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Venice Welcomes a New Bicycle Corral to the Neighborhood!

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Bright and early this morning, the LADOT Bike Program, City Council District 11, the LA City General Services Department, and LADOT Field Crews installed the City’s newest bicycle corral at 15 West Washington right in front of the local neighborhood favorite, Hinano Cafe.

This installation is part of both the LADOT’s strategic plan, Great Streets for Los Angeles, and the 2035 Mobility plan which call for the installation of over 25 bicycle corrals throughout the metropolitan area.

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Secure, safe bicycle parking is an essential element of a comprehensive bicycle network. Demand for bike parking in Los Angeles has continued to grow as ridership increases and the City’s bicycle network expands. A lack of adequate parking not only discourages ridership, but also encourages people to lock their bikes to parking meters, trees, or sidewalk furniture. Where there is bicycle traffic and limited sidewalk space, on-street bicycle parking offers a worthwhile alternative…. That’s where bicycle corrals come in!

Our bicycle corrals can accommodate up to 16 bicycles in the same area as a single vehicle parking space. They work best where sidewalks are too narrow to accommodate bicycle racks and in areas with both high levels of people bicycling and demand for bicycle parking like West Washington Blvd. When placed near street corners, a corral also increases visibility and creates an additional buffer between people walking and people driving which increases safety for all.

These new bicycle corrals have already proven popular throughout the City and our newest one was no exception.  In fact, no sooner than the installation was complete, we had our first user!

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Want a Bicycle Corral of Your Own?

Our People St Corral application cycle is currently on an open and rolling basis! You can learn more on our People St Bicycle Corral page where you can find the answers to FAQs and the application.

Eligible sponsors include business or property owners, non-profits, and community organizations. Sponsors must sign a maintenance agreement with the City in which the sponsor agrees to keep the corral clean and debris-free. Please note that corral placement restricts street sweeping. We suggest reaching out to our staff at peoplest@lacity.org to advise on any proposed location prior to submitting a full application.

Find a Corral

Looking for other corrals to park your bike around the City?  You can find a list of all existing bicycle corrals on our corral page, and you can check out our awesome new City of LA Active Transportation Map to find a corral near you.

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Coming Soon: More Bike Corrals!

The site of the soon-to-be installed bike corral in Atwater Village.

It seems so distant, but February 18th, 2011, just two and a half years ago, was when the city’s first bike corral was installed on York Boulevard in Northeast LA.

Getting the corral off the drawing board and onto the ground was a lengthy process, but ultimately the project was able to march ahead thanks to both local residents’ support and political will. The day the bike corral officially opened was rightfully celebrated as a great stride in the city’s efforts to become more bicycle friendly.

Shortly after the York Boulevard bike corral was installed, we released a bike corral application form to gauge interest for future potential bike corral locations. Approximately a year after the city’s inaugural corral was installed, a second was placed as part of the Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake. Read more

The Year of The Road Diet

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July’s Bike Plan Implementation Team meeting was packed!

At our most recent Bicycle Plan Implementation Team meeting, Bikeways Engineer Tim Fremaux briefly noted that the LADOT implemented a number of road diets in the past fiscal year. Although it was only mentioned in passing, after looking at the exact mileage, it turns out this is actually a big accomplishment. Of the 100 miles of bike lanes installed over the last fiscal year, 20.1 miles came in the form of road diets. This comes as particularly promising news from a traffic safety perspective in light of the great safety improvements recently observed on a section of York Boulevard that received a road diet in 2006. So let’s take a page from the SFMTA, and be proud of our road diets, and see exactly where these road diets are:

Read more

Sign up for LACBC’s September 2013 Bike Count! Data is Important!

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New bike lanes have been popping up all over the city, including this one on Eagle Rock Blvd. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock

Why Data Matters For Bikeway Implementation

Over the past two fiscal years, the LADOT Bicycle Program has installed well over a hundred miles of new bike lanes, filling gaps in the city’s bicycle network and enhancing street conditions to make cycling more safe and pleasant. Alongside this effort, the LADOT will also soon be moving forward with highly anticipated bike projects in the city’s first EIR package, marking a huge step forward in the 2010 Bicycle Plan implementation process.

