Fans of “Give Me 3″: LACBC Leading on LA’s 1st Spanish-Language Bike PSA Bus Shelter Ad

June 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 4 Comments
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City of Lights Spanish PSA mtg. with BiciDignarios discussing and selecting messages

City of Lights/LACBC, in proud partnership with LADOT and REI, recently kicked off some brainstorm meetings with some BiciDignarios and day laborers we work with to create Los Angeles’ first ever Spanish-language bike PSA bus shelter ad.

Many of you may be familiar with the Give Me 3 bus shelter public awareness campaign LACBC and Midnight Ridazz spearheaded in 2010 with LADOT. To much fanfare, they debuted throughout thousands of bus shelters in the County and led to the Mayor and California Bicycle Coalition‘s campaign to get a Statewide 3-foot passing law.

Give Me 3 Press Conference in 2010 with Mayor Villaraigosa

Give Me 3 poster by City Hall, courtesy of LADOT

Now, LACBC is collaborating again, this time with REI’s Spanish language Community Relations Department Staff and LADOT to educate the public about cyclists’ rights again, en español! The process has been entirely led by Spanish speaking cyclists from the CARECEN and IDEPSCA day labor centers. Via popular education methods, City of Lights has facilitated the creative brainstorming process, turning the City’s public education opportunity into a cutting edge, culturally relevant, bottom up awareness ad, by and for Latina/o communities.

Rafa leads discussion at PSA meeting

At several different meetings, BiciDignarios and other cyclists convened to brainstorm themes and slogans addressing both cyclists and motorists on issues most important to them. This ranged from sharing the road, cyclist and motorist awareness, environmental, and safety messaging. They then refined 30 messages to be catchier and shorter, finally selecting the top 5 at yesterday’s meeting.

More updates to come as we wait for graphic designs and the final(!) vote by the BiciDignarios on the winning design. The final design is expected to get printed by the City and put up in 10,000 bus shelters Countywide.

City of Lights PSA Team

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.

What We’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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photo by Gary Leonard - courtesy http://ciclavia.wordpress.com/

We have so much to be thankful for this year! First off we want to thank our wonderful volunteers, supportive members, and dedicated interns. You are what keeps LACBC moving and grooving! It is because of you that we have been able to expand our efforts, events, and our staff.

We are thankful for an amazing and ever-growing bicycle community, for collaborations with other advocates, social justice and environmental organizations all working to make positive changes in Los Angeles for people who need or chose to bicycle.

In the City of Los Angeles we are especially thankful for the 10% Measure R local return set aside for bicycle and pedestrian projects, a very successful first CicLAvia, the Give Me 3 Poster Campaign, sharrows on our streets, the largest River Ride yet, the new LA River Path extension, 73 bike parking racks in Pico-Union, all the fun social rides, and so much more.

We are thankful for the work of Heidi Sickler from Mayor Villaraigosa’s office. She has been a behind-the-scenes champion for bicycle improvements and CicLAvia, and has worked on addressing many of the issues brought forth at the Mayor’s Bike Summit and through the Bike Plan process.

We are thankful for Chief Beck making a commitment to changing LAPD’s relationship with the bicycling community and for the work of Sgt. Krumer.

In the County of Los Angeles we are thankful for seven south bay cities working together towards bikeability and the passing of the Culver City Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. We are thankful for our regional partners; Santa Monica Spoke, the Culver City Bicycle Coalition, Better Bike Beverly Hills, the South Bay Bicycle Coalition, Long Beach Cyclists, West San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition, and all of the local groups working to make their communities more bike-able.

At the county level we are especially thankful to Mayor Villaraigosa for pushing through ten bicycle program directives to make bicycle connectivity with transit better and to increase the amount of funds available to cities around the county for bicycle projects through Metro Call for Projects. We also want to thank Metro staff and leadership for creating the Metro Bicycle Roundtable program and for working to address the issues the bicycle community has identified and to accomplish the Mayor’s directives.

