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Cruising the Coast: A Two-Wheeled Tour of San Pedro

Bicycle tourism has been well observed and practiced as a recreational activity across the United States, but often we fail to remember the multitude of sightseeing opportunities right here within our city’s diverse neighborhoods.  As Los Angeles’ bicycle network and multi-modal connectivity expands, we have more and more opportunities get out of our cars and explore new areas by bicycle. There’s no better way to spend a sunny Sunday than exploring Los Angeles’ hidden gems. We thought we would share our favorite bicycle routes and points of interest in and around San Pedro, one of L.A.’s most scenic and bikeable neighborhoods.

Cruising the Waterfront 1

Clockwise from top left: The Corner Store, view from Paseo Del Mar looking north; bike lane signage; Metro Bus 246; palms at Point Fermin Park; Point Fermin Lighthouse; and buffered bike lanes on Paseo Del Mar.

Located 25 miles south of Downtown L.A., San Pedro is home to some of the city’s most breathtaking vistas and historical sights, not to mention bike lanes and paths that even novice riders will enjoy. Our journey begins on San Pedro’s Paseo Del Mar, accessible via the terminus of Metro Bus 246 at Paseo and Parker St. Cruise Paseo’s bike lanes and check out the breathtaking cliff-side views of the Pacific and Catalina Island. Stop by local haunt, the Corner Store to refuel with coffee and snacks before making your way east to Point Fermin Park, home of legendary Walker’s Café and the Point Fermin Lighthouse, built in 1874.

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Taking in the view on Paseo Del Mar.

From Point Fermin, it is a quick 5 minute ride down Shepherd and Pacific Avenues to Cabrillo Beach, where you can check out the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and the nearby tide pools. If squids and urchins aren’t your thing, enjoy the views along the beachfront bike path and fishing pier. Head north on sharrowed Shoshean Road toward 22nd Street where twenty-second Street Park’s scenic bike path will lead you straight to Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro’s new artisan marketplace located in a beautifully restored warehouse.

After picking up some homemade marmalade, head up the hill to Beacon St. to check out the Muller House Museum (open Sundays only), a cherished jewel of San Pedro’s past. Other great sights in the vicinity include: the WPA murals in the San Pedro Post Office on Beacon St,  recently constructed Cabrillo Way Marina and Warehouse No. 1 at the south end of Signal St, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Clockwise from top left: Warehouse No. 1; view from Signal St., bike parking at the Red Car Downtown Station, bike lane on Harbor Blvd., a glimpse of the Bike Palace on Pacific Ave., the Merchant Marine Memorial and Maritime Museum off Harbor Blvd. Center: A brand new boardwalk just north of the Maritime Museum.

Take a well-deserved break at Utro’s Cafe right off of Sampson Way, home to arguably the best burger in town. Peruse Utro’s extensive collection of memorabilia to learn a bit about the history of longshore workers in San Pedro. If you’re still up for more San Pedro sights after lunch, take a stroll around the quaint shops at Ports O’Call. From here you can also take the short trip north to the fantastic Battleship USS Iowa and Los Angeles Maritime Museum both accessible via the bike lanes on Harbor Blvd.

If you want to give your legs a rest, hop on the Historic Waterfront Red Car Line, one of the last remaining vestiges of Los Angeles’ railcar past or enjoy the water show at Gateway Plaza, featuring two Fanfare fountains by WET Design. When you’re ready to catch the 246 back north, take bike-friendly 9th, 13th, or 14th Streets 4 blocks west to Pacific Ave.

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Since there’s so much more to see in San Pedro – like the Warner Grand Theater and Korean Bell, just to name a few- feel free to leave us your suggestions for other great bike-friendly sights in town! Also, let us know if you have any suggestions for other bikeable L.A. neighborhoods you would like to see us explore on the blog.

More great resources for your trip: Bike Palace (located on Pacific Ave. and 16th St.); bicyclela.org (for bike maps and parking info)

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.

Riverside Dr. Bridge Construction Area: Signage for Bicyclists

Sharrows

Sharrow on North Figuera St. approaching intersection with San Fernando Rd.

Northeast L.A. based bicyclists may have noticed the sharrows that have appeared in the vicinity of the on-going Riverside Dr. bridge construction. The sharrows help accommodate the particularly high volume of bicyclists that traverse the Class III route, now a construction zone, to access the L.A. River Bike Path or travel towards Downtown. Read more

Updated 2012 CA MUTCD now adopted

California at long last has adopted its revised Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ( CA MUTCD). The latest 2012 iteration has some welcomed new tools that will further expand our transportation engineer’s toolbox to implement bikeway facilities in the City of Los Angeles. We’ll detail just a few of those new changes below the fold.

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LADOT Sharrows Report Results: Sharrows are Good

The long-awaited report is finally here.  A year after installation, the LADOT Bike Program has completed analysis of our in-depth study for Sharrows on the streets of Los Angeles.  Overall, Sharrows were a resounding success in improving safe interactions between drivers and bicyclists on many different types of street with various conditions.  For a look at the methodolgy used for our study, feel free to read up on our pre-installation Sharrows post.

