L.A. County Bike Summit

Tomorrow, the City of Long Beach will play host to the 2011 L.A. County Bike Summit. The event is co-organized by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s RENEW LA County Initiative. This conference will bring together local elected leaders, city managers and staff from a number of the 88 cities that make up LA County, to have a conversation about how to create a more bicycle friendly community. You can view the program for the conference here. Topics slated for discussion include: engineering guidelines and standards, education programs, grant competitiveness, bikes benefiting businesses, bike parking, utilizing collision data, and a whole host of other topics. There will also be bicycle tours of Long Beach’s facilities scattered throughout the day.

We will be tweeting throughout the day and snapping pictures to share with everyone during the event. Be sure to follow us @ladotbikeprog and stay tuned to the LADOT Bike Blog for a complete rap up of the 2011 L.A. County Bike Summit sometime early next week.

Crod Oliver on Green Sharrow

A past LADOT visit to check out Long Beach facilities

ThinkBike Los Angeles: an eye opening experience

This past Thursday and Friday, city staff, advocates and local stakeholders got the opportunity to learn from Dutch bicycle experts on how to design streets for bicyclists and pedestrians the Dutch way. Late Friday afternoon, at a well attended Closing Session at LAPD Headquarters, the public got a chance to see what the working groups came up with. The workshops focused on maintaining an open mind towards facility design, which was exemplified by our Dutch guest Hillie Talens’ admonition to say to each other “okay, and” instead of “okay, but”. The teams did a wonderful job with their presentations and designs. You can view them for yourself under our “Resources” tab or by clicking here. (And this evening, ThinkBikeLA will be on Channel 35, at 7pm and midnight.)

ThinkBikeLA - discussing options for Van Nuys Blvd.

ThinkBikeLA - discussing options for Van Nuys Blvd.

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7th St. bike lanes press event

LACBC's Jennifer Klausner operates a blow torch to help install a thermoplastic bike lane marking at the 7th St. bike lanes press event. Council Member Reyes and our boss, Kang Hu, (wearing ties) observe.

I always enjoy these celebratory bike facility gatherings. Last time we had this many folks out, it was for the opening of the bike corral on York Blvd. in the 14th Council District. Today, we celebrated the opening of the 7th St. bike lanes in CD 1 at MacArthur Park with Council Member Ed Reyes, a number of local media outlets, and at least a score of bicyclists excited to see this important facility on the ground.

We tweeted a few photos, too. Check those out at our Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/LADOTBikeProg

Many thanks are due to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for organizing the event and for playing such an important leadership role in communicating the importance of this facility to local community member via their outreach efforts. Their 7th St. bike lanes campaign video is a must see.

And a huge thank you to Council Member Ed Reyes for his leadership and guidance on this project. Council District 1 staff have been very supportive from the very beginning. Thank you especially to Jill Sourial!

We’ll update this post with links to media coverage as we track them down. Send an email to ladotbikeblog (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re able to find any of the coverage on the web yourself. Thanks all!

ThinkBike Workshops coming to Los Angeles

The Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in California, in cooperation with the Mayors Office, the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will be hosting a two day ThinkBike Workshop from Sept 22-23, 2011. We here at the LADOT Bike Program are looking forward to discussing the bright future of bicycling in Los Angeles with our Dutch colleagues. More about the ThinkBike Workshop after the jump!

A reimagined street from ThinkBike Toronto

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Los Angeles Sharrows: Pre-Installation Studies

(Ed. Note: With the forthcoming release of the LADOT Bike Program SLM (Shared Lane Marking) Study, the LADOT Bike Blog would like to take you back to the summer of 2010 and share with you the methodology of our Sharrow study.  Confused?  Check out our Sharrows 101 post or our Sharrows Page.)

Over three weeks in late May and early June of 2010, LADOT Bike Blog took part in pre-installation studies for the LADOT Shared Lane Marking (Sharrows) Study.  The study documented the interactions between drivers and bicyclists when a bicyclist traveled at the position where Sharrows would later be installed.  At the end of the summer, LADOT Bike Blog again took part in studying the interactions between drivers and bicyclists, this time with Sharrows in place.  It all culminates with the release in the next few days of the LADOT Bicycle Program SLM report.

