Bike Lanes, Bike Paths & Sharrows: Notes from the BAC Bikeways Subcommitee, 1/25/11

Last Tuesday, 15 people met on the 9th floor of the Caltrans building downtown to discuss upcoming bike lanes, upcoming bike paths, and the future of Sharrows in Los Angeles.  They met to discuss the engineering realities of each project and how to best move them forward for the benefit of all bicyclist Angelinos.  The results of this meeting, and the one held earlier this month, will be reported back to the full Bicycle Advisory Committee when they next meet.  In case you forgot when the BAC meets:

Bicycle Advisory Committee

Tuesday, February 1st at 7:00 PM at Hollywood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave.

If you can’t make it out next week, fear not: LADOT Bike Blog will be tweeting the proceedings as well as providing detailed notes on this here blog early next month.

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Sharrows: just one of the projects discussed at the BAC Bikeways Subcommittee

BAC Bikeways Subcommittee Agenda

Projects discussed were:

  • the progress made on LA’s test Sharrows project,
  • extending bike lanes on York Boulevard,
  • completing bike lanes on Reseda Boulevard,
  • the Main Street Road Diet/bike lanes project, and
  • the San Fernando Road bike path

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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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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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“We’re Almost There” – Planning Commission Continuance on Bike Plan Scheduled for 12/16

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The Planning Commission convened at 9AM ... and concluded 7 hours later.

(Update: There’s also excellent coverage of the meeting by Joe Linton on Streetsblog and by Ted Rogers at Biking in LA)

To Be Continued…

Today, the Planning Commission voted 6-0 to continue their hearing on the 2010 draft LA Bike Plan until December 16th.  In a marathon session, with the Bike Plan alone taking up nearly 4 hours, the LA bicycling community still managed to turn out a large and vocal contingent to make their views heard.  Many different opinions were voiced and much ground was covered.

Topics ranged from EIR standards to the Backbone Network to the 5 Year Funding Strategy to Bicycle Friendly Streets to the culture of City departments to mountain bikes in City parks to the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights to staffing and documentation concerns; discussion covered the variegated landscape of what LA’s bicyclists hold most dear.

While the commissioners were generally positive about the Bike Plan (in closing statements, the audience was told “[it’s] a plan we like very much” and “we’re almost there”), they voted to continue the hearing on the plan until December 16th.  In the meantime, staff will work out the specifics of recent amendments and the Planning Commission will form a sub-committee to work with City staff to make sure their concerns are addressed prior to the next Planning Commission meeting.  A lot of the speakers voiced very valid concerns, and we’re glad that staff is going to be able to better address them before the next meeting of the Planning Commission.  The end result of the Planning Commission meeting is that we’ll have a better bike plan when this process is all over, and it’s hard to take issue with that.

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Scoping 4th Street

On the morning of Wednesday, October 27th, representatives from the LADOT Bike Program and the LACBC, a reporter for the Larchmont Chronicle, Heidi Sickler from Mayor Villaraigosa’s office, and Carolyn Ramsay from CD 4 Council Member Tom LaBonge’s office gathered together at Shatto Park to take a bike ride.  You can be sure that LADOT Bike Blog was in attendance as well.  You can read the LACBC’s take on the ride here.

Shatto Park

LACBC's Alexis Lantz waits in the Shatto Park parking lot

A leisurely morning bike ride through Koreatown may not seem like an earth shattering event, but the reason they all came together marks the beginning of a new type of bicycling infrastructure in Los Angeles.  The group that assembled that morning was there to do the preliminary scoping for all the possible treatments for a Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) along 4th Street, otherwise known as the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard.

Ed. Note: You can check out the rest of our 4th Street photos at the LADOT Bike Blog flickr page.

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Anatomy of a Bicycle Friendly Street: Diverters

There has been a lot of talk lately, both on this blog and elsewhere, about Bicycle Friendly Streets (more commonly known as Bicycle Boulevards).  The LACBC has long been campaigning to turn 4th Street into a Bicycle Boulevard.  Rich Risemberg reports that Council Member Tom LaBonge is also committed to a Bicycle Boulevard on 4th Street.  CicLAvia’s route went along 4th Street, giving an idea of what a Bicycle Boulevard could be.   Waring Avenue has also been identified as a site for a Bicycle Boulevard, both by Council Member Tom LaBonge and by Hollywood Examiner writer Taylor Nichols.  In terms of a street in LA that already most closely resembles a Bicycle Friendly Street, Westholme Avenue might have the strongest case.

Sharrows AND traffic circles? Be still my beating heart!

But sometimes lost in the shuffle is what, exactly, makes up a Bicycle Friendly Street or Bicycle Boulevard?  How are they different from other streets?  What is installed and why does it make bicycling safer?  How much does it cost and how does it get installed?  Come along with LADOT Bike Blog as we examine the:

Anatomy of a Bicycle Friendly Street

Diverters

Bikes go through. Cars? Not so much

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New Bike Racks at CARECEN, Interview With CM Reyes, More Bike Parking to Come

Last Thursday, 4 new bike parking racks were installed at the CARECEN day labor center in the Westlake neighborhood.  While the installation of 4 new racks doesn’t seem like much, the installation was both the fruitful end of a long advocacy process and the hopeful beginning of a new parking campaign by the LADOT Bike Program.  As always, you can find our other photos of the event at the LADOT Bike Blog Flickr page.

 

CM Reyes

Council Member Reyes drives in a bike rack bolt

 

None of this would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of Council Member Ed Reyes and his staff.  LADOT Bike Blog had a chance to talk with CM Reyes during the installation. Read more

“GIVE ME 3” updates

We’re going to use this post as a clearinghouse for all things “GIVE ME 3”.

GIVE ME 3's first official poster, at the bus stop at 1st & Main

Mayor Villaraigosa's opening remarks

The poster unveiled

Rita Robinson speaks

The Mayor signs the new poster

The Mayor, LADOT, LAPD, LACBC, and members of the Midnight Ridazz pose with the new poster

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Mayor launches “Give me 3” Campaign

Introducing the "GIVE ME 3" poster!

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today at 10 AM unveiled the poster for the “Give me 3”, a campaign geared towards improving bicycle safety and driver etiquette in the City of Los Angeles. The mayor kicked off the campaign by installing its first poster on the bus shelter at city hall on the corner of 1st & Main. The “Give me 3” campaign is the culmination of the LACBC’s Bicycle Awareness Safety Campaign, launched in April of 2010. The LACBC has partnered with the Mayor’s office, LADOT, LAPD, and Midnight Ridazz to make today’s campaign possible.

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