However, great as these accomplishment are, we don’t fully know the impact of bike lane projects and neighborhood bike networks unless we collect data evaluating the impacts of all this new bike infrastructure. How do new bike lanes and road diets affect the number of people bicycling on a street? Do bike lanes improve overall street safety? These are questions we need to answer. Additionally, we don’t know where bike infrastructure is most needed, and has the most potential if we don’t know the popular cycling corridors in the city. Simply put, data collection is incredibly important for evaluating the effectiveness of existing bikeways, and determining how best to advance new bicycle projects.

Since 2009, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) has coordinated – with the help of volunteers – bicycle and pedestrian counts throughout Los Angeles to help measure changes in the level of cycling. The results of the LACBC’s most recent counts, from 2011, observed a tremendous increase in the amount of cycling compared to 2009, particularly on streets that received bike lanes in the time between the two counts. While studies across the nation have demonstrated that building bicycle infrastructure leads to increases in the level of cycling, the LACBC bike counts attach real numbers to actual streets and bike projects in Los Angeles.

How YOU Can Help Future Bikeway Projects

The LACBC is now in the process of coordinating bike counts for 2013. They are scheduled to take place on the 10th and 14th of September, and the LACBC needs your help to put together the most comprehensive and accurate bike counts yet. Because this year’s bike counts will be conducted shortly after over a hundred of new miles have been implemented and with highly anticipated road diets on the horizon, they are especially crucial from a data collection standpoint. The LACBC’s September bike counts will offer an indication of how effective the past fiscal year’s bike lanes have been while offering important “before” data for future bike lane projects.

Ultimately, by simply continuing to count bicycle and pedestrian traffic, the LACBC will be collecting and compiling data the city unfortunately would not otherwise have, while reminding us not to overlook those walking and bicycling on our public streets. All modes of travel matter and deserve to be counted.

Take Action Now

LACBC Bike Count Flyer

LACBC Flyer Promoting the September 2013 Bike Count. Click image for printable version. Image credit: LACBC

If you can, please consider signing up to volunteer for the LACBC’s bike counts. The simple act of collecting accurate data on bicycle and pedestrian usage on our streets will simultaneously help educate Angelenos on the growing popularity of active transportation, evaluate the effectiveness of existing bikeways, and provide valuable data on streets slated for future bikeways.

For more information on the LACBC’s September 2013 bike counts, click here– and to be directly linked to the LACBC bike count volunteer form, click here. For those on facebook, check out the 2013 Bike Count event page.

After you sign up to volunteer, you MUST choose a volunteer orientation session to attend

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

If You See Red, Stop Your Tread

As a cyclist, there are few things that slow your roll more than stop signs and traffic lights. Getting back up to speed after stopping can take a lot of energy. Stopping at every light and stop sign can add minutes to your trip, and the extra exertion can leave you sweaty and tired when you get to your destination.

So, what do many cyclists do? Stop signs become yield signs, and often, traffic lights become stop signs. So called “California stops,” or rolling stops, are a common practice for both cyclists and motorists in Los Angeles, and across the country. The practice, while a boon to cyclist momentum, is unfortunately illegal. While states like Idaho, and more recently Virginia, allow cyclists to treat traffic control signals differently than cars do, California does not. In our state, bicycles are vehicles, and vehicles are bound by CVC 21462 and CVC 22450. While the first violation comes with a fine of less than $100 before administrative fees, additional violations increase the monetary cost of the infraction.

Setting aside the valuable, and very real point that bicycles are different than cars, and that bicycles are being made to adhere to a vehicle code that doesn’t totally apply to them, until statutes are changed, bicyclists should follow all traffic laws. They should do so for a number of reasons: Doing so will make cycling safer. It sets a good example for motorists, and it is the law. You might argue that treating a traffic control signal like a yield doesn’t harm anyone, and thus isn’t morally wrong, but this behavior can harm future plans for bicycle infrastructure, the lack of which can lead to real physical injury.

