LACBC 2010 Accomplishments

December 22, 2010 at 10:02 am | Posted in Bike News | Leave a comment
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2010 has been a very good year for LACBC and the bicycling community. We have continued to increase our staff, grown our email list, increased our membership numbers by 10% and have also enjoyed multiple campaign successes. Our regional reach has expanded to include cities such as Culver City, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, South Bay, and Long Beach, and we continue to become more active with low-income immigrant communities. New bicycle advocacy chapters, such as South Bay Bicycle Coalition and Culver City Bicycle Coalition, were created in partnership with LACBC while already existing groups like Santa Monica Spoke and UCLA Bicycle Coalition have only grown stronger.Through grants and fees for service, we’ve had a an increase in Bike Valet gigs and a win of 2 major grants from the County Department of Health (a third in which we’re a partner on) and the David Bohnett Foundation.

Some of our 2010 Campaign accomplishments include the striping of the 1st Sharrows in Los Angeles. After 6 years of relentless delays, LACBC was able to celebrate the striping of Sharrows on 6 streets throughout the City of Los Angeles. Sharrows have also been added to the LA City Bike Plan as an additional bikeway marking to be implemented on Class III Bike Routes.

Throughout the year, LACBC has met with key City Councilmembers, Mayoral staff, LADOT, the City Planning Department and other advocates to address cyclists’ concerns, build political support, and gain commitments for a stronger L.A. City Bike Plan. We continued our efforts started in 2009 with the Better Bike Plan Campaign to reach out beyond the cyclist community to gain backing from public health organizations, environmental groups, chamber of commerce, community organizations, and neighborhood councils. After two years of work, the City of Los Angeles’ Department of City Planning released the final draft of the 2010 LA Bike Plan in December and through the collaborative efforts of LACBC, Bikeside, Joe Linton and City Planning we have been able to gain the approval from the Planning Commission on a Plan that we can all support.

Measure R 10% for Bike/Ped After nearly two years of petitioning the Metro Board, Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council, LACBC helped secure a full 10% of Measure R Local Return funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects for the 2011 fiscal year. On April 28th, 2010, the final votes were cast and cheers rang out through the chamber as bicyclists and pedestrians emerged victorious with an 11-3 yes vote. This is a groundbreaking change for LADOT and an exciting opportunity for our city to shift towards more sustainable, healthy and safe transportation by providing a continuous source of revenue to do so.

The Give Me 3 Poster Campaign, part of a larger Bicycle Safety and Awareness Campaign was the 1st official on-street awareness poster campaign in Los Angeles. It was conducted in collaboration with Midnight Ridazz, and the The City of LA. This poster campaign also launched the Mayor’s 3-foot Passing Law initiative at the legislative level.

LACBC has been working on the 4th Street Bike Boulevard campaign for over a year, continuing the work that members of the bike community have been doing for years. We’ve gained support from several neighborhood councils and business improvement districts, local individuals, and L.A. Councilmember Tom LaBonge of CD4. 4th Street is also currently at the top of LADOT’s priorities for building “bicycle-friendly streets,” a new term developed in the draft update to the City of L.A.’s Bike Master Plan and has already received Sharrows on the entire length of 4th Street, bringing it that much closer to becoming the 1st Bicycle Boulevard in Los Angeles.

The Anti-Harassment Ordinance was approved by City Council to draft an ordinance providing for attorney’s fees and a $1000 award or damages, whichever is higher. LACBC, with the help of other local bicycle advocates provided recommendations and helped to push this forward in Transportation committee

City of Lights, our unique program that outreaches to Latino cyclists, held its first Annual Awards Dinner. We raised money to support our Spanish language safety education and repair classes and our BiciDigna program, a bike repair co-op space at a day laborer center that started in January 2010. Recently, the day laborers who attended mechanic classes were honored at a certification ceremony. Our 1.5 year long battle to get more bike parking in Pico-Union also yielded fruit: 43 new racks hit the ground in Fall 2010.

CicLAvia was incubated through the LACBC and inspired by the famous street closures in Bogotá, Colombia. Various LACBC volunteers, staff and other environmental organizations came together for the purpose of promoting and planning livable, car-free streets. LACBC helped to foster this concept and together, with the entire bicycling community, were able to enjoy the 1st of what we hope to be many more CicLAvias in Los Angeles.

LACBC celebrated its 10th Annual River Ride this year. It proved to have the highest attendance to date. We had over 2000 riders participate in our Tenth Anniversary Ride offering five distance/route options, the longest of which spanned the length of Griffith Park near Glendale to Seal Beach.

