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My First CicLAvia

I love riding my bike. It’s one of my favorite things to do in LA, actually! I also really enjoy exploring this amazing city by foot.  In addition to sidewalks and bike lanes, I have experienced most of the ped and bike paths that LA has to offer. I am learning about active transportation in graduate school, and I work for LADOT’s Bicycle Outreach and Planning Program.  Naturally, as soon as people find out about my passion for walking and biking, they often ask, “Don’t you just love CicLAvia?”

Although I have lived LA for over a year, I often leave on the weekends to visit family or am busy with graduate school obligations, so I had never been to CicLAvia…

Until now! The stars aligned last weekend, and I finally made it to CicLAvia Heart of LA in Downtown.

(ʘ‿ʘ) LOOK AT ALL THE BICYCLES!

(ʘ‿ʘ) LOOK AT ALL THE BICYCLES!

I began my journey to CicLAvia from Union Station. A lot of my usual bus routes were on detour, so I decided to walk 1.5 miles to my destination. First, I noticed that there were a lot more people walking and biking than normal! Even the streets and sidewalks that were not blocked off for CicLAvia were teeming with families, couples on tandem bikes, and people dancing, and moving. The day was off to a good start.

Kids were having a blast in Chinatown.

Kids were having a blast in Chinatown. Photo by Kora McNaughton.

Now, my experience may have been a bit different than many CicLAvia goers, because I attended not solely as a person biking, walking, or rolling, but as a volunteer. A bunch of my friends and peers in the Associated Students of Planning and Development formed a team to adopt an intersection.

"Hi, we are here to keep you safe."

“Hello, we are here to keep you safe.” Ed, Garrett, and Parama were safety rockstars.

Adopting an intersection means controlling pedestrian and bicycle traffic at a vehicle crossing, pedestrian crossing, or dismount zone. At least 6 volunteers are needed to work a 3-hour shift. Our task was to slow traffic on the 4th Street bridge right before the downhill to prevent people from wiping out or losing control.

High-fives are my favorite!

High-fives are my favorite!

Adopting an intersection also means laughing with strangers, having a great time with friends, being outside, and feeling pride in Los Angeles. I highly recommend volunteering!

CicLAvia selfie!

CicLAvia selfie with Negin and Saja!

Throughout the day, I saw a lot of super cool bikes. I was amazed and inspired by all of the people who have put so much effort into creating beautiful, interesting, and useful bicycles.

Not your average Bike-Couch-Cooler in-one!

It’s not your average all-in-one bicycle couch and cooler!

Thanks to people who had speakers on their person, in shopping carts, or on bikes, we listened to tunes and had sporadic dance parties. Oh, and did I mention the dogs? There were dogs in bike baskets, backpacks, and bike trailers, as well as dogs walking and jogging.

Doggies love open streets, too.

Doggies love open streets, too.

It was a glorious day for dogs and dog people! I didn’t see any cats ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Maybe next time!

The crew of paddleboarders from WestSSUP was all smiles!

The crew of paddleboarders from WestSSUP was all smiles!

There was a celebration for all of the volunteers at the end of the day, which I couldn’t make because I had to go to school for a meeting. I heard it was a lot of fun, though!

I’m glad that I can finally say that I’ve been to CicLAvia. I am really looking forward to the next one in March! The route will be announced soon. Next time, I’ll bring my bike explore the event from the different perspective. I also want to check out the other open streets events that are coming up, including Long Beach’s Beach Streets on November 12 and 626 Golden Streets in San Gabriel Valley on March 5.

I want to see these on all of the streets all of the time.

I want to see these cabs on all of the streets, all of the time.

Being out there with all of the people on that bridge made me think about what LA would be like if we closed the streets to cars more often. I think it would be pretty great. What do you think?

I have a feeling these folks on roller blades would like to see more open streets!

