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
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
We know it’s hard for you tear yourself away from CARMAGEDDON, but we here at the LADOT Bike Blog would be remiss if we didn’t update you on how things are coming along for the Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance.
The Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance, which you can read in its entirety here, has been gaining more and more attention. Outside of the copious amounts of coverage on the LADOT Bike Blog for the ordinance, it has now been also picked up by Streetsblog, various Patches (Venice, Mar Vista, Brentwood), Biking in LA, and elsewhere. The idea is already starting to spread – even before the ordinance gets to council: there are calls for similar legal protections in Washington DC.
Council District 10 Council Member Bill Rosendahl also recently released a video making his case for the Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance. You can see more at his Youtube channel.
During the June BPIT meeting, DOT engineers presented conceptual designs for three projects in Downtown Los Angeles: Figueroa Street, Spring Street, and Main Street. At the recommendation of BPIT attendees, the project on Figueroa Street had an additional option created that would also bring a bike lane to Flower Street. The amended presentation was then given to the Planning & Land Use committee for the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council just last week, receiving warm support.
Together, these projects represent 5+ miles of new, dedicated bicycle infrastructure within the city’s urban core. Below the fold, we will explore the different design options that City engineers are working on – as well as details about various constraints such as roadway width, street parking, bus lanes, etc that impact the infrastructure options for these streets. As always, please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions for how you would like to see Figueroa, Spring, Main, and (maybe) Flower re-imagined with bicycle infrastructure.
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. )
To commemorate the recently completed Bike Week LA, the LADOT Bike Program is excited to announce a re-design of our website. The site is now live, so go take a look for yourself. Along with our recently updated bike maps, and our continually updated maps of new bike infrastructure projects, the LADOT Bike Program is committed to getting ourselves 100% up-to-date.
Not to be confused with the LADOT Bike Blog, we’re instead talking about the LADOT Bike Program website, bicyclela.org. What was once a comically retro, circa 2000 design scheme comes roaring into 2011 with a revamped layout and some brand new features.
Not Just a Pretty Face
Beyond a simple upgrade to the template, however, our new website offers connections to our Shortform channel (which allows us to curate videos), our Flickr page, our Twitter account, our Facebook page, and (naturally) access to the LADOT Bike Blog.
As our updated website is brand new, there are sure to be a few wrinkles to iron out. Now that the site is live, let us know in comments what you think of the new design and if there are any bugs that we should fix.
Yesterday at 2:15 PM, the City Council’s Transportation Committee met to discuss, among other things, a possible Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance. The draft of the ordinance, released last month to great fanfare, was the result of a motion introduced by Council Member Bill Rosendahl. The hearing yesterday at the Transportation Committee was the first hurdle on the draft ordinance’s path to becoming law. It was fitting, then, that the selfsame Council Member Bill Rosendahl sat today as Chair of the Transportation Committee to hear the ordinance which he had introduced.
With a few adjustments, the draft ordinance cleared Transportation Committee and is now on it’s way to being agendized for the full City Council. You can check out the play-by-play at the twitter hashtag #TComm. If adopted by City Council, the ordinance becomes law.
(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 what a Bicycle Friendly Street is – you can read our introductory post here.)
In our ongoing series explaining the elements of a Bicycle Friendly Street, today we will laud the virtues of the Mini Roundabout. The mini-roundabout is related to the traffic circle, which was conceived in 1902 by William Phelps Eno (the “Father of Traffic Safety” and designer of Columbia Circle). The terms tend to get lumped together often and can lead to some confusion. However, in a roundabout:
- Yield Control is used at all entries (no stop signs).
- Circulating vehicles have the right-of-way.
- Pedestrian access is allowed only at the legs of the roundabout, behind the yield line.
- All vehicles circulate counter-clockwise and pass to the right of the central island.
- Deflection is built into the design in order to slow down motor vehicles upon entry into the roundabout.
The roundabouts being described in this post have a single lane surrounding a raised island in the center of an intersection (they can also be multi-lane). They range in price from $100,000 to $750,000 for installation and are considered to be a Level 5 treatment, which is the highest level of treatment provided for in the 2010 LA Bike Plan‘s Technical Design Handbook (TDH). Read more
(Ed. Note: As first reported on our facebook page, and later by Streetsblog, the City has found a legislative sponsor for a possible 3-foot passing law. SB 910 is being sponsored by State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D – Long Beach) and we’ll provide more information as it becomes available.)
This upcoming Tuesday, March 1st, the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) will have its second meeting. The meeting is 100% open to the public and it will be held from 2:00-3:30 PM in City Hall Room 721. Although the main topic of discussion will be bike lanes on 7th Street, there will be several other items discussed. You can read the agenda here.
Additionally, City Planning will utilize a webinar feature for BPIT meetings – similar to the format used for the LA Bike Plan. In the webinar, you’ll be able to submit comments and questions online while listening in. This will allow people to participate in the meetings even if they can’t make it down to City Hall. Space is limited, so reserve your virtual seat today.
One of the goals for the LADOT Bike Blog has been bringing a greater degree of departmental communication to the LADOT Bike Program. We think it’s extremely important for you to know what we are doing to improve conditions for bicyclists in Los Angeles.
Towards that end, we’re proud to publicly unveil 8 project applications that the LADOT Bike Program is submitting to Metro for their Call For Projects. While you could probably find all the project titles by searching through LADOT and Metro records, LADOT Bike Blog wants to go a little more in-depth on our applications and give a deeper explanation of the application process and our process for applying.