York Boulevard Road Diet Traffic Safety Analysis

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Did implementing a road diet on York Boulevard make the street safer? Yes, it did! Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock

When the LADOT proposes a road diet (also known as a roadway reconfiguration) on a street, it primarily does so with the intent of improving traffic safety. As it happens, road diets are frequently opportunities to specifically enhance conditions for people walking and bicycling – the most vulnerable users of our streets – while improving overall safety for all. After decades of study on the national level, road diets are officially acknowledged by the FHWA as a proven means to improve safety and the logistics of why road diets succeed in doing this  have previously been laid out on this blog. Read more

Summer Bicycle Safety Classes

Metro's Bike Map

Learn how to safely ride on streets with and without bicycle infrastructure

This summer Metro has been hosting a series of free bicycle traffic safety workshops funded through the Office of Traffic Safety. Metro is working with the LA County Bicycle Coalition, Bike San Gabriel Valley and Multi-Cultural Communities for Mobility in leading the two levels of workshops: a 3-hour beginner’s road rules class (in English and Spanish), and an 8-hour workshop for intermediate cyclists focusing on building traffic skills.

While the series began in June, there are still a few more classes available: Read more

Bike Trains are the Lightest Rail

Safety in numbers!

Jump on the train! The bike train that is… A group of enthusiastic bicyclists have organized LA Bike Trains: routes across Los Angeles, encouraging Angelenos to ditch their cars and join a bike train to work.

What is a bike train? It’s a slow and steady bike ride to work taking a regular route in the company of other bicyclists. Bike trains are led by reliable Conductors that monitor the speed and safety of the ride, ensuring all commuters are on board and comfortable. Bike trains encourage safety in numbers and provide a festive morning commute. Bike Train Conductors are dedicated volunteers, experienced urban cyclists who recognize that biking to work can be daunting for an individual, but easy and enjoyable in a group.

Right now the LA Bike Trains have 5 routes:

Route 001 : Silver Lake to Hollywood
Led by Bruce Chan – Meets Wednesdays at 8:00am at Cafe Tropical.

Route 002 : Mid-Wilshire to DTLA
Led by Nona Varnado – Meets Wednesdays 9 am at Cafe Americano .

Route 003 : Sunset Triangle to Santa Monica
Led by Wes High – Meets Tuesday at 7:45am at Sunset Triangle Plaza.

Route 004 : Silver Lake to Downtown
Led by Alex Rixey – Meets Thursdays at 8:00am at Caffe Vita on Sunset and Hillhurst, near the Vista Theater.

Route 005 : Westlake to Long Beach
Led by Christopher Lovejoy – Meets Wednesdays 6:45am at 7-Eleven on 7th Street.

LA Bike Trains is eager to expand! To provide input where you would like to join a bike train, fill out their Commuter Survey.

City Seeks to Make Storm Drain Grates More Bicycle Friendly

Common Grate (Left) ; More Bicycle-Friendly Grate (Right)

Common Grate (Left) ; More Bicycle-Friendly Grate (Right)

The Bureau of Sanitation is looking for the location of storm drain grates that they can upgrade to a design more friendly to bicycle tires. The current effort will help Sanitation to find locations that are the highest priority by bicyclists for replacement. The grate above on the left is an older design, while the right shows the new bicycle-safe one. Cross-hatching prevents tires from getting caught.

We need your help in finding grates that are the highest priority for replacement. If you see a grate that needs to be upgraded, please let us know the nearest intersection and what side of the street it is located on. For instance, a good description would be: “on the northbound side of Figueroa as it approaches 7th Street.” If possible, please include a photo of the grate in question.

Unfortunately, we cannot improve grates outside the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles, so please be sure the grate you are submitting is actually in City limits.

There are plenty of ways for you to let us know what grates need upgrading.

You can email us: ladotbikeblog+stormdrain@gmail.com

You can tweet at us: @LADOTBikeProg

You can Facebook us: LADOTBikeProgram

Remember to include the nearest intersection, direction of travel, and a photo if possible.

The Bicycle Program will compile a list of grates that need upgrading and we’ll share that information with the Bureau of Sanitation so they can install new grates as funds become available.

With your help, we can make a safer Los Angeles for bicyclists.

Alex Baum Bridge re-dedication ceremony this Thursday (You’re invited!)

Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge

Making way for the new plaque to be installed

On Thursday, from 11 to 12 p.m. LADOT and Council member Tom LaBonge will be re-dedicating the Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge in a ceremony from 11 to 12 at the bridge, located above Los Feliz Blvd. The dedication ceremony will showcase new bronze plaques (unveiled earlier this year at the Blessing of the Bicycles) honoring Alex Baum and his role in promoting bicycling in Los Angeles (just in time for his birthday.) Parking will be limited so we are encouraging attendees to bike, take transit or carpool to the ceremony. Join in the celebration to get a first-hand look at the plaques and a chance to hear guest speakers honor Alex’s accomplishments and L.A’s long bicycling history.

Please note, that the bicycle bridge will be closed to bicyclists from 10:30 to 11:30 for the purpose of the ceremony. A clearly signed detour will be available for bicyclists passing through the area at this time.

Read more

AB 2245 Signed by Governor Brown; Bike Lanes Now Fully Exempt from CEQA

Gov. Brown at a recent event in Beverly Hills, photo by Alan Mittelstaedt for Neon Tommy

Early this morning, we received word that Governor Brown has signed AB 2245 into law.  The new law provides for a CEQA exemption for Class II bikeway (bike lane) projects. Under the former guidelines, some bike lane projects in the City of L.A.  would have required an EIR if their traffic impacts were over specified thresholds. While municipalities will still need to assess traffic and safety impacts, and hold public hearings to review them, the exemption allows decision makers to consider such impacts without wasting the time and resources that an EIR process requires. This will allow more effort to be placed on planning and public outreach. We’lll have more on this as we figure out what it will mean for the City of L.A. and the many bike lane projects we have in the works.

Introducing “Bicycle Friendly Street” (BFS) name signs

Yucca St. BFS SNS under construction

Yucca St. BFS High Level Street Name Sign being fabricated at the LADOT Sign Shop

We’ve got some exciting news we’d like to share about new street name signage coming to Los Angeles’s Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) facilities. LADOT is debuting brand new BFS street name signs on Yucca St. – a local street that parallels Hollywood Blvd. When designing our new street name signs (SNS), we specifically wanted to highlight the BFS facility’s designation to roadway users. The signs will come in two types; standard street name signs (signs attached to poles) and high level signs (hanging or attached to traffic signals). Our hope is that the new signs will draw attention to BFS streets, while still maintaining the familiar look of our signature blue street signs. These new signs will function as both general identifiers for BFS facilities, in addition to confirmation purposes for our [coming] wayfinding signage efforts. Read more

Two key bicycle related bills cruise through the legislature

Bicycling at dusk - 4th St. sharrows

Give me 3!

Governor Jerry Brown will soon get the opportunity to sign into law Senate Bill (SB) 1464 – CA’s safe passing distance law. Yesterday, the bill passed the CA State Assembly by a 50-16 margin, setting the stage for California to join 21 other states and the District of Columbia in having a defined safe passing distance law. The bill calls for drivers to give bicyclists a minimum 3-foot safe passing distance, increasing safety for all roadway users. Read more

AB 2245 Update: On to the Senate Floor

AB 2245 (which would exempt bike lanes from CEQA processes) is rolling along; expect a vote in the CA Senate next

Earlier this month, California Assembly Bill 2245 took one more step toward simplifying the process of adding bike lanes to existing streets. The bill, officially entitled “Environmental quality: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): exemption: bikeways,” passed through the California State Environmental Quality Committee in unanimous fashion (7 ayes, 0 noes).  The next step for this piece of legislation is to be introduced on the Senate floor once the State Legislature reconvenes after its summer recess. According to the office of the aforementioned committee, the bill will likely be put to a vote in late August.  Read more

Yucca Street BFS Construction Update

Construction of new traffic diverters at Yucca St. and Cherokee Ave.

We are excited to report that construction has begun on Yucca St.’s new traffic diverters. When the project is complete, there will be three new traffic diverters (at Las Palmas Ave., Cherokee Ave., and Whitley Ave.) designed to prohibit vehicle through movements, while allowing for bicycles to pass through. The new bicycle friendly traffic diverters are part of the Yucca St. Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) project, that aims to create an attractive, calm, and safe street for bicyclists. Yucca St. is slated to become one of the city’s first Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) facilities when it receives its full slate of treatments including sharrows (SLMs), wayfinding signage, in addition to  the aforementioned traffic diverters. The project’s boundaries stretch for two-thirds of a mile from Highland Ave. to Cahuenga Blvd. Construction is on-going and is expected to be completed by late August 2012. Check out the before and after photos below and be sure to tell us what you think about the project in the comments section.

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