Finally we want to thank all the people riding bikes in Los Angeles County everyday – each of you contributes – just by riding your bicycle – to making Los Angeles a better and more bike-able county. Thank you for riding your bike!

We want to hear from you – what are you thankful for this year?

Follow Up From the Bike Summit & “Give Me 3″ Press Conference

August 26, 2010 at 11:18 am | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 6 Comments
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Yesterday, LACBC met with Jaime de la Vega and Heidi Sickler from the Mayor’s office to follow up on some of the key requests we brought to the Mayor’s attention at the Bike Summit.

1) Bike Plan Implementation Strategy:
LACBC submitted a call for the Mayor to immediately implement high profile bike facilities.
Please click here to view the document and priority list we submitted.

2) Bicycle Boulevards:
The implementation of the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard is a LACBC priority. As 4th Street has support for Councilmember LaBonge, community members, and local stakeholders, we feel this Bicycle Boulevard, equip with the necessary traffic calming devices such as bulb-outs, traffic circles, bicycle activated signals etc, would create a precedent and establish some best practices for future Bicycle Boulevards. We are working with some of the instrumental volunteers, integral to this campaign, to put together a list of suggested treatments appropriate for each intersection. We will continue to work with LADOT, the Mayors Office and Councilmember LaBonge’s office to see this project implemented as soon as possible.

3) Complete Streets and Training:
We issued a request to the Mayor to issue a directive to all roadway engineers and department heads to abide by the Complete Street Standards outlined in the Complete Streets Law, which goes into effect in January of 2011. For years our road engineers have only been asked to keep vehicle traffic moving, we’re asking the Mayor to give them a new directive – a directive to design streets for the safety of all users and to safely move bicycle, pedestrian, transit, and vehicle traffic on the same streets. To accomplish this the Mayor’s directive would also require engineers, planners, and related staff within the departments of Bureau of Street Services, Bureau of Engineers and DOT to attend bicycle and pedestrian safety design training seminars.

4) Bicycle Safety and Awareness:
In continuation of the Bicycle Safety Awareness Campaign, LACBC requested that the City create a “one stop” city bicycle safety and information website. Links to this site or page need to be easily viewable from the homepage of city websites. Using the LADOT bicyclela website as a central location, we will be working with these offices to update and incorporate more information and resources to this site.

5) 3 Foot Passing Law:
The Mayor confirmed his commitment to seeing a 3 Foot Passing Law enacted in the State of California in 2011. LACBC will be working with his office and the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) to draft language and find a sponsor for the law. The CBC previously worked to enact a 3 Foot Passing Law in 2006 and more recently to on a Vulnerable User Law – we’re hoping with the support of the Mayor the 3 Foot Passing Law and a Vulnerable User Law will both become law in the next year. We will be keeping you posted on our progress over the next few months and will need your support in Sacramento in 2011.

6) Updating Metro’s TOD Guidelines to Include Bicycle Parking Facilities:
The Mayor will be submitting a motion for the September MTA board meeting to incorporate better bike facilities with all MTA projects and improve bicycle access to transit. This would include triple racks on buses as well as bikes on rail.

“Give Me 3″ Bike Safety Posters Unveiled by Mayor Villaraigosa

August 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 32 Comments
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This morning, on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall, Mayor Villaraigosa, in partnership with LACBC, Midnight Ridazz, LADOT, and LAPD, announced the winner of the Bike Awareness and Safety slogan contest by unveiling the “Give Me 3″ bus shelter posters, designed by graphic artist and LA cyclist Geoff McFetridge. The winning slogan was submitted by Danny Gamboa from Long Beach and will be visible in 150-200 bus shelters and Public Amenity Kiosks (PAKs) throughout the City. The remaining 800-850 ads will be installed between now and December on PAKs and bus shelters as space becomes available.

Mayor Villaraigosa, LACBC, Midnight Ridazz, and Geoff McFetridge unveil the "Give Me 3" posters.