Newly installed Sharrows on 4th Street

While the LADOT Bike Blog will have another write-up on the results of the report (and what it means for Los Angeles’ streets), we first wanted to give you a look at the goals, the methods, and the standards we used for the Sharrow study.

We don’t just want Sharrows, we want Sharrows the right way.  We’re happy to give you a look at how we got there.

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Bicycle Parking Ordinance Passes City Planning Commission

The Los Angeles City Planning Commission today took a step towards making Los Angeles a truly bicycle friendly city.  In a unanimous vote, the Commission adopted a Bicycle Parking Ordinance that would vastly expand the number of new bike parking spaces required in new developments of all kinds throughout Los Angeles. You can follow the blow-by-blows of the hearing at the twitter feed BikeBlogChris, or the hashtags #bikeLA and #lamtg.  You can download a copy of the pdf here.

Over 15 dedicated bicyclists and advocates showed up in City Hall Room 350 today to support the ordinance.  Kudos are due to Rye Baerg, the driving force behind the ordinance in the City Planning Department, and all the dedicated members of the public who have helped the ordinance reach where it is today.

Thanks, Rye (image courtesy LACBC)

The next step for the Bicycle Parking Ordinance is a hearing before the PLUM (Planning & Land Use Management) Committee.  Once through PLUM, the ordinance goes to a full hearing before the City Council before becoming part of the City’s municipal code.  When the ordinance is agendized from the PLUM Committee, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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Downtown LA Bike Projects at the DLANC

This past Tuesday, LADOT Bike Blog and Bikeways Engineering staff spent their evening attending a meeting for the Planning & Land Use Committee for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC).  Several members of the LACBC and the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee also showed up to lend LADOT their support.

LADOT presenting at the DLANC

Among other items, which included Master Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) for a few downtown developments and a measure to support “adult cabaret” uses at a nightclub out in the Industrial District, the LADOT Bike Program presented conceptual designs for bike lane projects on Figueroa Street, Flower Street, Spring Street, and Main Street.  Ably covered by the excellent Blogdowtown, you can read the specifics of our presentation there.   We plan to give these projects fuller coverage in the days to come, and we will make the powerpoint presentation given to the DLANC Planning & Land Use Committee available online along with it. Read more

Next Phase of 4th Street Transformation on the Horizon

Living blocks away from 4th Street biased me from Day One. I became even more attached to this priority project when I helped mark our second round of sharrows from Wilton Place to Cochran Avenue. Personal prejudices aside, this future bicycle boulevard (called a “Bicycle Friendly Street” in the LA Bike Plan) has remained at the forefront of bike plan implementation discussions for good reason – as one of the most direct, low volume connections across the City.

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Bicyclists on 4th Street during last summer's Tour LaBonge

A Bicycle Friendly Street on 4th Street is one of the priority projects for the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) and has long been a dream of both the LACBC and CD 4 Council Member Tom LaBonge. To roll out the next phase of bicycle improvements for 4th Street, we here at the LADOT Bike Program have begun community outreach efforts to determine the most efficient use of available bicycle infrastructure funds. 4th Street already has sharrows for over 3 miles from Cochran Ave to Hoover St. It also has new bike-sensitive loop detectors which can pick up the wheel of a bicycle at each stoplight. If you’re unsure of where to place your bike to activate the signal, check out our previous post here.

4th Street Map – Existing Conditions

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Quick Hits: One Step Closer to Metro Bike Ban Repeal; City Planning Gets Their Due; ULI in Long Beach

A few quick notes for the LA bike community on a balmy Thursday:

Metro’s Peak-Hour Bike Ban One Step from Repeal

The Metro Operations Committee this afternoon approved Metro Staff’s recommendations to remove peak-hour restrictions for bicycles.  As we wrote about yesterday, Metro is considering both removing peak-hour restrictions on bikes for all Metro rail lines and removing a few seats in all Metro cars to better accommodate passengers with bicycles, strollers, luggage, and other large items that can sometimes block access to train doorways. The subway lines have already had this work done, but the light rail lines are being considered, as well.