Running traffic lights works counter to the cause of those who want improved bicycle infrastructure because it creates community opposition to cyclists.  Tom Stafford writes that what really annoys drivers about cyclists is this rule breaking behavior, even if no one is actually hurt by it, because it upsets the “moral order” of the road. Drivers get angry when they see a cyclist doing something they can’t do, whether that’s weaving between cars to move to the front of the queue or treating a stop light as a yield. There is almost a collective “Why do they get to go if I can’t?” uttered whenever a cyclist breezes through an empty intersection. To drivers, the rules of the road are the rules of the road.

As long as bicycles and cars are governed by the same sections of the Vehicle Code, drivers will think cyclists are “getting away with something” when they run red lights. This annoyance with rule breaking cyclists wouldn’t be as big of an issue for bicycle politics in Los Angeles or around the world if it was limited to the rule breakers themselves, but this isn’t the case.

Though what is known as the “affect heuristic“, a driver’s emotional response to perceived cyclist misdeeds becomes generalized to the entire cycling population. “That no-good, rude rule breaking cyclist!” becomes “Those no-good, rude rule breaking cyclists!” or worse yet, “All cyclists are no-good, rude and rule breaking!”

Politically, you can see why this would be an issue. In order for the 2010 Bicycle Plan to be fully implemented, LADOT and cyclists across the city need to rely on local community support. If community members, having seen some cyclists treating a stop light as a yield, see this needed infrastructure as a giveaway to rulebreakers, it’s going to be an even tougher sell.

So please, I know it makes a lot of sense to safely glide though red lights and stop signs. I don’t like slowing my momentum putting my foot down for a full stop as much as the next cyclist, but fairly or unfairly, it hurts the cause of improving LA’s bicycle infrastructure every time you do. As long as bikes and cars have to follow the same rules, running red lights on two wheels just perpetuates incorrect generalizations that can make roads unsafe for cyclists in the short term, and make growing our bikeway network more difficult in the long term.

123 Miles of Bikeways Installed Since the Adoption of the 2010 Bike Plan

123 miles is about the distance from Los Angeles City Hall to downtown San Diego. Mayor Villaraigosa announced February 21st that it is also the number of bikeways installed by LADOT since the beginning of Bicycle Plan implementation in March 2011. The rate of 61 miles every 12 months is almost eight times as fast as in the last 40 years.

A list of the mileage completed so far this fiscal year can be found here:

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As the year moves forward, LADOT will be focusing on adding additional bicycle lanes, more bicycle parking, several bicycle path construction projects, sharrowing more than 22 miles of roads, and installing Bicycle-Friendly Street infrastructure on 4th Street.

We’d like to thank the leadership of Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council, as well as the city’s many bicycle advocates, for helping to make Los Angeles a more Bicycle Friendly Community.

CicLAvia is One of LA’s “Green Secrets”

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In honor of Earth Day, the Mayor’s Office has put together a series of videos titled “LA’s Green Secrets”. Their first video features everyone’s favorite block party: CicLAvia!

Check out the above video, and stay tuned to the Mayor’s Office YouTube channel for more videos showing “green” things to discover in the City of Los Angeles.

LADOT to Begin Adding Sharrows to an Additional 20 Miles of Streets

New Sharrows on Reseda Boulevard

Sharrows on 4th Street

After sharrowing 20 miles of roads in October 2011, LADOT crews will be sharrowing another 20 miles, starting this month. “Sharrows” are shorthand for Shared Lane Markings (SLMs), and are used to identify streets that are designated as shared roadways for bicyclists and motorists.

According to the Department’s Sharrow Report, SLMs have three primary functions: to be a supplemental wayfinding device, to help announce the presence of bicyclists to motorists, and inform bicyclists where they should ride to prevent “dooring“.

Sharrow Installation

With that in mind, LADOT installs sharrows to:

  • Provide gap closures in the Class II (Bike Lane) network (in the near term)
  • Enhance Class III (Bike Route) Bikeways – This includes future BFS facilities
  • Improve bicycling conditions on two-lane roadways with dashed centerlines, specifically

This batch of sharrows tentatively totals 22.64 miles, and a good portion of them were prioritized to support  the upcoming bicycle sharing system.

Streets to be sharrowed can be seen here (More streets can be seen by clicking “Page 2” at the bottom of the left column).

For more information on sharrowing procedure and its regulation in the CAMUTCD, check out our previous post Sharrows 101.

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.