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Addressing the Concerns of Local 4th Street Residents

Update: There has been some confusion regarding the draft concept treatments. Again, these images are concepts, only. To date, no design work has been completed as DOT continues the public outreach process. We have created a new draft concept for Highland/4th that we feel more clearly represents the intersection(s) at Rossmore and Highland. This new image highlights the signal head for the bicycle/pedestrian actuated signal on 4th Street. Regarding turn movements onto 4th St. from Highland or Rossmore; there will be no restriction on turn movements (right or left) onto 4th Street from either Highland or Rossmore. The only restrictions will be for through movements on 4th through Highland or Rossmore (motor-vehicles will be forced to make a right while bicycles and pedestrians are unrestricted).

A New Concept

Since Bicycle Friendly Street’s are a new concept for the City of Los Angeles, local residents may have some questions about the effects of various treatments. We here at the LADOT Bike Program are happy to address any questions and concerns that residents may have concerning the Bicycle Friendly Street pilot project. We encourage residents to attend local meetings, or if you can’t make those, feel free to leave us a comment on the blog and we will be sure to pass your concerns on to the appropriate staff. Below the fold we discuss the rationale for bike friendly treatments and present concepts for 4th/Highland and 4th/New Hampshire. Also, before we continue, just a friendly reminder that these concepts do not represent final designs and are merely intended to help visualize potential treatments.

Current conditions on 4th approaching Highland from the east via Google Maps

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LADOT Sharrows Report Results: Sharrows are Good

The long-awaited report is finally here.  A year after installation, the LADOT Bike Program has completed analysis of our in-depth study for Sharrows on the streets of Los Angeles.  Overall, Sharrows were a resounding success in improving safe interactions between drivers and bicyclists on many different types of street with various conditions.  For a look at the methodolgy used for our study, feel free to read up on our pre-installation Sharrows post.

But don’t take our word for it: take a look at the report for yourself.  We also created a page tab (a drop-down from the “Sharrows” page tab) for a quick link to the study by itself.  The report has already been submitted to SCAG and to the Mayor’s Office.  We hope to move forward with a robust implementation of Sharrows on Bicycle Friendly Streets throughout the City and as a practical solution to gap closure between existing facilities on streets that cannot easily accommodate bike lanes.

Come below the fold, where we’ll do a quick rundown of the report’s results, and what it may mean for LA’s streets in the future.

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BPIT Notes, 7/5/11: Progress Marches Ever On

The most recent meeting of the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) assembled this past Tuesday at City Hall Room 721 to discuss a wide range of topics centered around a single goal: making Los Angeles a better place to ride a bike.  This BPIT meeting, while less contentious than in months past, accomplished a great deal and took the first steps on many projects that will end in miles of bike lanes, miles of bicycle boulevards, and safer bicyclists.

The meeting was dutifully tweeted by BikeBlogChris (Christopher Kidd), flyingpigeonla (Joseph Bray-Ali), and cyclotropic (Max Berson).  You can track the play-by-play with the #BPIT Twitter hashtag.  For an alternate take on the meeting, Rick Risemberg (of BicycleFixation fame) has his notes from the meeting up at FlyingPigeonLA.

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Over 30 people jammed room 721 this Tuesday

Below the fold, we’ll go through the details of this month’s meeting.  Presentations by Pat Hines of Safe Moves, updates on newly finished bike lanes by Paul Meshkin, a presentation on priority bike lane projects in central LA & NELA, and discussions about prioritizing Bicycle Friendly Streets were all covered.

Remember, the BPIT sets the agenda for implementing the 2010 LA Bike Plan.  If you think something is missing from the meetings, make yourself heard.

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LADOT Bike Program – Bike Lane Projects Update, 7/5/11

The LADOT Bike Blog hasn’t done a projects update in quite a while, so we figured it was about time to take stock of which new projects are on the pavement and which projects we can expect to see in the near future.  Quite a few bike lanes have been laid down in the last few months, and we’ve got plenty more lined up for construction.  As always, LADOT relies on the support of the public and the council offices to build new bicycle infrastructure.  If any of the pending projects are in your neighborhood, please contact your council member and let them know you support bike lanes.

Come below the fold, and we’ll cover a few of our newest developments.  This update by no means covers all the projects we’re working on (some haven’t progressed to the next step on the road to construction), so feel free to check out our Bike Lane Projects page, our Bike Path Projects page, and our Year Zero/2010-2011 Projects Map to see everything we’re working on.

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Notice for July BPIT, 7/5/11: Educational Programs, Bicycle Friendly Streets, and More Bike Lanes

Next Tuesday, July 5th, will see the next meeting of the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT).  Here is the agenda for the meeting. BPIT meetings are held, as always, from 2:00-3:30 in room 721 in City Hall.

