bike lane will be undergoing a planned material test starting this Sunday, April 1st. Testing will occur along three blocks; 5th St. to 6th St., 6th St. to 7th St., and Aliso St. to Temple St. LADOT will be testing a variety of materials and application technologies to identify the best combination/s for our city’s unique roadways. For more information about the materials that we will be testing, check out our previous post here. We would like to remind everyone to please be mindful of the cones and to avoid driving on the coned off segments on the day of the installation. If you access driveways/garages on the west side of Spring along these three blocks, entry and exit will be restricted from 1AM-4PM. Be sure to plan ahead – consider moving your car to another street or lot in advance if you know you will need to use your car on this day. More information on these restrictions can be found at the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s website.

New Date! Spring St. Green Bike Lane Material Testing

Spring St. bike lanes

Spring St. green bike lane on the day of its grand opening

UPDATE: Testing is now tentatively scheduled for the weekend of April 1st.

UPDATE: The testing scheduled for this weekend has been postponed due to the weather forecast. We’ll let you know more details on rescheduling as soon as we have them. Thanks!

 

The Spring Street buffered green bike lane represents a major step forward for bicycling infrastructure in Los Angeles. The bike lane and its green pavement, along with the 4′ painted buffer alongside it, provide bicyclists with enhanced visual separation from motor vehicle travel lanes. Spring St. is truly a complete street, serving bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users, as well as motorists.

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Main St. (Downtown) Bike Lanes and Spring St. Material Testing

Alfred installs a bike lane sign

Bike lanes going in on Main St. 9th St. to Venice Blvd.

Main St. in Downtown Los Angeles will soon be getting bike lanes from 9th St. to Venice Blvd./16th St. Installation is scheduled to begin the weekend of February 11th and be completed by February 18th. These new bike lanes will pick up right where the Spring St. bike lane left off, extending the bikeway network south towards South Park. Design work has also begun for a northbound bike lane on Main St. (from 9th to Cesar Chavez) that will compliment the existing southbound Spring St. bike lane.

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LADOT will also be conducting green material testing along Spring St. on Sunday, February 12th. Six different material types will be tested along three blocks: 7th to 6th, 6th to 5th and Temple to Aliso. More information (and driving/parking restrictions for that day) can be found on the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s website. We’ll have more on the material testing later this early next week.

Re-Greening Spring Street

A quick update on the touch up work that will be coming soon to Spring Street. Last Monday, we celebrated the opening of Downtown L.A.’s first green bikeway. The green colorization is intended to increase bicyclist comfort and motorist yielding behavior. Unfortunately, inclement weather did not allow for the paint to fully set, leading to some blotching that many of you have no-doubt seen.

The tentative date for the touch up work will be this Sunday, December 4th. Temporary “No Stopping” signs will go up sometime this week for the impending roadwork. Expect to see DOT work crews and cones placed along segments of the bike lane that require touching up. Please be mindful of the cones and do not ride or drive along the wet pavement to avoid unnecessary tire marks and to allow the paint to completely set.

The second coat of paint's looking good.

Expect to see crews along Spring Street this Sunday

L.A. gets its first buffered green bike lane

Spring Street has sprung a brand new, buffered green bike lane. This past weekend, city crews put the finishing touches on the new 1.5 mile Spring Street facility.

“It’s very exciting,” said Bikeways Engineer Tim Fremaux, the manager for the project. “It represents a significant step toward making this city more bicycle friendly. We really hope that this facility will encourage more people to get out on their bicycles to enjoy Downtown.”

Spring Street is one of L.A’s first green bike lanes and is the first designated Downtown bikeway from the city’s much heralded 2010 Bicycle Master Plan to be implemented. Running through the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, it connects a diverse array of eclectic Downtown neighborhoods including the Historic Core, Civic Center, Olvera Street and Chinatown.

Inspired by September’s ThinkBike L.A. workshop, the Spring Street bike lane has successfully re-imagined a previously under-utilized Downtown street and re-purposed it into a multi-modal thoroughfare that now not only serves cars effectively, but bikes and transit too.

Spring St. near LAPD HQ

Spring Street green buffered bike lane near LAPD HQ

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