Next Generation Bikeways: Bicycling for All Ages in Los Angeles

October 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 8 Comments
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Please sign our petition to Mayor Garcetti to Bring Cycletracks to LA!

Fig_and_11th_3-25-13

Since adopting its 2010 Bicycle Plan, Los Angeles has made tremendous progress implementing bikeways across the city.   The new 167 miles of bike lanes bring the total bike lane network to 338 miles.  This breathtaking installation pace of up to 100 miles per year reflects the dedication of LADOT staff, often working overtime and weekends to design and stripe new facilities.  New segments of the LA River Bike Path, LA’s first bicycle-friendly street on Yucca, and many miles of sharrows add to the City’s burgeoning bike network.  This progress has yielded a comparable growth in ridership taking advantage of these new facilities.

Now that the low-hanging fruit of bike plan implementation has been picked, it is time to turn our attention to the next generation of bikeways in Los Angeles.  Just as we need to connect the fragments of our bike network, we also need to connect the dots among many complementary policies and programs at different agencies.  In 2014, we call upon the City of Los Angeles to:

  • Adopt an “8 to 80” design standard for the Mobility Element’s Bicycle-Enhanced Network (BEN) and 2010 Bicycle Plan’s Neighborhood Network,
  • Appoint a new LADOT General Manager who is committed to innovative street design,
  • Accelerate implementation of cycletracks by incorporating the BEN into the Mayor’s Great Streets Initiative,
  • Install LA’s first cycletracks on Figueroa in 2014,
  • Apply for round 2 of the Green Lane Project to receive technical assistance from the nation’s leading bikeway design experts,
  • Ensure adequate staffing of the bikeways and pedestrian groups at LADOT to satisfy pent-up demand for these improvements across the city, and
  • Work with Metro to increase investments in next generation bikeways and pedestrian infrastructure across Los Angeles County, concentrated around transit stations and schools.

These steps will expand the reach of LA’s bicycle network both geographically and demographically to attract the kind of ridership growth we’ve seen in other cities around the country that have made similar investments.  We must invest and innovate to reach LA’s bicycling potential.

Don’t forget to sign our petition to Mayor Garcetti to Bring Cycletracks to LA!

“Tu Familia” Bike Safety PSA Makes Its Debut

April 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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These “Tu Familia” posters, designed by Aaron Kuehn with input from LACBC’s City of Lights volunteers, LADOT, and R.E.I., remind motorists to watch out for their family.

In the spirit of our “Give Me 3” poster campaign, LACBC’s City of Lights program,–in conjunction with the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) and REI– have debuted L.A.’s first-ever Spanish-language bike safety campaign! Perhaps you’ve already seen some of the posters around town, as they are appearing on bus shelters throughout Los Angeles.

Designed by local artist and LACBC volunteer Aaron Kuehn (you’ll recognize his work if you’ve ever seen his bicycle typogram in the LACBC resource guide) with the guidance of day laborers and City of Lights volunteers over several months, the PSA uses colorful reds, blues, and yellows to really make the message pop out to motorists. It reads, “PRECAUCIÓN: Tu familia tam­bién usa la bicicleta,” which translates to, “CAUTION: Your family also rides bicycles.” The PSA reminds everyone that people who ride bikes are your family, sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively. Family comes first, and your actions can put your family in danger.

Accompanying this poster is a video PSA, directed by Jordan Melograna. The short video depicts a man saying goodbye to his family and then recklessly driving around L.A., nearly hitting several people who are riding bikes. He doesn’t seem to notice how he’s putting each of these people’s lives in danger until he carelessly opens his parked car’s door out in front of a bicyclist who fortunately brakes in time. This bicyclist happens to be his own daughter.

This project brought together day laborer cyclists from CARECEN and IDEPSCA, LACBC staff, volunteers, LADOT, and REI to create a Spanish-language PSA campaign that not only speaks to a large demographic of LA city stakeholders–48% of our city is Latino–but the message was developed by the Latino day laborer cyclists themselves. You can read more about the process from the beginning to the middle.

