New LA River Path Section Open to Cyclists and Pedestrians

November 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 2 Comments
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Photo courtesy of lacreekfreak

On December 4th, 2010 the wait will be over. The section of the Los Angeles River path from Fletcher to Figueroa through the Elysian Valley will finally be officially open to cyclists and pedestrians.

LACBC is planning a ride to the Ribbon cutting celebration. Riders will arrive at the Autry Center at 8:30am and ride to Crystal St at Ripple, where the festivities will begin.
After the ceremony, riders and walkers descend the newly paved path together. At that event, LACBC will donate a brand new SPECIALIZED bike to a lucky resident of Elysian Valley.

Considered the most scenic part of the entire LA River, it was for years a blessing but mostly a curse for cyclists and a safety and logistics nightmare for producers of LACBC’s Annual Los Angeles River Ride. Though it takes one away from the noise and dangers of the motorways, that part of the path featured at least six large (4’X10’) dips that acted as water culverts for run off during heavy rainfall as well as a hundred or more gash-like bumps where tree roots pushed up and attempted to reclaim the land from the asphalt. Over the years, many a cyclist has suffered injuries on that portion of the path.

LACBC has advocated for the repaving of that section of the path for years. In 2006 at the LA River Ride, participants all signed postcards addressed to the mayor, demanding the completion of that part of the path. The City fought hard for the last piece of real estate,
owned by Bimbo Bakery which has a factory in the area, and finally won the entire property and was able to break ground on improvements just about one year ago.

One year is a long time to simply repave approximately 2.5 miles and indeed the path has been paved and ride-able for several months now. During the spring and summer of 2010, cyclists finding no fencing or signs to bar their way, have been speeding under the freshly paved underpass starting at Fletcher, barely glancing at the pocket parks and the family of geese that romp and play in that very spot, in order to get to Figueroa and all other points beyond.

However, because the path was not technically completed, signs had not been in place alerting cyclists to the fact that this particular portion of the path is designated to be shared with pedestrians and in fact the community that lives along this part of the River have been enjoying their proximity to this oasis of nature in the middle of urban L.A. for more than 60 years.

As a result, the residents of Elysian Valley (known as Frogtown to some) have complained of cyclists endangering them, numerous elderly users in the area, their dogs and their children for failure to slow down and yield. Some residents have attempted to advocate against cyclists rights to use this part of the path.

In an effort to alleviate the local pedestrians’ fears and come to an understanding, LACBC has attended community meetings to address concerns and as a show of goodwill, are hopeful that the planned Ride/Walk event on December 4th, as part of the Ribbon Cutting Festivities, will demonstrate how cyclists and pedestrians can both enjoy this beautiful path harmoniously.

LACBC is excited about the finalizing of the section of the  LA River path from Fletcher to Figueroa and hope that you will come out on December 4th to celebrate with us.

And remember, be courteous when riding on the path and share it with our fellow pedestrians!

UPDATE: Here’s more information about the LACBC Ride to the Celebration & Dedication Ceremony!

-lariverride@yahoo.com

Compton Creek Letter of Support

July 21, 2009 at 12:01 am | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 2 Comments
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Recently, LACBC submitted a letter of support to the Army Corps of Engineers, at the behest of LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, for a Compton Creek Ecosystem Restoration Study.  If funded, this study will serve to unify all studies done on the Compton Creek Watershed, and be a way for bike path projects along the Creek to be funded.  LACBC will continue to take action on this issue, to ensure safe bike access along this creek and other rivers and tributaries.

—–

Colonel Thomas H. Magness, IV

District Commander

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Los Angeles District

P.O. Box 532711

Los Angeles, CA 90053-2325

Dear Colonel Magness:

REQUEST TO INITIATE COMPTON CREEK ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION STUDY

Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) is a membership supported advocacy organization working to improve the bicycling environment and quality of life in Los Angeles County.  We are interested in the Compton Creek Watershed because it has the potential to be multi-beneficial for the environment and all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

Home to more than 700,000 residents, the Compton Creek Watershed drains a highly urbanized 42.1 square miles of the Los Angeles River Watershed within the Cities of Los Angeles and Compton and the unincorporated Willowbrook community.  While a segment of the creek has retained a natural river bottom, the majority of the waterway has been paved with concrete and the surrounding lands have been almost completely developed.  As a result, outdoor recreational opportunities in the surrounding communities and along the creek are limited, water quality is degraded, water conservation opportunities have not been realized, and open space and natural resources, such as plant and wildlife, have been greatly reduced.

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District and the Corps have expressed a concern that in the wake of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mandated Levee Certification Program, the Compton Creek levy system must be upgraded; otherwise, an unmitigated flood risk to the lower reach of the creek may arise.  A plan to better understand current flood control capacity and flood risk in the area is essential for public safety and the economic viability of the surrounding community.

Ultimately, the plan should result in the successful development of projects that incorporate these multiple-benefit opportunities and invest millions of dollars of Federal, State, and local funds to enhance the watershed and its recreational and transportation amenities, including those for bicyclists and pedestrians.  We urge the Corps to undertake this study and look forward to working with you in its development.

We very much appreciate your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Klausner

Executive Director, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

c:          Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Los Angeles County Congressional Delegation

Elected Officials/City Managers, Cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and

Compton Department of Public Works

LA Transportation Committee Bike Meeting Tomorrow!