 

Exploring Los Angeles’ New Forms: Cycletrack Materials Testing

Today marks a very exciting step forward in our continuing effort to implement more cycletracks in Los Angeles. From 12-2pm this afternoon, we tested various cycletrack physical barrier options including armadillos and K71 bollards.  As a refresher, cycletracks, also known as protected bicycle lanes, are on street lanes that separate people on bicycles from motorized traffic by physical barriers such as curbs, planters, parked cars, and posts. They are a relatively new infrastructure that has become more and more popular around the nation.

K71 bollards and armadillos in the buffer zone await bicycles, a sedan, a truck, and the ultimate test: the LAFD fire truck!

Starting at 9 am, LADOT crews began installation of the cycletrack test materials. The installation served as a test for all road users, seeking to understand the various interactions the different types of barriers will face in their everyday contexts.

LADOT crews install an armadillo

Around noon, City employees, Mayor’s Office staff, folks from LACBC and the City of LA Bicycle Advisory Committee helped test the barriers with their bicycles, observing their perception of separation as well as the mountability of the materials.

Testing ridability over the armadillos

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Pop-Up Chandler Cycletrack at CicLAvia – The Valley #PopUpChandler

On Sunday, March 22, CicLAvia is coming to the Valley from 9 am – 4 pm. Adjacent to the North Hollywood Arts District Hub, the City will host “Pop-Up Chandler Cycletrack,” a one-day, “pop-up” protected bicycle lane demonstration. The Chandler Cycletrack will be temporarily installed on Chandler Boulevard between Vineland Avenue and Fair Avenue. The pop-up will help visualize facilities proposed in the City’s draft Mobility Plan 2035 to create low-stress bicycle networks that safely connect people to places. Roll through on your way to CicLAvia!

What is a Cycletrack?

Cycletracks, also known as Protected Bike Lanes, are bike lanes that physically separate bicycles and cars, increasing safety and comfort-levels for all road users.

Dunsmuir Separated Bike Lanes 216

An example of a permanent cycletrack in Vancouver, Canada. Photo Credit: Paul Krueger

The pop-up event will feature one-way cycletracks on both sides of the street connecting the Chandler Bike Path to CicLAvia Lankershim Hub.

Why a Pop-Up?

Pop-up events give people an opportunity to see and evaluate public realm improvements during the planning process, hands-on. The pop-up technique is an incredibly useful tool in that it helps residents visualize the scale and appearance of potential improvements. While descriptions, mock-ups, and pictures help, first-hand experience can give people a fresh perspective that may be difficult to replicate through any other means.

Pop-up projects are comparatively low-cost and low-risk. Projects can last one day or longer, and they are easy to install and remove. Because not everyone has seen a protected bikeway, much less experienced the level of safety these facilities provide, this temporary reconfiguration can provide a venue to re-imagine Los Angeles as a safer more comfortable place to travel by any mode.

Project Goal + Benefits

The intent of this project is to be immediate, educational, and informative for the public and practitioners alike. It turns a standard public workshop into a real event for the community to interact with. It is more participatory than the traditional planning process, as community members are able to directly provide input, and impact future design and planning decisions in their neighborhood.

The physical separation provided by a protected bike lane makes people feel better about making trips on bikes.  It opens up the street to people of all ages, and makes bicycling low stress. Additionally, the road-diet helps to decrease the speed of motor vehicles. Protected lanes are especially great for families with young children; parents can have peace of mind knowing that their child can safely and comfortably ride their bicycle in their neighborhood. Ultimately, the hope is that people with all levels of biking experience who test out the pop-up lane will feel safer and more comfortable riding their bicycles, and thus support the introduction of this type of permanent bicycle infrastructure in their neighborhood.

Where else has this occurred?

A one-day, pop-up cycle track was created on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, CA last spring.

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People observe and discuss a block-long, pop-up cycletrack demonstration in Oakland, CA. The pavement markings and planters were all temporary for a one-day display. Photo Credit: @woolie

During the event, one participant commented: “it’s amazing to bike on Telegraph Avenue and feel so safe. I wish it was like this all the time.” To provide physical separation from vehicles, volunteers placed planters, and decorated boxes along a freshly painted line.

This past December, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to approve parking-protected bike lanes for Telegraph Avenue. Oakland brought conceptual designs from paper to the street, where the positive feedback provided by the community directly contributed to the measure being passed.