Mayor Villaraigosa talks about the Spanish-language bike safety PSA and CicLAvia in MacArthur Park.

The poster was unveiled at yesterday’s CicLAvia and Spanish-Language Bike Safety PSA Press Conference in MacArthur Park with City of Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmembers Huizar, Reyes, and LaBonge.

You can view photos on our Facebook page and learn more about the making of the print PSA by watching this behind the scenes video, also directed by Melograna.

Thank you to everyone who made this collaborative project possible: Elwyn Aguilar, Leo Espinosa, Guillermo “Capitan,” Rafael Guerrero, Andy Rodriguez, Allison Mannos, Miguel Ramos, Jason Ellis, Raquel, Greg, Andy S., Aaron Kuehn for his design, Jordan Melograna for directing and editing the video, Michelle Mowery and Nate Baird from LADOT, and Pete Novahom, Myrian Solis, and Daniella Escobar from REI. Additional thanks to those who worked on the video PSA: Colin Whitman, Jennifer Wright, Ryan Bosc, Kathy Peltier, Desiree Morales, Carlos Vasquez, Randy Bloise, Diane Kryszewski, Alex Cason, Rachel Hudson, Brad Ernske, Matt Grace, Saumin Pathak, Carlos Vargas, Irving Anguiano, Marcelo Quinonez, David Fordham, Raelin Martinez, Carlos Moreno, Jr., Adriana Fricke, Aislinn Glennon, Jahnny Lee , and JJ Hoffman.

And be on the lookout for these posters. You can download a PDF on Aaron Kuehn’s website.

City Roadway Engineers to Receive Bicycle Safety Design Training

April 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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At the Mayor’s Bike Summit in August, LACBC addressed the need for education for all our city roadway engineers on bicycle safety design- beyond just the bikeways staff. We need all of our roadway engineers to be well-versed in bicycle and pedestrian safety design, and Complete Streets.

Since the Mayor’s Bike Summit, LACBC has been working with the Mayor’s staff to ensure that they addressed this issue. We are happy to announce that John Ciccarelli of Bicycle Solutions will be coming to LADOT to run a two-day training on April 26th and 27th.

LADOT Bikeways staff were integral in setting up this training that will educate their fellow engineers on best practices in bicycle safety design, the new City of LA Bike Plan, and more. We want to thank Interim General Manager of LADOT Amir Sedadi for facilitating this training and, of course, a big thanks to the Mayor and his staff for fulfilling one of our requests from the Bike Summit!

Making Main Street a Complete Street

January 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Bike News | 6 Comments
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It’s a new year and there is a lot to get excited about! First up are bike lanes on Main Street in Venice.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is proposing to install bike lanes on Main Street from Navy to Windward Circle, which will extend the Santa Monica bike lanes and road diet into Venice. In order to reallocate the road space to create a more complete Main Street LADOT will have to remove a travel lane in each direction. The new Main Street will include a center two-way left turn lane in addition to the bike lanes. This project will not only provide better bicycle connectivity for beach residents and visitors alike, but the proposed bike lanes will rebalance the street and improve road safety for all road users whether they be on bicycle, foot, or in a car. Check out LADOT’s recent blog post about the benefits of road diets – http://tinyurl.com/roaddiets.

LACBC staff and volunteers are going door-to-door on Main Street tomorrow afternoon to inform businesses, residents, folks biking by, etc about this project. Our goal is to inform folks and build support for a complete Main Street. If you’d like to get involved with doing outreach around projects like this get in touch with LACBC’s new volunteer coordinator Joni (at) la-bike.org. LACBC will be kicking into outreach high gear this year, especially once the draft bike plan is approved – we hope to be out on streets all over the city building support for bike projects!

If you live in the Venice area and want to learn more about the project please attend the Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting this coming Tuesday, January 18th at 7pm. LADOT and Councilmember Rosendahl’s staff will be on hand to present on this project. LACBC will also be there to offer support for the project and talk about the community benefits.