Members of the LACBC, LADOT, the BRU, the BAC, and FAST all spoke in support of removing the restrictions and removing limited seating on trains.  CEO Art Leahy was also extremely supportive of staff’s recommendations to make Metro a truly bicycle-friendly transit system.  Leahy pointed out that removal of 2 seats on a train would create room for “5 standees” per car when trains are at capacity.  Creating more capacity on Metro without increasing operating costs is just another strong argument to add to the list in favor of staff’s recommendations.

One of the Operations Committee members wanted staff to provide a report on the impacts to current Metro riders if ridership levels increase due to more bicyclists riding on Metro.  He worried that current riders wouldn’t be able to get seats during rush hour were ridership to increase due to more bicyclists riding the train.  This seemed to miss the mark a bit for me: Increased ridership should be a boon, not an impact, to Metro; and aren’t bicyclists Metro riders, too?

After discussion between committee members ended, they voted to move the recommendations on to the full Metro Board.  The full board may hear the item as soon as next week, so keep your digital eyes on the LADOT Bike Blog throughout the week for new developments.

City Planning Wins Fitting APA Award for LA Bike Plan

The Los Angeles Section of the American Planners Association (APA) just came out with their 2011 planning awards.  For their work on the 2010 LA Bike Plan, City Planning is receiving the APA “Hard Won Victory Award”.

Two years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Los Angeles having a new bike plan at all, much less the visionary bike plan that has earned admiration and envy across the country.  Much of the reason we have that great bike plan today is due to the tireless efforts of City Planning staff Claire Bowen, Jane Choi, and Jordann Turner.  It was their hard work, their endless optimism, and their tireless coalition building that brought together advocates, the City, and the public around a plan that we can all be proud of.

Though the award is being given to City Planning, it’s my opinion that everyone involved in the bike plan deserves a piece of the APA award.  The process was a “hard won victory” on all sides, and everyone involved should be truly proud of helping make Los Angeles a better place for all.

ULI Hits Long Beach

On the heels of opening their very first set of cycle tracks, Long Beach will play host to the Urban Land Institute – Los Angeles Branch.  The ULI is holding a Mobility Tour and Case Study of Long Beach’s bicycle infrastructure on May 4th.  In addition to the tour, a panel featuring Charlie Gandy, Sumi Gant, Michael Bohn, and Casey Burke will discuss Long Beach’s strategies, implementation, and lessons learned in implementing cutting-edge bicycle infrastructure.  Space is limited, and you can register on ULI’s website.

BAC Notes 4/5/11: Welcome New BACer Jennifer Gill!

First Tuesdays can be busy! In addition to the monthly Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting in the afternoon, the day also featured the bi-monthly Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting in the evening. It was the first full meeting as BAC Chair for Jay Slater and featured a brand new BAC member, as well.

Jennifer Gill, who manages outreach efforts for  the Metro Bicycle Roundtable meetings, was present for her first meeting as the new BAC representative for CD 1.  Council Member Ed Reyes, long known for his strong support of bicycling, made a great decision in appointing such a capable and progressive supporter of bicycling.  We wish Jennifer the best in her new role on the BAC and hope that she can bring new energy, ideas, and gravitas to the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Tuesday’s meeting was well attended by both BAC members and members of the public.  Fourteen out of the 19 sitting BAC members were in attendance.  And 15 other individuals – including Alexis Lantz of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Don Ward of SafeStreetsNorthridge and Midnight Ridazz fame – made the trip to 6501 Fountain Avenue (Google map it).

Below the fold, we’ll get into highlights of the meeting: an update from Sergeant Krumer, discussion of the LA County Bike Plan, more specifics on the BAC Liaison Program, the BAC’s future website, an update on City Planning’s Bike Parking Ordinance, and the effort to bring a universal bicycle registry to Southern California.

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