Coming quickly after Mayor Villaraigosa’s historic Bicycle Summit, where he committed to “doing better for bicyclists in Los Angeles”, today’s unveiling was another step in the right direction. Beyond reaffirming his commitment to increasing bicyclist safety, the Mayor touched on building more bicycle infrastructure and initiating culture change in the “car capital of the world.”

The Mayor also announced that he would like to “make the 3 Foot Passing Rule a 3 Foot Passing Law” in California. He will be introducing the bill, going to Sacramento and working with the bicycling community to ensure that this becomes a reality. “We’ll keep at it until it becomes part of the California Vehicle Code.”

Rita Robinson from LADOT also spoke in support of the Mayor’s interest in bicycle safety and infrastructure. In regards to safety, she emphasized that the 3 Foot Passing Law really means 3 feet beside, behind and beyond.

Following the press conference, the Mayor’s office filmed some b roll and interviewed a handful of cyclists for a PSA they are working on developing in collaboration with LACBC that will be completed shortly.

We’d like to thank the Mayor for his outspoken support to make Los Angeles a more bike friendly city, to Midnight Ridazz, Geoff McFetridge, Danny Gamboa and to all the bicyclists who came out this morning to support this successful effort.

Los Angeles Bicyclists Threatened by Unsafe Motorists

April 30, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | Leave a comment
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LACBC submitted the following op-ed to the LA Times today:

Nicholas Goldberg

Deputy Editor of Op-Ed Page

Los Angeles Times

oped@latimes.com

Los Angeles Bicyclists Threatened by Unsafe Motorists

On April 20, 2009, police reported that a drunk driver who was driving with a suspended license struck and killed a Los Angeles bicyclist, then fled the scene.  The cyclist was 44-year-old Jesus Castillo.  A witness wrote down the motorist’s license plate number, and within hours, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) arrested the motorist on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter.

Members of the Los Angeles bicycle community reacted swiftly to this incident.  On April 24, they organized a 300-strong group ride in Jesus’ honor and dedicated a “Ghost Bike” – an all-white bike that is erected when a cyclist is killed – at the site of the crash.  Cyclists and community leaders staged a “die-in” at the memorial, and issued a call for prioritizing public safety on Los Angeles streets.

During the same week, another unfortunate car-on-bike conflict occurred.  In this second incident, the evening of April 23, the driver of a Hummer maneuvered the sport utility vehicle into a group of about a dozen cyclists, injuring one and destroying several bicycles.  In this incident, the motorist was clearly at fault, and should be held responsible for personal injury and property damage.  There were numerous witnesses at the scene and plenty of evidence of the driver’s misconduct.  However, a responding LAPD officer apparently sympathized with the SUV’s driver and passengers, and let them drive away without pressing charges.

Both of these incidents illustrate the vulnerability of bicyclists on Los Angeles streets, something many drivers and even law enforcement officers may not always consider. Whether riding alone or in a group, cyclists are endangered by the actions of careless and inattentive drivers on the roads of Los Angeles every day.  Clearly, the City needs to do more to protect bicyclists from getting killed, injured, and intimidated by motorists. Members of law enforcement agencies are too often unaware or misinformed about the rights of cyclists on the road, and are sometimes reluctant to offer their help when incidents occur between motorists and bicyclists. The contrast in the police response to these two incidents is striking, and begs the question: does it take a fatality for law enforcement to take cyclists’ rights seriously?

In light of these recent incidents, and the hostile atmosphere that cyclists experience daily on L.A. streets, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition strongly recommends the following:

The City should support a State bill comparable to Kentucky House Bill 88 for Vehicular Assault of a Bicyclist or Pedestrian.  This legislation gives traffic police and prosecutors the opportunity to hold reckless motorists accountable when they hit pedestrians or bicyclists, and is designed to ensure the safety of all road users regardless of their mode of transportation.

The City of Los Angeles should release its now-overdue Bicycle Master Plan draft documents as soon as possible to ensure adequate time for thorough public review and input.  A strong, fully implemented Bicycle Plan is essential for bicyclists’ safety in Los Angeles.