Venice Neighborhood Council Board Meeting

Date: Tuesday, January 18th

Time: 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Location: Westminster Elementary School Auditorium

1010 Abbot Kinney Boulevard – Venice, CA, 90291

Venice NC info and agenda: http://www.grvnc.org

Pico-Union Neighborhood Scores More Bike Racks!

November 29, 2010 at 11:00 am | Posted in Bike News | 2 Comments
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After a year and a half of working with Councilman Reyes and LADOT, more and more bike parking racks are being installed around Los Angeles. So far, a large amount have been installed in the neighborhoods of MacArthur Park and Pico-Union, thanks to LACBC and City of Lights’ advocacy efforts. As discussed in previous blog posts, the neighborhoods that needed racks the most frequently lacked racks, a common environmental justice issue.

We were very excited to see the installation of racks in front of CARECEN Day Laborer Center last month, as well as the recent installation in front of the IDEPSCA Downtown Community Job Center where BiciDigna is hosted. We had requested these two sites, in addition to the Van Nuys IDEPSCA Day Laborer Center. Yet, we don’t want to forget that this was a neighborhood wide campaign. The goal was to get bike parking racks not just at worker centers, but also at widely used stores, consulates, immigration services providers, and other key community sites in the area.

LACBC is proud to let you know at least 45 racks will be installed in the area, with potentially more, once installation backlog clears. We had originally only requested 35-40 locations (click for entire list of requests here), but thanks to LADOT’s strategy of blanketing an intersection directly adjacent to an approved request, we were able to leverage our requests and bring 28 additional racks to the neighborhood than we had initially imagined.

That is a 62% increase from our requests! ¡Órale!

More statistical goodness: Almost 100 (73, to be specific) racks are actually hitting the streets of a low-income neighborhood! Click here for Westlake locations where LADOT has recently (as of Summer 2010) installed racks.

-allison@la-bike.org

Wilbur Ave. – Unfair Representation on Committee

November 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Posted in Bike News | 4 Comments
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photo credit Rebecca Joyce @sevenphoto

The Northridge West Neighborhood City Council passed a motion to form an ad-hoc committee to discuss the Wilbur Road Diet.

Unbeknownst to anyone, including the Mayor’s office,   LADOT had already put together a plan to reconfigure Wilbur Ave.   Prior to Tuesday’s meeting LADOT  met in private with CD12, Council member Smith’s office, to approve this plan. CD 12 suggested that they set up a committee in order to provide input. Apparently, there will then be a public meeting in January.

There are two problems with what we see going on.

First off, what is this reconfiguration plan? Why was no-one notified about it? What changes will we be seeing on Wilbur? Will the bike lanes be removed?

Secondly, Northridge West neighborhood Council has appointed 3 representatives from NWNC to this ad-hoc committee only one of which, Paul Kirk, is known to support the Wilbur Road Diet. None of the committee members are actual residents or homeowners on Wilbur Ave. or local cyclists.

If an ad-hoc committee is to be formed to discuss the Wilbur road-diet, we would like to see this committee become more fairly represented to include local residents, homeowners and cyclists.
TAKE ACTION
Write to the Northridge West Neighborhood Council members and Councilmember Smith to demand that this committee be fairly staffed with residents, homeowners as well as local cyclists.

Local residents, be sure to include your zip code.

councilmember.smith@lacity.org,MITCH.ENGLANDER@lacity.org,
heidi.sickler@lacity.org

gmalais@northridgewest.org,president@northridgewest.org, secretary@northridgewest.org,vpoutreach@northridgewest.org, vpadmin@northridgewest.org, treasurer@northridgewest.org, kfuternik@northridgewest.org,cmichayluk@northridgewest.org,

jbloom@northridgewest.org,tjohnson@northridgewest.org,gwilson@northridgewest.org

4th Street Bicycle Boulevard Update

October 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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photo credit: Chris Kidd

Time for some updates on the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard campaign!