LACBC coordinated 3 Ed Magos Justice Rides which were instrumental in creating the media attention needed to bring the issue of hit-and-runs to the attention of LAPD Chief Beck, LA City Counil and the City Attorney’s Office. The Ed Magos case will serve as an example of how future hit-an-runs should be treated with fair and just process.

The Bike Wrangler program was created this summer and is supported by a grant from the L.A. County Department of Health. The Bike Wrangle program is an initiative created by the County Cycling Collaborative (CCC) which includes LACBC, the Bicycle Kitchen, the Bikerowave, the Bike Oven, the Valley Bikery and C.I.C.L.E. The Bike Wrangler works to recover abandoned bicycles and redistribute them to underserved communities. The LACBC will work with C.I.C.L.E. to distribute recovered bicycles at its community riding workshops which will be funded under the same grant. A warehouse / workshop space is currently being established at 1205 West 6th Street (@ Lucas Ave.).

LACBC Streetside Outreach Pitstops just started this Fall with the goal of reaching out directly to bicycle commuters and recreational riders alike. We provided sustenance (Bicycle Bread, cookies and brownies) and basic bike services (air, chain lube) and in return, we got enthusiastic sign ups for the e-newsletter and members. In a couple of hours on a good street intersection, we’ve managed to create a stir with the food and get over 50 email addresses for LACBC.

LACBC created the 1st Spanish Bicycle Resource Guides and completed the update of the new English Resource Guide. Over 600 Spanish Guides have been distributed and English Guides are available at Skylight books and soon to be available at REI stores.

In the past year, the Glendale Safe & Healthy Streets initiative has been a part of numerous successes. A city-wide bicyclist and pedestrian count was conducted, Sharrows were painted on five streets in Glendale (with more to come), the city and the LACBC stepped up Bike Month in May and received an official Bike Month Proclamation from the Mayor. The Riverdale/Maple Neighborhood Greenway has been improved by installing curb extensions and planting nearly 100 new trees along the entire corridor and bike racks were installed outside Glendale City Hall – the result of our advocacy and site recommendations. Additionally, we led site visits to Long Beach and Berkeley that were attended by Glendale City Staff, Commissioners, and elected officials. In September we introduced the Public Draft of the Safe & Healthy Streets Plan, a set of policy recommendations aimed at supporting and encouraging walking and biking in Glendale for years to come. This is the primary goal of our Glendale project and we’re working towards adoption of the Plan in 2011.

The South Bay Regional Bicycle Master Plan was funded by Los Angeles County Department of Health’s RENEW grant Initiative in 2010 to facilitate more cycling and bike infrastructure in seven different cities within the South Bay region. LACBC has been brought on to coordinate the efforts between the 7 cities and with Alta Planning.

LACBC would like to thank everyone – members, volunteers, city staff and political leaders for all the support in helping to move LA towards a more bike-able future.

Bicyclists Ride for Justice, Chief Beck Hears All About It

February 24, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 2 Comments
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Bicyclists pause at Fig & 2nd St just west of Downtown where Ed Magos was hit.

This afternoon, bicyclists rode to City Hall to speak out against the unending number of hit-and-run incidents involving bicycle riders occurring across Los Angeles. Specifically they met in East Hollywood to ride the route that Ed Magos, an East Hollywood Neighborhood Councilmember and recent victim of a hit-and-run, would normally ride on any day heading to work Downtown. The ride stopped to point out the very location where Ed was struck and passed the places where several other bicyclists on the ride had been involved in what seems to be a right of passage for your average bicyclist in LA—incidents of harassment, hit-and-runs, and other absurdities of the dangerous streets most people casually brush off as accidents.

Arriving at City Hall, the afternoon’s Transportation Committee was scheduled for full Council Chambers in anticipation of the large bicyclist presence to speak with Chief Beck. As is usual at T-Committe meetings these days, the bicycle related agenda item was moved to the top of the list, and Chief Beck took the stage.

The Chief immediately jumped in with an impressive nod towards informing his entire police department to the “ever increasing” role of bicycles as a vital form of transportation in this City. Flanked by Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger,  Chief Beck dropped the fact that he has spoken directly to the City Attorney’s office who will be reopening Ed Magos’ case to give it a second look.

