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Anatomy of a Bicycle Friendly Street: Mini Roundabouts

(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.)

2008 05 30 - 2064 - Bethesda - Glenwood RdIn 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

Protecting Bicyclists’ Rights: Anti-Harassment Ordinance, Soon-to-be Law

(Ed. Note: A big “thank you” to Ted Rogers, Ross Hirsch, and Council Member Eric Garcetti’s staff for helping us wrangle together the correct information for this post)

This is turning out to be a great week for LA’s bicyclists, isn’t it? First bike corrals, and now this:

One more tool for bicyclists to protect themselves

Today, a new prospective tool was introduced for bicyclists to defend themselves from harassment and assault. An anti-harassment ordinance, the motion to draft it being originally introduced by Council Member Bill Rosendahl, has been released today by the City Attorney’s Office. Pending council approval, bicyclists will be able to bring civil suit against drivers who assault them, harass them, threaten them, or intentionally distract them.

In the ordinance, the City recognizes not only that “people have a right to ride a bicycle in the City of Los Angeles”, but also that bicyclists are harassed and assaulted simply for being bicyclists – this ordinance gives bicyclists the right to go after offenders in court. The ordinance is now a public document, so you can read it yourself.

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Safety, Traffic, and You: The Case for Road Diets

Much Ado About 1 Lane

As we here at the LADOT Bike Program experienced late last year, there can be quite a kerfuffle over removing even the slightest amount of roadway space for drivers.  The controversy over the Wilbur Avenue road diet last year caused quite a bit of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth.  In the LA Times, on Streetsblog (a few times), the Beckford Ave School PTA, the LAist, LACBC, City Watch, Biking in LA; coverage on the project was as broad in scope as it was diverse in opinion.

Bike Lane on San Pedro looking South at 115th

A successful road diet on San Pedro in South LA

What it all came down to was a change of 4 lanes of traffic on Wilbur Avenue to 3 lanes  – with bike lanes added to both sides of the street.  At the time, some painted the road diet as a real estate grab for bicyclists at the expense of drivers.  There were claims that the road diet would make traffic unlivable; that it would force cars onto other streets and make the surrounding neighborhoods less safe.

Fighting for Road Diets

While some of these claims might be chalked up to the dreaded Fear of Change, it would not be productive to treat them as such.  Instead, it demonstrates a need for those who support traffic calming and livable streets to communicate their vision more effectively.  When it comes down to it, both those who support and those who oppose road diets want good neighborhoods, they want less pollution, and they want safe streets.  As roadways with excess capacity have been the modus operandi of traffic engineering for the last 50 years, it falls on the shoulders of those who support road diets to make their case.  Many have already done so.

This is our case, made in favor of Road Diets.

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Give Me 3 Posters Available at Bicyclela.org

Today, there was a bit of confusion at LA Streetsblog over disappearing Give Me 3 posters on LA’s streets. As you may remember, the Give Me 3 campaign was launched this summer as a coordinated effort between the Mayor’s Office, LADOT, LACBC, LAPD, and Midnight Ridazz.

While we’re going to clear up any confusion about the Give Me 3 campaign and what happens to the posters, we also want to let you know how you can get your very own Give Me 3 poster.  It’s absolutely free of charge and you can get it within mere moments of submitting your request.  That’s because, well, it’s available online as a pdf on the LADOT Bike Program website, bicyclela.org.

Give Me 3 poster pdfs available at bicyclela.org

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New LADOT Bike Parking Map

Rack Map

If you take a look at the tabs at the top of our blog, you might notice a small change.  The tab labeled “Projects Map” has been changed to just “Maps”.  That is because LADOT Bike Blog is proud to launch a map showing the locations of all recently installed bicycle racks in the City of Los Angeles.

[googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&oe=UTF8&start=0&num=200&msa=0&msid=112755732682407740724.000493123ec1dd4b7992f&ll=34.118626,-118.320007&spn=0.357573,0.424035&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

Over 450 bike racks have been installed by the LADOT Bike Program since July of 2009 and we want to give you an idea of where we’ve put them.  Since the LADOT Bike Program is about to go on a round of new bicycle rack installations (averaging 100 a month), this map will serve as a living document.  As more racks are installed, more points will pop up on the map.  Heaven forbid there are any errors, we’ll be happy to correct those too.  As a heads up, google only shows 200 locations at a time.  You’ll have to click through to the google maps page to peruse every location. Read more

How to Get a Bike Rack

Lots of Bike Racks

The LADOT Bike Program  has installed over 3,600 bike racks and 446 meter hitches in the City of Los Angeles.  We’ll soon be adding as many as 1,700 additional bike racks in business districts over the next two years.  In the short term, the LADOT Bike Program is aiming to install around 100 new racks every month for the rest of the year.  Even better, we install them at no charge.

With so many bike racks to install, LADOT needs your help to find the best places to put them.  Sure, we could find locations to put in bike racks by ourselves, but we think it’s better to crowdsource possible new locations.  After all, bicyclists who ride the streets of LA every day know best where demand for bike parking is highest.  Rick Risemberg of Bicycle Fixation already took advantage and wrote about his request, and the subsequent installation, in the Larchmont neighborhood.

 

If you want them, ask.

 

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LADOT Bike Blog interviews the SCAG Bike/Ped Wiki Team: “This plan belongs to everyone”

Last week, LADOT Bike Blog covered the launch of SCAG’s new bike/ped wiki.  Now that the CicLAvia hangover has started to clear, we’d like to give more in-depth coverage to what the bike/ped wiki does, how it came about, and what it means to the residents of the SCAG region.  LADOT Bike Blog had the pleasure of speaking with Alan Thompson and Margaret Lin of SCAG about the new bike/ped wiki.

 

Photo via the SCAG bike/ped wiki page via Streetsblog

 

LADOT Bike Blog:

How will the Bike/Ped Wiki work? Read more

Notes from the BAC Meeting, 10/5/10

October’s meeting of Bicycle Advisory Committee met on Tuesday evening to discuss the 2010 LA Bike Plan, bicyclist/police issues, bicycle theft, LA Critical Mass, the Safe Moves program, CicLAvia, the campaign for hit & run legislation, and bicyclist rest stops on the PCH. Follow us below the fold for all the particulars.

BAC 10/5/10

Glenn Bailey, second to the right, calls the BAC to order

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SCAG Launches New Bike/Ped Wiki

Just in time for CicLAvia, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has launched a Wiki for bike/ped planning in southern California.

 

Go to the Wiki and try it out!

 

You’re the Planner

Rather than do all of their bike/ped planning behind closed doors, SCAG wants to open their planning process to the accumulated institutional wisdom of all Southern California residents.  Much in the way that other Wiki’s work, anyone registered can make changes to the plans.  The more people work on the Bike/Ped Wiki, the better the overall outcome will be.  While the final recommendations of the Bike/Ped Wiki will not be outright adopted by SCAG, they hope this tool will inform them of the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists throughout southern California and offer new and innovative solutions they may not have yet considered.

Media Library

Also on the Bike/Ped Wiki is a full media library of bicycle, pedestrian, and transportation master plans for different regions within SCAG and state and national guidelines that will inform and guide the planning process.  Maps, websites and methodology studies are also included.

LA County Sidewalk Riding: Epilogue

Now that we’ve come to the end of our sidewalk riding series for LA County, we’d like to provide you with some easy reference tools. Brand new developments are:

  • A pdf with alphabetic listings of each category for sidewalk riding and the corresponding citation in that city’s municipal code.
  • A color coded map showing which cities allow sidewalk riding, which don’t, and which restrict riding in a “business district”.
  • Another “page” at the top of the blog, keeping all sidewalk riding information one place.

Check the map out for yourself

It’s interesting to note that the cities which don’t allow sidewalk riding are often bunched together, like Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lawndale & Gardena or the cities grouped around the Pomona Freeway.

The final tally came out to:

  • Sidewalk riding allowed: 12 cities
  • Sidewalk riding not allowed: 32 cities & LA County
  • Sidewalk riding not allowed in “business districts”: 25 cities
  • No clear language in the municipal code: 19 cities

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