July 8, 2008 at 11:15 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | Leave a comment
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ACTION ALERTS

IMPORTANT Transportation Committee Meeting for Cyclists

WHEN: Wed, July 9th at 2pm

WHERE: 200 N. Spring St. Room 1010, Los Angeles, 90012

If you cannot make the meeting, we urge you to call and/or write letters and emails to the commitee members.

1. KEEP THE GATES OPEN ON THE BALLONA TRAIL!

A motion to permanently close the Purdue gate on the Ballona Creek bike trail will also come before the Transportation Committee on the 9th. We recently learned that Police Captain Hiltner (from the nearby Pacific Station) has recommended a 90 day trial closure of the gate due to complaints from neighbors in the area about crime. We need cyclists to attend the Transportation Committee meeting to oppose this short-sighted motion AND the trial closure (contact information below).

The Ballona Trail is a vital part of our regional bikeway network. Many cyclists and pedestrians depend on it for their daily transportation. Closure of the Purdue gate will impact the safety of thousands of trail users.

2. SUPPORT SHARROWS IN LA!

LACBC recently proposed Sharrows (shared use lane markings) to Eric Garcetti and now he’s taken the idea to LA City Council!

We now need you to help support Sharrows by attending the LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting on July 9 at 2 pm in order to voice support for the proposed “Sharrows” to be painted on Fountain Ave. and Vermont Ave. (see below for contact info)

These two proposed streets are just the beginning of what we hope will be a network of Sharrows throughout Los Angeles to encourage cycling.

Support for cycling has never been more needed than now!

Transportation Committee Council members:

Wendy Gruel (chair) (213)-473-7002 or councilmember.greuel@lacity.org

Tom LaBonge (213)-473-7004 or councilmember.Labonge@lacity.org

Bernard Parks (213)-473-7008 or councilmember.parks@lacity.org

Bill Rosendahl (213)-473-7011 or councilman.rosendahl@lacity.org

Richard Alarcon (213)-473-7007 or fax (213) 847-0707

*Other items on this jam-packed bike-themed meeting include a motion to study adding more bike capacity on DASH and Commuter Express Busses and a motion bringing bicycle boulevards and bike-share programs to Council District 1.**

For more info, check out streetsblog los angeles’s post on the meetings, as well as the official agenda.

Attention Cyclists! Your help needed in Florence!

June 12, 2008 at 7:24 pm | Posted in Get Involved, LACBC Events | Leave a comment
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WHAT: A community walk and bike tour/meeting to assess the bikability and walkability to the Florence Metro Blue Line Station. The community meeting is part of a comprehensive study of existing conditions and recommendations for improvements at transit hubs across the Los Angeles County.

WHEN: Saturday, June 21st, 10am-1pm, Lunch is provided

WHERE: Roosevelt Park, 7600 Graham Ave, LA 90001,

Adjacent to Florence Blue Line Station

Bike parking available

RSVP: Dorothy Le Dorothy@la-bike.org or 213 629 2142. RSVP required for lunch.

More info about LACBC: www.la-bike.org

More info about Metro bike planning: http://www.metro.net/projects_plans/bikeway_planning/default.htm

Attention Cyclists! Your help needed in Compton!

June 4, 2008 at 11:27 pm | Posted in Get Involved, LACBC Events | Leave a comment
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WHAT: A community walk and bike tour/meeting to assess the bikability and walkability to the Compton Metro Blue Line Station. The community meeting is part of a comprehensive study of existing conditions and recommendations for improvements at transit hubs across the Los Angeles County.

WHEN: Saturday, June 14th, 10am-1pm, Lunch is provided

WHERE: Martin Luther King Transit Center Ballroom, 404 North Tamarind Avenue

Across the street from the Compton Blue Line Station

Bike parking available

RSVP: Dorothy Le Dorothy@la-bike.org or 213 629 2142. RSVP required for lunch.

More info about LACBC: www.la-bike.org

More info about Metro bike planning: http://www.metro.net/projects_plans/bikeway_planning/default.htm

LA has potential to be bike friendly.

May 8, 2008 at 12:29 am | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 5 Comments
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Check out Bicycle Magazine’s article on Los Angeles and it’s potential to be bike friendly:

Despite everything that comes to mind when you picture L.A.–gridlock nightmares, a sprawling footprint, smog, swelling population, lack of a centralized downtown–the nation’s second–largest city has great potential for biking. It has been toiling away for years building bike lanes and paths; there are more than 350 miles’ worth already. Now it’s trying to make a sensible, safe network out of them and has hired Alta Planning + Design, a national, progressive transportation planning consulting company, to help design the plan, which is set to be implemented next year. That may sound dull, but Alta has worked closely with cities such as Portland and San Francisco. And its hiring is part of a sea change taking place: For the first time, elected officials are calling L.A.’s bike coordinator to ask about putting in bike facilities, instead of the other way around. “I’ve been riding a bike in L.A. for 44 years, and doing this job for 14,” says Michelle Mowery, senior project coordinator for the city’s bicycle program. “And this is the first time I’ve ever seen excitement like this.”

Let’s work to make this a reality!

NBC Universal fears script-flinging cyclists

February 27, 2008 at 7:28 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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…but only when they’re thrown from the River path. Scripts lobbed at Steven Spielberg’s back door from within the compound are apparently preferable, as Universal execs would rather see you riding on their bike path – a looping detour through the Universal compound – than to concede the continuation of the River path along their property.

Universal bike path dispute

Jennifer Klausner, LACBC’s Executive Director, champions the continuation of the River plan: “The beauty of the river path is that it’s basically flat and separated from the road for people who want a quieter ride and don’t want to hump it over a hill.”

Read the story in the LA Times

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