But don’t take our word for it: take a look at the report for yourself.  We also created a page tab (a drop-down from the “Sharrows” page tab) for a quick link to the study by itself.  The report has already been submitted to SCAG and to the Mayor’s Office.  We hope to move forward with a robust implementation of Sharrows on Bicycle Friendly Streets throughout the City and as a practical solution to gap closure between existing facilities on streets that cannot easily accommodate bike lanes.

Come below the fold, where we’ll do a quick rundown of the report’s results, and what it may mean for LA’s streets in the future.

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Los Angeles Sharrows: Pre-Installation Studies

(Ed. Note: With the forthcoming release of the LADOT Bike Program SLM (Shared Lane Marking) Study, the LADOT Bike Blog would like to take you back to the summer of 2010 and share with you the methodology of our Sharrow study.  Confused?  Check out our Sharrows 101 post or our Sharrows Page.)

Over three weeks in late May and early June of 2010, LADOT Bike Blog took part in pre-installation studies for the LADOT Shared Lane Marking (Sharrows) Study.  The study documented the interactions between drivers and bicyclists when a bicyclist traveled at the position where Sharrows would later be installed.  At the end of the summer, LADOT Bike Blog again took part in studying the interactions between drivers and bicyclists, this time with Sharrows in place.  It all culminates with the release in the next few days of the LADOT Bicycle Program SLM report.

Newly installed Sharrows on 4th Street

While the LADOT Bike Blog will have another write-up on the results of the report (and what it means for Los Angeles’ streets), we first wanted to give you a look at the goals, the methods, and the standards we used for the Sharrow study.

We don’t just want Sharrows, we want Sharrows the right way.  We’re happy to give you a look at how we got there.

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Next Phase of 4th Street Transformation on the Horizon

Living blocks away from 4th Street biased me from Day One. I became even more attached to this priority project when I helped mark our second round of sharrows from Wilton Place to Cochran Avenue. Personal prejudices aside, this future bicycle boulevard (called a “Bicycle Friendly Street” in the LA Bike Plan) has remained at the forefront of bike plan implementation discussions for good reason – as one of the most direct, low volume connections across the City.

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Bicyclists on 4th Street during last summer's Tour LaBonge

A Bicycle Friendly Street on 4th Street is one of the priority projects for the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) and has long been a dream of both the LACBC and CD 4 Council Member Tom LaBonge. To roll out the next phase of bicycle improvements for 4th Street, we here at the LADOT Bike Program have begun community outreach efforts to determine the most efficient use of available bicycle infrastructure funds. 4th Street already has sharrows for over 3 miles from Cochran Ave to Hoover St. It also has new bike-sensitive loop detectors which can pick up the wheel of a bicycle at each stoplight. If you’re unsure of where to place your bike to activate the signal, check out our previous post here.

4th Street Map – Existing Conditions

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Bike Lanes, Bike Paths & Sharrows: Notes from the BAC Bikeways Subcommitee, 1/25/11

Last Tuesday, 15 people met on the 9th floor of the Caltrans building downtown to discuss upcoming bike lanes, upcoming bike paths, and the future of Sharrows in Los Angeles.  They met to discuss the engineering realities of each project and how to best move them forward for the benefit of all bicyclist Angelinos.  The results of this meeting, and the one held earlier this month, will be reported back to the full Bicycle Advisory Committee when they next meet.  In case you forgot when the BAC meets:

Bicycle Advisory Committee

Tuesday, February 1st at 7:00 PM at Hollywood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave.

If you can’t make it out next week, fear not: LADOT Bike Blog will be tweeting the proceedings as well as providing detailed notes on this here blog early next month.

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Sharrows: just one of the projects discussed at the BAC Bikeways Subcommittee

BAC Bikeways Subcommittee Agenda

Projects discussed were:

  • the progress made on LA’s test Sharrows project,
  • extending bike lanes on York Boulevard,
  • completing bike lanes on Reseda Boulevard,
  • the Main Street Road Diet/bike lanes project, and
  • the San Fernando Road bike path

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Meet the Assistant Coordinators

There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work going on at the LADOT Bike Program over the last few months.  LADOT Bike Blog would like to introduce you to some of the fresh faces helping make it happen.  Working under funding secured for “Student Professional Workers”, the LADOT Bike Program currently employs 4 part-time Assistant Coordinators who also attended graduate school in Urban Planning.  These are the shock troops of culture change at LADOT, and we’re very proud of the work they’ve done to date.  LADOT Bike Blog would like to give you a little peak into their world and the upcoming projects each of them are working on.

The Assisstant Coordinators with the original "Give Me 3" poster

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4th Street Improvements Abound

Less than a month after a bike ride/meeting along 4th Street, the LADOT Bike Program is moving forward on Bicycle Friendly Street improvements. Not only will the LADOT Bike Program be adjusting or replacing all loop detectors along 4th Street to pick up bicycle wheels, but we’re also going to extend the 4th Street Sharrows to either La Brea Avenue or Cochran Avenue.

That’s another 1.7-1.8 miles of Sharrows, which more than doubles the length of the existing Sharrows on 4th Street.

Sharrow on 4th and Gramercy facing East Bound

Get ready for more of these

This is big news. Getting something like this done in less than a month at the City is like getting it done in 2 hours in the real world. It just doesn’t happen that often. Yet, here we are.

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