Other notable placemaking events include, Santa Monica’s Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway Project (MANGo), the pedestrianization of New York City’s Time Square, as well as the placement of plazas and parklets in the streets of Los Angeles. These cities have been able to successfully encourage bicycling and build support for infrastructural improvements through these temporary installations that demonstrate what actual changes can look and feel like.

Citywide Initiatives

Los Angeles is changing the way it thinks about safety. Under LADOT’s policy initiative Vision Zero, the city is making great strides towards eliminating traffic fatalities. As part of this effort to increase safety for all road users, LADOT has included protected bike lanes in its toolbox of options. Additionally, protected bicycle facilities are consistent with the long-term framework provided in the 2035 Mobility Plan, which emphasizes active modes of transportation, reducing vehicle miles traveled, low-stress facilities, and associated environmental benefits. The Mobility Plan recognizes protected bicycle lanes as an integral part of the Bicycle Enhanced Network, and details the benefits mentioned in the paragraphs above. Specifically, the plan sites enhanced bicycle infrastructure as a key element in making seamless connections from walking and biking to transit.

How to get involved?

Councilmember Paul Krekorian of District 2 says, “I encourage anyone biking to CicLAvia – The Valley to try out the Chandler Cycletrack pop-up. Test it out and let us know what you think about the idea. The input we get from riders will help make North Hollywood and the rest of Council District 2 more bike and pedestrian friendly, which is something I’m actively working to do.”

Participants are encouraged to document and share their experiences with staff during the event, as well as to post on social media websites throughout the event using the hashtag #PopUpChandler.

This next CicLAvia’s Made For Walking

On June 23rd pedestrians will rule Wilshire Boulevard

Quick update: LA2B did a great post about next week’s CicLAvia, as well. Check it out!

On June 23rd  CicLAvia will be back in town, this time with a new six mile east-west route that will run along Wilshire Boulevard between Downtown LA and Fairfax Avenue. Known as “Iconic Wilshire,” this route happens to be the most walkable CicLAvia yet for a handful of reasons:

The Hours Are Long – Previous CicLAvia’s have been held from 10am to 3pm but this one will be two hours longer, from 9am to 4pm (that means more time for walking and running).

It Is Rail Accessible – The Red, Blue, Expo, and Purple Lines all have stops along the route so getting there by transit, or some multi-modal combination,  will be a relatively easy.

The Route Is Short – At six miles long, one can easily enjoy much of the route through a leisure walk.

There Are Pedestrian Zones – The hubs at the ends of the Iconic Wilshire route will be pedestrian zones. CicLAvia obviously loves bikes but you’ll have to dismount to cover the entire route and get the full experience this time. Read more

CicLAvia is One of LA’s “Green Secrets”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJeeuzP4rpA&w=640&h=385]

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.

Get ready to bike/walk/skate/enjoy: CicLAvia this Sunday, October 7th

Come join thousands of other Angelenos in LA’s most anticipated vehicle-free Sunday ever on October 7! (Photo is of CicLAvia‘s latest flyer)

Next Sunday, October 7, from 10am to 3pm, come celebrate LA’s fifth edition of CicLAvia! CicLAvia opens the streets for people to freely walk, skate, play, ride a bike, or ?, by making selected city streets vehicle-free for the day. As always, CicLAvia will also offer a wide variety of programmed activities for people of all interests and ages, including music, performances, food trucks, and more. Shop owners and restaurants along the 10-mile route are encouraged to open their doors to people along the CicLAvia route (possibly with some special deals?). The event is not a race, as there is no “start” or “finish;”  the streets simply operate as a platform allowing participants to enjoy the space as they see fit.

Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout North and South America, connecting communities and giving people a break from the stress of car traffic. Ciclovías bring families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, our largest public space. Here, CicLAvia creates a temporary park for free, simply by removing cars from city streets. It creates a network of connections between our neighborhoods and businesses and parks, and fills our street corridors with fun. Read more

LADOT at CicLAvia

CicLAvia

Handing out reflector straps and other items at Hollenbeck Park.