Assitant Chief Paysinger, Chief Beck, CM Rosendahl, and CM LaBonge

“We hear you, we know that we can do a better job for you, we will do a better job for you,” the Chief declared. As evidence of inroads made toward this goal, the Chief pointed out his appointment of Commander David Doan as the LAPD’s liaison to the newly created Bicycle Task Force. The Chief spoke to a culture change underway here in Los Angeles, “a good culture change” in his words, capping what was quickly turning into a preach to the choir. “But!” Chief Beck reminded, “don’t just listen to what I say, watch what I do,” braodcasting an open call for bicyclists to keep on Chief Beck and his department about their commitment to improvements.

The floor was then opened to the bicyclists. Stephen Box came forth to speak and was commended by Chief Beck for his leadership in working with the LAPD on the issue of cyclists rights. LACBC’s Aurisha Smolarski engaged in a direct question and answer with the Chief, getting him to state that an internal document aimed at educating individual officers is nearing completion and will go before the Bicycle Task Force before it’s made official. Colin Bogart read a piece submitted by Ed Magos, who’s recovering but still unable to ride. Roadblock began a string of questions on how to advance the likelihood for prosecution of hit-and-runs, which eventually lead to a pointed back and forth with the present Deputy City Attorney.

Councilmember Rosendahl asked the Chief a number of questions, key among them one which stemmed from a conversation had with Stephen Box. A concern has been developing over a potential disconnect between the Chief’s staff on the tenth floor and the boots on the street. The Chief reiterated his commitment to educating his uniformed resources, to which Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger spoke about both his background and interest in maintaining a connection between bicyclists and LAPD (it was Chief Paysinger who initiated the LAPD’s bike-cop program).

It was a good afternoon for bicyclists, speaking directly to and interacting positively with the Chief of Police. If we can keep up on these kinds of actions, change on the streets of LA is bound to happen.

LAPD to Visit Bicycle Advisory Committee at Changed Hollywood Location

February 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 1 Comment
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Tomorrow’s Bike Advisory Committee meeting has changed locations from its normal downtown location to the Hollywood City Hall Community Room, 6501 Fountain Avenue. The meeting will still be held at 7pm.

Check out the BAC’s agenda and you’ll see that the LAPD’s Commander David Doan will be giving an update on the policy and training changes that the department has been undertaking to make the streets safer for bicyclists. In anticipation of February’s upcoming “Bike Safety” themed transportation-committee meeting, it’s important that bicyclists come out to share their stories with the LAPD, making sure to keep the issue of bicyclist safety high on their list of priorities.

We’ve been following the gut wrenching story of Ed Magos, an East Hollywood Neighborhood Council member and bicyclists who was struck by an SUV, only to be left at the scene when the driver fled. We’ve learned that Ed’s case was rejected for prosecution by both the City and District Attorneys, largely on the basis of his non-life-threatening injuries, serious though they were. Because this is the nature of the current hit-and-run law, LACBC is looking for ways to make sure that bicyclists aren’t left for dead without consequence. Our thoughts go out to Ed and his family as he recovers.

We believe the ongoing number of hit-and-run incidents against bicyclists are the result of both a lack of infrastructure city and county wide, and adequate laws protecting bicyclists in the City of Los Angeles and the State of California. The LACBC is currently working on both of these issues.

Please continue to send all your thoughts and stories on what constitutes harassment of bicyclist to aurisha@la-bike.org, which we will compile and forward to City officials drafting the Anti-Harassment Ordinance.

LAPD moves forward on education and outreach plans

February 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 1 Comment
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On Thursday, January 21st, LACBC met with Sgt. David Krumer, from the Office of Operations at LAPD. He is working with Commander Doan on bicycling issues. This meeting was a continuation of the work done by a collective group of advocates including LACBC, Bikeside, Bike Writers Collective, Sustainable Streets, the Bike Advisory Committee, LA Bike Working Group, IlluminateLA, the Voice Newspapers, and many individuals who have been working to make sure that LAPD create an educational program for officers to eliminate miss information on enforcement and cyclists’ rules to the road. LACBC had met with LAPD in August to request that they initiate an education program for officers and were assured that they would be working on it. We have forwarded them police trainings from other cities such as Chicago and San Fransisco.

At our Thursday meeting on January 21st, LACBC discussed and made comments on LAPD’s PSA which highlights some educational elements for both motorists and cyclists. It is a pretty basic manual on how to safely share the road. We offered suggestions on how to circulate the info once it is made public. LACBC pitched the idea of having visible visible billboards to educate motorists. We were notified that there was limited budget.