This past Wednesday, LACBC, Carolyn Ramsay from Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s office, Heidi Sickler from the Mayor’s office, and LADOT staff including Michelle Mowery and engineer Tim Fremaux  rode 4th Street from Hoover to Wilton to begin measuring and discussing what kind of treatments are possible on 4th Street. Building off of the work the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard committee has done, we identified multiple intersections where roundabouts could be installed, stop signs should be removed, and where diverters would be ideal.

Within the next few weeks, loop detectors along 4th Street will be recalibrated to recognize when a cyclist arrives at an intersection. There are loop detectors at all of the signalized intersections on 4th Street, however they currently only trigger the light to change when a car arrives, forcing cyclists to either wait for a car or to get off their bikes and push the pedestrian crossing button. Plans are also in the works to install markings on the street where the loop detectors are. The on-street marking, called Bicycle Signal Actuation signs, mark where cyclists should position themselves to activate the loop detectors.

Once the sharrows pilot study is wrapped up LADOT plans on installing sharrows along the rest of 4th Street. Currently the sharrows run for one mile from Virgil to Western. When the rest of the sharrows are installed, the bicycle signal actuation signs will also be installed, in early to mid-spring.

Finally, we’d like to get more folks involved with the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard Campaign! We’d especially love to have folks who live along 4th Street come out and get involved. We’ll be having our next meeting this coming Thursday, Nov. 4th at 7pm at Halal Tandoori Restaurant (401 S. Vermont Ave) on the corner of 4th and Vermont.  If you can’t make it, feel free to contact us by phone, email or leave a comment on our blog!

Final Sharrows Tasks Completed

October 29, 2010 at 8:57 am | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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Tuesday, October 26th marked the last day of the Sharrows Pilot Study tasks as outlined in LACBC and LADOT’s contracts. The final step before putting this baby to rest is for both LACBC and LADOT to write and release reports summarizing findings from data collection from the Sharrows test rides as well as counts and surveys. LACBC’s report will be released by the end of the year.

LACBC was tasked to do before and after Sharrows implementation bike counts. Surveys were also conducted to get a sense of how cyclist’s sense of safety had changed after the implementation of Sharrows and whether motorist behavior was affected. We surveyed both cyclists riding in the streets as well as those riding on the sidewalk. Sharrows are aimed at not only indicating correct lane positioning for cyclists to stay out of the door zone, but also to decrease sidewalk and wrong way riding.

LACBC’s final bike counts and surveys were held this past week. Volunteers were stationed at all 6 locations in morning, evening and weekend peak hours. It was a fun way to engage cyclists, get their input on what matters to them and collect important information that will ensure that we see more Sharrows on our streets. Volunteers also distributed educational fliers to both motorists and cyclists in order to better inform the public on what Sharrows are, what they mean for both cyclists and for motorists and how to use them.

While doing the surveys one recurrent theme came up. Because of a lack of signage, many cyclists and motorists were unaware of the Sharrows and/or did not know how to use them properly. This indicates the importance of appropriate signage and education as a necessary element when incorporating new and innovative bike infrastructure on our streets. Education and signage enhance the benefits of the infrastructure for all users and can take the mystery out of a new road marking.

We would like to thanks all of the wonderful volunteers who came out day after day, on the weekends and early in the morning to help with the test rides and with the counts and surveys. We could not have done this without you!

An Open Letter To LADOT – The Importance of Being Safe

June 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Posted in Bike News | 8 Comments
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LACBC sent this letter to Rita Robinson, LADOT’s General Manager, to continue to stress that LADOT needs to implement correct placement of a bicycle facility, in this case sharrows, to ensure the safety of cyclists.

Rita Robinson
LA Department of Transportation, General Manager
100 S. Main Street, 10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear General Manager Rita Robinson,

We would first off like to thank you for installing LA’s first ever sharrows on our city streets. I know this has been a long process and we are encouraged that LADOT has been making some progress on improving our streets for cyclists.

