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Watch the Road

We’ve been talking a lot about bike safety on LADOT Bike Blog over the last few months, but almost all of it has been geared towards the bicyclist.  Talking about bicyclist safety, however, is only part of the equation: safety on the roads includes pedestrians and drivers as well.  Any measure of safety for bicyclists has to take into account the actions and behaviors of people behind the wheel.  We’re not the ones, after all, encased in 2,000+ lbs. of steel traveling at extremely high speeds.  If drivers know how to properly respect bicyclists’ space and properly share the road, everyone will be safer.

In the quest to educate drivers, LADOT is proud to be a member of the Watch the Road campaign.  I sat down with Watch the Road coordinator Luz Echavarria at the end of April to talk about Watch the Road and LADOT’s part in the program.

If you spend time on the street in LA, you've probably seen these signs

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LACBC hosting Bicycle Boulevard Event July 24th

(Update: You can also read up on the event at L.A. Eco-Village Blog)

On Saturday, July 24th, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will host a press, walking, and biking event showcasing their efforts to transform 4th Street into Los Angeles’ first Bicycle Boulevard.

Travel 4th Street: Bike ride at 10AM, walk at 10:30

This free event will have both a bike ride and walking tour of 4th Street. Meeting at 9:45AM in Pan Pacific Park, the bike ride will leave from the front of the auditorium at 10:00AM and end at Shatto Park in Koreatown. Leading the bike ride will be Rick Risemberg, author of the Bicycle Fixation Blog and friend of LADOT Bike Blog. Walkers will meet at 10:15AM at 4th Street & Normandie Avenue, leaving at 10:30AM and also ending at Shatto Park in Koreatown.

After both those on bicycle and those on foot arrive in Shatto Park, the LACBC will be holding a press event from 11-1 covering the how’s, the why’s, and the when’s of their Bicycle Boulevard project. If you want to know more about the community and more about Bicycle Boulevards, be sure to take advantage of this event.

But maybe we should back up a step: what is a “Bicycle Boulevard”?

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Mayor Villaraigosa’s Broken Elbow and the LA Bike Plan

As you have certainly read elsewhere by now, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa suffered a broken elbow when a taxi pulled in front of his bicycle while he was riding along Venice Boulevard. Biking in LA has an excellent write-up of the time-line involved. You can read the Mayor’s own thoughts on the matter here.

Happier times: Villaraigosa posing with the Tour LaBonge

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BiciDigna: Success for Ciudad De Luces

You may remember our coverage of City of Lights/Ciudad De Luces last month.  Their blog has become regular reading for LADOT Bike Blog.  In our last post on Ciudad De Luces, we highlighted their efforts to create a sustainable workshop for bicycle-riding day labor immigrants at IDESPCA Job Center called BiciDigna.  On June 24, Allison Mannos and the Ciudad De Luces crew presented their work to create BiciDigna at the US Social Forum.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKY9SWqxyPQ]

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton points out that the work done by Ciudad De Luces is part of what makes the LA bicycle community so unique when compared to bicycle communities of other American cities.  LADOT Bike Blog couldn’t agree more.  Ciudad De Luces’ emphasis on inclusion, education, and empowerment are goals that all bicycle communities should strive for.  Ciudad De Luces, the Bicycle Kitchen, IDEPSCA, CARACEN, and all the volunteers that helped make BiciDigna possible deserve a big round of applause and our continuing support as they make BiciDigna a cornerstone of LA’s bicycle community.

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City of Lights/Ciudad de Luces

We here at LADOT Bike Blog understand that we can’t do it all ourselves; the bike program is a pretty small department operating in a city of 4 million people.  When other groups or people come along who do their part to make LA a better place to bike, we really have to tip our cap.  LADOT Bike Blog understand that actions and solutions from the public, private, and non-profit sides are essential.  Different groups and different approaches, when all pooled together, can help to create the LA we all want to see.  That being said, I had the extreme pleasure of getting to speak with Allison Mannos, LACBC Urban Programs Coordinator and the driving force behind Ciudad De Luces (they also have the Ciudad De Luces Blog – a great read), a program which has been covered by Streetsblog (more than a few times, actually), LA Times, and Be a Green Commuter.

It only started with lights

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Sharrows are Here: a Report from Fountain Avenue

Friday June 11th marks a new beginning: LADOT is proud to unveil the first official Sharrows within the City of Los Angeles. Stenciled chevrons with bicycles will run along the pavement on Fountain Avenue from Western Avenue to Vermont Avenue. If you’re in the area, LADOT Bike Blog highly recommends you go check them out. Take a spin down Fountain Avenue, take a position in the center of the newly installed Sharrows, and enjoy a ride without fear of being doored.

Sharrows are official and they're here for you to ride

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Sharrows 101

(Ed. Note:  Sorry for the lack of content following the close of Bike Week LA.  LADOT Bike Blog had all of his work hours eaten up by Sharrows studies.  Now that the first phase is completed, he can get back to writing more posts for LA’s bicycling public.  And for Sharrows news from the LACBC, go here)

LADOT – Bikeways is proud and excited to finally embark on a pilot project for the placement of Sharrows throughout Los Angeles.  May and June mark the opening phase of our Shared Lane Marking Study, where we measure the conditions for bicyclists on six different streets throughout the City.  After the initial study (May-June), Sharrows will be installed as a pilot project (June-July), and another study late in the summer (July-August) will measure any changes in motorist behavior on these streets.  With those results in hand, LADOT -Bikeways hopes to justify implementation of a boatload of Sharrows throughout Los Angeles.  But maybe we should clear things up a bit.  First of all: what the heck are “Sharrows”?

Coming soon to LA!

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Downtown Bike Ride (updated)

Update: One of my awesome LADOT colleagues took some photos of the Downtown Bike Ride as well.  You can check them out here on the LADOT Bike Blog flickr page.

Yesterday morning, LADOT Bike Blog took part in the Dowtown Bicycle Ride.  Starting and ending at Olvera Plaza, the four mile loop went through many downtown districts.  Metro and LADOT staff were on hand for the ride as well as an escort from LAPD’s bicycle squad.  Young and old, fixies and fold-ups, spandex and suits were all in attendance. Read more

Biking for Newbies, again

Still plenty of stuff to cover for those newer riders strapping on their helmets for Bike to Work Week.  We’ve covered some of the basics, but let’s get out on the street and address some concerns about those two-ton contraptions you happen to share the road with.  You know, cars.

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Blessing of the Bikes

They braved gloomy skies, misting rain, wet roads, and chilly conditions.  They were there to get their bikes blessed, and no amount of inclement weather was going to stop them.

At 8 AM this morning at the Good Samaritan Hospital, the Annual Blessing of the Bicycles took place to much fanfare and jubilation.  LADOT Bike Blog was there too.

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