After speaking with the Mayor’s office last week on January 28th, it seems that we will be moving forward on discussing an Outreach Plan for creating safer streets. We are hopeful that this will get approved. LACBC has been asked to submit design concepts which the City will then use to make public billboards throughout LA. (Stay tuned for more info and how you can get involved.)

We also brought up the issue of hit and runs, collisions, bike thefts, harassment, officer discretion and lack of LAPD cooperation and respect. Sgt. Krumer clarified the process and importance of reporting these incidents.

Some important facts about reporting:

* When reporting a harassment make sure to establish that the motorist made an intentional attempt to harm.
* When reporting a hit-and-run be sure to identify the driver of the vehicle or find a witness who can place the face.
* When reporting a collision, LAPD will not respond unless there is a complaint of physical injury or pain.
* You are entitled to make a report for anything stolen from a bike, even if it just your chain or seat. LAPD needs this information to track thefts and to better address the issue.

This was the beginning of many more monthly meetings the bicycling community will be having with LAPD.

Meetings Update:Bike Sharing, Anti-Harassment Ordinance and Speed Limits

February 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 2 Comments
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It has been a very busy week for bike issues at City Hall. Yesterday there were 2 City Council meetings which discussed issues concerning cyclists. The day started with Full Council Meeting where the Bike Sharing Program and the Anti-Harassment Ordinance continued to be discussed. Then Transportation Committee’s Agenda item included an item related to raising speed limits which raised some concerns for cyclists.

Bike Sharing:
Michelle Mowery issued a quick update on the Bike Sharing Program. Metro has been working on a Bike Sharing Program and has already identified an investor. They are considering doing a pilot in the Hollywood Area. LADOT has yet to move forward on initiating a program. When other council members spoke up expressing interest in having a Bike Share Program within their districts and close to college campus areas, Jan Perry stood up and announced that she has already been working on creating a Bike Share Program between USC and Downtown with the use of private funds which would eliminate the need for city funding and long delays. Mowery responded by saying that she would like to work with Perry’s office to make sure that their program can be integrated with DOT’s and Metro’s program.

Reyes made a shout out to LACBC’s City of Lights Program and highlighted the Bike Share Program would also benefit transit dependent folks who depend on biking to get to work. Garcetti made a final argument for why Hollywood would be an ideal place to launch this program.

There will be a report back in 90 days.

For more details go to:
la.streetsblog.org

Anti-Harassment Ordinance:

For background info please go to
LACBC blog post regarding the Anti-Harrassment Ordinance meeting

There was much support from Councilmembers for the implementation of an Anti-Harassment Ordinance. After input from the 10 cyclists in attendance, Koretz spoke out saying that it is not okay to have this kind of harassment to be going on and there needs to be a stop to it. Reyes spoke out for a culture shift and more accountability from LAPD. This ordinance would help to make that happen. Cardenas made the comment that there needs to be more education and awareness. Rosendahl ended the meeting with a pledge: “We will have an ordinance to protect cyclists” and that “we’re going to get the cooperation from LAPD.”

Next Steps:

* Transportation Committee meeting on Feb. 24th- Chief Beck will be present. Attendence and input from cyclists is requested.
* Joint report from LADOT and City Attorney’s office including input from cyclists (see below)
* Transportation Committee and Public Safety Committee will have joint hearing after February 24th to hear a report from LADOT, City Attorneys office and cyclists

What you can do now:
Councilmember Rosendahl has asked us to help gather input from cyclists:

* Tell us what qualifies as harassment? Please include even the most minor types of harassment. We will be collecting all of your input and passing it onto LADOT, Rosendahl, the City Attorneys Office and all other parties involved.
* Email input to: aurisha@la-bike.org by February 12th!

For more details go to: la.streetsblog.org

Speed Limits:
At yesterday’s Transportation Committee Meeting, the topic of raising speed limits for Chandler Blvd. and Riverside Drive, was continued until February 24th. Councilmember Paul Krekorian, whose district contains those streets, wanted to spend more time discussing the issues. LACBC, Donna Cassyd, Stephen Box, and Jay Goldberg did speak on the issue, showing support for lowering the speeds on the streets.
No decisions were made and this topic will continue to be discussed at February 24th’s T-Committee meeting.

Anti-Harassment Ordinance Held Up in Public Safety Committee

January 13, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Bike News | 7 Comments
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Taking up Bill Rosendahl’s December 1 motion to address the increasing number of incidents between bicyclists and motorists, Tuesday’s Public Safety Committee meeting debated the creation of an ordinance that would prohibit the harassment of bicyclists in the City of Los Angeles. With a split amongst its members, the Public Safety committee voted not to recommend that City Council approve the motion, as the Transportation Committee did over a month ago, but instead requested that the City Attorney’s office review and report back on the motion. However, no date was set for their return.