This month represents a slight shift in the direction of the BPIT, both in terms of topics discussed and in terms of the decision process for new projects. If you want to help shape the schedule and priorities for the next stage of bike plan implementation, it’s incumbent that you attend July’s meeting. If you aren’t able to make it out to the meeting, leave your comments below and LADOT Bike Blog will make sure they get into the hands of City Planning.

Among other items, the BPIT will discuss the Safe Moves bicycle education program

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Bicycle Facilities and Safe Routes to School

In previous generations, the majority of school aged children either walked or biked to school. Children got more physical activity, our streets were less congested, and our air quality was better. Fast forward to 2011: less than 15 percent of children living within a two-mile radius either walk or bike to school. A vast majority are either driven by parents or taken to school by bus. Increased traffic and safety concerns have made it inhospitable for many children to bike or walk to school.

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programs were created to reverse these trends. SRTS can fund infrastructure and/or programs that improve safety and encourage walking and bicycling. Projects emerge through a collaborative effort between parents, schools, community members and local government. One of the key steps in determining potential partner schools is based on need.  A new mapping tool from the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) has been a huge help this year in determining where to prioritize SRTS efforts in the City of Los Angeles. (Below is a map developed by SafeTREC of pedestrian and bicycle collisions near school sites in central LA between 2006 and 2008. )

Los Angeles, Central City pedestrian or bicycle collisions

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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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Anatomy of a Bicycle Friendly Street: Signage

(Ed Note: Most information on Bicycle Friendly Street treatments come from the Technical Design Handbook in the 2010 LA Bike Plan.  Though we are happy to present it in bite-sized pieces, we highly recommend you download it yourself and have a good read.  You can download the Technical Design Handbook here.  For a refresher on what a Bicycle Friendly Street is -also called a Bike Boulevard- you can read our introductory post here. You can also find previous posts on chicanes, round-a-bouts, loop detectors and other BFS treatments here

The LADOT Bike Blog hopes everyone had a nice Bike Week LA 2011. To commemorate this year’s  “Bike Friendly LA” theme, the LADOT Bike Blog continues its ongoing series detailing the specific treatments that go into making a Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) – a big part of LA’s bicycle friendly future.

Today, we will take a look at the Traffic Control Device (TCD) known as signage. Signage is considered a “Level One” BFS application based on its relatively low level of physical intensity. It is important to note that BFS applications are site-specific, and that not all streets require the highest application treatments. The Bike Plan Technical Design Handbook (TDH) recommends gathering community input along with the necessary engineering and design work to determine the level of application necessary for each individual street.

CA MUTCD-approved signage

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Project Updates: Bike Lanes Moving Forward

The LADOT Bike Blog hasn’t done a full review of all the bike lane projects in the queue in quite a while. Sure, we covered the Woodman Avenue bike lanes and the latest on the Metro Orange Line extension bike path, but that hardly represents a comprehensive update.  At the April BPIT meeting, Planning and Bikeways engineering promised to provide a full update on all ongoing bike lane projects.

Well the wait is now over: LADOT Bike Blog is presenting a full update on all of our projects’ progress since our last update in January. As always, you can check out the full list of current projects on our Bike Lane Projects page, our Bike Path Projects page, our Projects map, and our BPIT map.  There’s also the matter of the remaining, and mysteriously named, “Year Zero” projects.  We’ll provide an explanation of what “Year Zero” is, and what projects are left, below the fold.  But first, the current projects update.

Woodman Bike Lane

New Bike Lanes on Woodman Avenue

Project Updates

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Anatomy of a Bicycle Friendly Street: Chicanes

(Ed Note: Most of the information on Bicycle Friendly Street treatments in this post  comes  from the new Bike Plan’s Technical Design Handbook.  Though we are happy to present it in bite-sized pieces, we highly recommend you download it yourself and have a good read.  You can download the Technical Design Handbook here.  For a refresher on Bicycle Friendly Streets generally–read our introductory post here.)

An example of a chicane from Austin, TX

It’s time for yet another installment in our ongoing series that details the specific treatments that go into making a Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS). Today, we will examine chicanes – a traffic calming device. Traffic calming devices are considered “Level Four” BFS applications based on level of physical intensity. It is important to note that BFS applications are site-specific, and that not all streets require the highest application treatments. The Bike Plan Technical Design Handbook (TDH) recommends gathering community input along with the necessary engineering and design work to determine the level of application necessary for each individual street. In case you were wondering, there are five different application levels – varying from signage to traffic diversion. Read more