Another awesome CicLAvia event is now in the books and we have a lot of fond memories to look back on. We thought we’d take some time to thank  and acknowledge our LADOT co-workers who help make the big day possible. It takes a small army of LADOT staff to make sure that large events like CicLAvia go off without a hitch. LADOT is responsible for managing the logistics of street closures – or in this case, street openings for bicycles and pedestrians. Read more

cicLAvia Stories: Share Yours With Us!

LADOT Bike Blog had a great time at cicLAvia this past Sunday.  We were up bright and early downtown to catch the Mayor’s press conference in Little Tokyo, and then we spent much of the day tooling back and forth between Boyle Heights and Koreatown.
P1030219 Read more

Ticket To Ride: A Handy Reminder About CicLAvia 4/10/11

What are you doing this Sunday?

In the wake of the recent BPIT meetings, we’ve posted a lot on what the plans for 7th Street may be. However, possibly the best way to go about thinking about what it would be like is to experience it for yourself in a safe environment in a couple of weeks. As you can see below, the route covers most of the proposed project boundaries.

CicLAvia Route for 4/10/11 (Click for website)

For those of you who were unable to join the CicLAvia team last time (check the link for some great photos and a taste of what to expect), the event seeks to “make the streets safe for people to walk, skate, play and ride a bike.” With a reported 100,000 people participating, efforts aim to repeat that success and further show the possibilities of using streets as public space. This includes thinking about the streets as accessible space with the potential for uses beyond whats current, raising awareness about how we have become accustomed to using the streets and how we would like to use them in the future.

There are going to be a variety of feeder rides that will be leading groups to the event (Click here for the list, courtesy of Ciclavia). KPCC also writes about some of the things they are looking forward to here (they also have a link to The Source blog for Metro reroutes). Highlights include the Mayor and Lance Armstrong opening the festivities in Little Tokyo at 9:30 AM, 1000bikes.org’s repair/support booth, Food Forward’s Grapefruit harvesting and giveaway and DODGEBALL (and I’m sure much more craziness that I can’t fit on this blog post, bu you’ll hear about through the links).

I feel the need to tell you this photo has not been altered (Courtesy of CicLAvia)

LADOT Bike Program is going to be pulling our bike trailer (or, as we like to call it, “the mobile bike program booth”) during the ride with all kinds of little giveaways and to assist with any errant flat tires. Keep an eye out for any of our Bicycle Coordinators and say “Hi” if you get a chance. I’m sure there’s a patch kit, ankle strap, LADOT pencil, pin, or postcard in it for you. Just look for the trailer:

Coming to a CicLAvia near you...

We hope to you see as many bike lovers out there as possible to support this great event. It really is the opportunity to show increasing support for bicycle culture as well as getting a feel for future possibilities.

SO GET OUT AND RIDE!

Here is some stuff from around the blog-o-sphere:

Streetsblog LA: StreetsVid: A Chat with Joe Linton, Let’s Get Excited for CicLAvia

Huff Po: 10 Historic Buildings Along the Route

LAist: Hot Spots to Check Out

ADDED BONUS: Check out this post for ideas when hunger strikes.

Any more recommendations for the day are appreciated and encouraged in comments!

Check back for updates!

Bike Parking, BPIT, BAC: Bike-y Meetings This Week and Next

Update: We were just forwarded the BAC’s agenda for their 4/5/11 meeting.  You can download it here.

The start of a new month always heralds plenty of new venues for hearing bike-related issues.  The slate of upcoming meetings and hearings relating to bicycling concerns, however, happens to be particularly robust in the coming two weeks.

  • Wednesday March 30th: City Planning is holding a public hearing for the proposed bicycle parking ordinance.
  • Tuesday April 5th: The Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meets at City Hall for their monthly meeting.
  • Tuesday April 5th: The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) holds their bi-monthly meeting at Hollywood City Hall.
  • Sunday April 10th: The first of three CicLAvias in 2011.
CM Reyes

CM Reyes installing racks at CARECEN; in the near future, a revised bicycle parking ordinance should hit the streets (and inform new developments)

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