In an effort to continue moving forward, I’d like to take this opportunity to look at what revisions can be made on the sharrow study and sharrow placement to ensure the safety of cyclists. As this is a study, this offers LADOT, street by street, the perfect opportunity to examine what is working and what is not working to encourage best practices for future sharrows placement on our streets.

On examining the sharrows already placed on Fountain and on 4th street, it is apparent that some issues need to be addressed:

  • When placing the sharrow, each street layout needs to be considered carefully in order that the sharrows are consistent with the goals of ensuring safe and proper lane placement for the cyclist and to avoid the door zone.
    • The width of each travel lane, variation of street width, number of lanes, the presence of double yellow center lines or dashed center lines, and whether or not there is any center line striping at all are important elements that must be examined when considering proper sharrows placement.
  • Sharrows need to be placed in such a way that cyclists can maintain a reasonably straight line of travel, otherwise cyclists are being encouraged to weave in the lane, creating hazardous conditions both for the cyclist and the motorist.
  • According to CA MUTCD code, sharrows must be painted immediately after every intersection. This has not been done on Fountain. Instead, many of the sharrows are placed after red curb zones have ended, often far from the intersection.
  • Sharrow placement needs to take into consideration right/left turn lanes and position a cyclist in the through lane at all times.
  • If a lane is too narrow for both a motorist and cyclist to safely share the lane, sharrows must be placed in such a way that the cyclist is in the safest place possible – the center of the lane.

We would also like to see LADOT make the process, criteria and calculations used to come up with the placement on the current study corridors public. Transparency is essential in creating trust between the city agencies and the cycling community.

We hope that we can continue to work collaboratively on making sure that cyclists’ safety concerns are recognized and accounted for in the planning and engineering of bicycle facilities. This is a first step in the right direction and I am anticipating that we will be seeing much improvement from the initial placement of sharrows on Fountain and 4th Street.

Thank you,

Aurisha Smolarski
Campaign and Communications Director
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

Another Look At Sharrows – And More to Come!

June 17, 2010 at 8:44 am | Posted in Bike News | 8 Comments
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photo by Joe Linton via laecovillage blog

Sharrows have been spotted on Fountain Ave. and now on 4th Street and we are expecting more to come! This is an exciting time for LA and we would like to thank you, our members and cycling community for helping make this happen. You wrote letters, you came to meetings and you supported us through this process. After 5 years of dodging delays we are very happy to see them on on our streets.

We would like to acknowledge the different reactions to the new Los Angeles sharrows. Cyclists who have ridden the sharrows on Fountain Ave. have expressed extreme excitement and feelings of empowerment while others offer criticism on best placement for the sharrow in the lane. What is important to keep in mind is that this is already an improvement on the current conditions, where there are no sharrows at all. LACBC is glad to see that we are moving forward on getting more bicycle facilities on our streets. Based on results from the San Francisco sharrows study, sharrows have a positive impact on motorist and cyclist behavior, positions and safety and encourage more ridership.

We understand the community’s concerns about proper placement of sharrows and we agree that in addition to getting sharrows on our streets the goal is to ensure that best practices are achieved. After contacting multiple bicycle advocacy organizations from different cities that have painted sharrows, LACBC has found that many place their sharrows at 11 or 12 feet and have reported positive reactions from local cyclists. We have also found that some cities paint them in the center of the lane or at 13 to 14 feet from the curb depending on lane width with very positive reactions from the community as well. Most of these cities reported following the guidelines as recommended from the San Francisco study and CAMUTCD code which states that the sharrow marking should be placed at a minimum of 11 ft, but optionally, the distance from the curb may be increased.  

Moving forward, LACBC recommends that LADOT carefully consider alternate placement locations for sharrows depending on the lane width, traffic volume, size of parking lane, and other important factors that determine where they should be placed in order that sharrows are used effectively and appropriately when installed in the future. We also request that LADOT make it clear what the goals of the study are and maintain as much transparency as possible in order to build more trust within the community.

Continue Reading Another Look At Sharrows – And More to Come!…

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