A New Bike Plan for LA County!February 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Bike News, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Yesterday morning the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a new Bicycle Master Plan for the unincorporated communities of Los Angeles County with a 4-0 vote, Supervisor Mike Antonovich abstained from the vote. This is the first new bike plan for the unincorporated communities since 1975 and it provides a vision and action plan for the next 20 years.
Over the last year LACBC has worked to improve the county Bike Master Plan to ensure this bike plan will better serve your needs and make the unincorporated communities safer for people of all ages to bicycle. We focused on trying to increase the miles of bike lanes, include innovative treatments in the design guide and policy language to encourage and make it easier for County Department of Public Works (DPW) to pilot innovative treatments. We also pushed for language to be included that specified the difference between a bike route and bike boulevard, and make sure communities with the greatest need were prioritized. And it is thanks to all of you who attend meetings and provided comments on the plan that the total mileage of bikeways in the plan increased from the initial 695 proposed miles to 832 miles!
Many of our concerns were addressed thanks to the leadership of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Supervisor Yaroslavsky joined us earlier this year and invited DPW staff to tour Long Beach by bike to see the kinds of projects that need to be implemented around the county. He introduced two motions directing staff to include innovative treatments in the plan, along with language to specify that bike boulevards will include some form of traffic calming features, and most importantly ensuring that bike routes can be upgraded to bike lanes without needing to amend the bike plan.
We also thank Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for his motion yesterday that directs staff to create a plan to implement bicycle parking at all County facilities. His motion also directs DPW staff to work with the County Department of Public Health to identify the ten unincorporated communities in LA County that have the highest rates of obesity and prioritize implementing routes identified here: FirstPhaseCounty in the next 12 months.
Now the real work begins. The Bike Plan outlines a first phase of projects DPW will implement over the next five years. You can view the projects here: FirstPhaseCounty. Project implementation will depend mostly on grant funding, but you can help get the bike wheels rolling by thanking your county supervisor for approving the plan and letting them know that you support the projects planned for your area. We also encourage you to let us know what projects are important to you.
We are putting out a special call to action for those of you who live in county supervisor district 5. At yesterday’s meeting it was clear the Supervisor Mike Antonovich still needs convincing that bicycles are an important part of our growing transportation system. We know many of you who live in unincorporated areas of the Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and communities like Altadena use your bikes to get to work, access public transportation, shop and to recreate. Supervisor Antonovich is concerned about funding for roadways (that you use daily) being spent on bike projects. The roadway projects in his area involve maintenance that will greatly improve the condition for cyclists and motorists and bike improvements such as signs and bike lanes can be implemented for a nominal fee when resurfacing those roadways. Additionally many of the planned bike routes in his district will require installing paved shoulders along the roadways which also benefits motorists. So we encourage you to let Supervisor Mike Antonovich know how important the routes planned are for your area and will benefit all users. Email the Supervisor today!