The LACBC’s Aurisha Smolarski and Allison Mannos were at the meeting, reminding the committee of the precedent set by a law in Missouri that makes bicyclist harassment a misdemeanor with a $1000 fine and/or one year in jail. In a segment done by Channel 7 News, Aurisha can be seen explaining that although bicyclists’ have a right to the road, they often lack equal protection under the law (you can also watch Biking in LA’s Ted Rogers’  sobering comment on threats he’s received as a bicyclist).

Councilmember Dennis Zine CD3 was apt to comment that Los Angeles is not a bike friendly city, and that the city will never change its ways–to which the LACBC interjected that this mindset is a thing of the past, that LA has as much potential to make the shift towards becoming a great bicycling city that other large cities across the country have. LADOT’s Bikeways Coordinator Michelle Mowery made very poignant comment on the various 3 foot passing laws in existence and their benefits to all road users. Councilmember Tony Cardenas CD6 made numerous positive statements for more funding of bike infrastructure and an LAPD awareness campaign.

But because the State of California maintains jurisdiction over vehicle law, the committee hit a hurdle as Councilmember Gregg Smith recommended, and the full committee eventually approved, that the motion be reviewed by the City Attorney. The LACBC will be making sure that this motion is not lost in the committee process and that the harassment of bicyclists be taken as a serious offense. We’d like to work with Councilmember Cardenas, and Biking in LA’s Ted Rogers, to see the City Council sponsor state legislation to protect bicyclists if need be.

Transportation Committee Meeting Update

December 11, 2009 at 12:48 am | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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About 50 cyclists attended Wednesdays Transportation Committee meeting dedicated to bikes. Unfortunately, a few of the anticipated agenda items were cut due to the hour and a half late start. The Sharrow and bike sharing update will be heard at January’s T-Committee meeting.

Here is an update on the issues that were discussed:

1) Bike Plan:
Jordann Turner and Michelle Mowery presented a powerpoint presentation of the Bike Plan. They tried to project a better picture by lumping in the proposed and potential lanes in one number, 529 miles, thus giving a false sense of the numbers. Cyclists were quick to correct this and as C.I.C.L.E highlights, there are actually only 28 miles of new proposed lanes. These are the lanes that are considered ready-to-go without any further road reconfigurations required. The rest of the bike lanes would need either parking or lane removal in order to implement the bike lane.

LACBC made specific asks to increase the planned total mileage for each type of bikeway facility (especially bike paths and bike lanes) in comparison to the current (1996) city bicycle master plan. We also asked that they set implementation benchmarks for each type of bike improvement. We stated that to exclude one user group (mountain bikers) from all parks is discriminatory and that mountain biking should be kept in the plan. LACBC also commented that the plan should support low-income areas by putting in more bike facilities.

2) LAPD relationships with cyclists
Commander Jeff Greer, assigned to work on cycling issues, was still unable to present council with a report on the Hummer incident which had been previously requested months ago. Rosendahl requested the report at the next hearing.

Greer did say that they were working with LACBC on developing an officer bike education video that would be ready at roll-call. LACBC let Council know that since our initial meeting with them in August, there has been no follow through. We requested more accountability that they would actually work on this educational video.

We also commented that policies and bike-auto conflicts shouldn’t be under an officer’s discretion, that there should be set guidelines and a focus on motorist violations during conflicts instead of just on putting cyclists at fault

LACBC also requested that LAPD needs to investigate cases when cyclists call after being harassed even if a cyclist was not injured. Commander Greer did mention that they are also working on a policy to better handle group rides. This was met with alot of controversy by cyclists.

3) Anti-Harassment Bike Ordinance
LACBC requested that motorists should be held accountable for harassing cyclists and pedestrians through the implementation of anti-harassment ordinance similar to the one enacted in Missouri where harassing bikes and pedestrians is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by $1,000 fine or a year in jail.

Rosendahl supported LACBCs addition that there be a mandatory training for motorists on how to effectively share the road with cyclists.  Council supported the idea of having an anti-harassment bike ordinance but the motion must go through Public Safety Committee first and will be further discussed at the January T-Committee meeting.

For more details and info on the meeting read the recap at Streetsblog LA or listen to the meeting online here (the meeting starts around 20:20).

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