The cycling community has been calling attention to these issues for years in an attempt to create meaningful change.  If Los Angeles is to become a world-class livable city, we need streets that facilitate safe cycling, and police that work to protect the public and support cyclists’ legal rights on the road.

Jennifer Klausner

Executive Director

Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

Cyclist-Involved Hit and Run

January 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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The Santa Monica Police Department needs your assistance in
identifying and locating a vehicle involved in a felony hit and run
traffic collision.

On January 17, 2009 at about 12:30, a 33 year-old male bicyclist
riding southbound on 20th Street at Arizona Avenue was struck by an
unknown vehicle. After striking the cyclist, the vehicle ran over the
bicycle and the rider’s body and then left the scene without rendering
any assistance or notifying the police. There is no description of the
vehicle at this time; however, it may have front scratches or dents
and possibly a cracked windshield. The bicyclist is currently in
critical condition at a local hospital

(Bulletin P-09-001 dated 19 January)

LACBC RESPONSE TO MEMBER HIT BY DRIVER MAKING RIGHT TURN ON RED

August 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 5 Comments
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The following statement from LACBC Board President Alex Kenefick is a response to LACBC member Marina Rostovskaya, who was hit from behind by a driver turning right on red and the subsequent mishandling of the incident by law enforcement:

Marina Rostovskaya, an active LACBC member and Los Angeles bicyclist, was recently hit by a car—she broke her hand. She reports having been riding through an intersection on a green light when a driver turning right on red hit her.

This was an accident—the driver called the Police and they showed up. Everything seems to be OK in LA, right? Wrong. Marina reports that the police officer who appeared on the scene and took her to the hospital did not take the driver’s information. An accident between two vehicles happened on the roadway. All parties remained on the scene, and the police showed up. Still, Marina has no recourse. She can’t get a settlement. She can’t even go to court because the accident didn’t officially happen. The driver’s record will still be clean, their car insurance rates will not be raised, and Marina will be left to struggle with the emergency room bills on her own.

Across our region, cyclists are not enjoying the full slate of rights available to motorists, while we are still presumably subject to the same responsibilities. Cyclists too often fall in a grey area with these rights and responsibilities. This goes both ways – traffic moves I have pulled while cycling could get a motorist arrested–though I often go unnoticed on a bike.  However, we also fall through the cracks when we need protection.

About 6 months ago I encountered the same kind of mishandling of cyclist rights and responsibilities. It was late at night and I was riding down Sunset Boulevard. A bus driver was repeatedly passing me, the bus tires crossing the line of the already narrow bike lane and crowding me towards the parked cars. It was a local bus, so the driver and I were leapfrogging each other repeatedly, and each time the bus would come further into the bike lane and closer to me. After this happened five or six times, I was convinced the driver’s actions were intentional. When I saw some police officers sitting in their car at a traffic light, I asked them if they were on duty and if they could have a word with the bus driver about how he had been passing me. The police officers were friendly, but ignorant of cyclist rights; one of them said “We’ll pull the bus driver over and have a word with him, but you should really be riding on the sidewalk.” I was painfully reminded of the lack of uniformity when enforcing the rights of cyclists stated in the California Vehicle Code.

The California Vehicle Code states that ‘bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of vehicle drivers’ (CVC 21200) and that ‘bicycles traveling slower than normal speed of traffic must ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable except when passing, preparing for a left turn, to avoid hazards and dangerous conditions, or if the lane is too narrow’ (CVC 21202).

Being told to simply ride on the sidewalk, did not acknowledge my right to use the roadway in a safe manner as granted by the California Vehicle Code. As bicycle ridership in Los Angeles continues to rise for both health and economic reasons, my hope is that bicyclists, motorists, bus drivers, law enforcement, and pedestrians will become aware that we all have rights and we all have responsibilities when it comes to using the roadways of Los Angeles. We all have a place in the city’s transportation system, and with more education on the policies that exist to protect cyclists, cyclists and motorists will be able to share the road in a safe and respectful manner. Then, Marina’s experience, as well as my own, will be dealt with fairly and with respect to a cyclist’s right to ride safely on our roads.

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