Sharing Lessons From Long Beach

January 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Bike News, Uncategorized | 15 Comments
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Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal talk to County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky & County Dept. of Public Works leadership

Earlier this month LACBC organized a bike tour of Long Beach with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. The Supervisor invited a team of LA County Department of Public Works (DPW) staff to join him including Deputy Director Pat DeChellis, John Walker, Head of Programs Development, Dean Lehman, Head of Traffic & Lighting Division, Sree Kumar, Head of Design Division and Allan Abramson who works in the Programs Development Division and is responsible for the LA County Bicycle Master Plan. Our goal with this tour was to show the staff of DPW the type of bikeways we want to see in the many unincorporated communities of LA County.

One of the best way for anyone, including engineers, to understand innovative infrastructure treatments is to experience them. And as LACBC members know, Long Beach has become the local leader for innovative bicycle infrastructure projects. The City was a generous host and we were joined on the tour by Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, staff from their traffic engineering department responsible for helping design and implement the many innovative treatments, bike coordinator Allan Crawford and local bike mobility guru Charlie Gandy.

The tour included the protected bike lanes 3rd and Broadway, the Vista Bike Boulevard, the green sharrow lanes on 2nd Street, the beach bike path, and a number of other streets that have recently be upgraded with bike lanes, as well as stop at Bikestation and a few of the Bicycle Friendly Business Districts (BFBDs).

Charlie Gandy explaining to Supervisor Yaroslavsky & county engineers about protected bike lanes

The bike tour was a great opportunity for County engineers to experience the innovative new facilities in Long Beach, but more importantly it enabled them to experience the streets by bicycling, something many of these staffers have not done in years. There was a lot of good dialogue between the County engineers and the Long Beach engineers. Ideas were flowing about bike boulevards and traffic calming ideas. We hope that once the county bike plan  is adopted we’ll see many of the ideas discussed implemented in the many unincorporated communities the county plan covers. Already we’re hearing from DPW staff that they are looking for projects to enhance with some of the traffic calming treatments they saw implemented in Long Beach. As we recently reported, the county bike plan now includes an expanded design guide and language regarding innovative treatments, thanks to the leadership of Supervisor Yaroslavksy. We hope the Supervisor will continue his leadership and take an active role in improving the bike-ability of his district and the county.

In particular, we were excited to bring Supervisor Yaroslavsky on this tour because of his role on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACTMA or Metro) Board. As a Metro board member he is also responsible for deciding how much funding is allocated to active transportation projects through the Metro Call for Projects. The ‘Call’ has provided funding for many of the project Long Beach has implemented or will be implementing in the next five years, including a bike share program they hope to get off the ground in 2012.  We hope that the Supervisor will draw upon this experience and continue to increase the funding allocated to active transportation through the Metro Call for Projects. We have and will continue to encourage the Supervisor to ensure bikeway facilities serve people of all ages, abilities, and experience in LA County as well as make sure bike parking facilities implemented by Metro follow the lead of Long Beach and Santa Monica and account for the future growth of cycling in LA County.

View a video from the tour put together by Supervisor Yaroslavsky office.

A Bittersweet Victory; Celebrating the Life & Work of Mark Bixby

March 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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Mark Bixby. Photo by Charlie Gandy

Last week Long Beach resident, community leader, and bicycle advocate Mark Bixby died in a plane crash. Mark had been a major player in making Long Beach the most bikeable city in the America.

Mark had tirelessly been working to ensure both a separated bicycle and pedestrian path would be implemented on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge.

Just two days before his death port staff presented a new position that will require general contractors bidding for the bridge project to include both separated bicycle and pedestrian paths in their proposals.

According to Dr. Bob Kanter, Environmental Planning director for the Port, “the solicitation package to the design-build team bidders will require their bid include a Class One bike and pedestrian path on the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The bike path is a mandatory requirement. When the bid is received it must include those elements in order to be a responsive bid.”  He also noted, “The coastal trail path…is part of the project…it will be built in addition to the class 1 path.”

The plan is to serve a larger cycling and pedestrian community and create access all around the Port. “We’re elated that the Harbor Commissioners, Port staff and Caltrans have come to understand the importance of including bicycle and pedestrian access on the new bridge,” said Martin Howard, a longtime friend of Bixby’s and a fellow board member of Bikeable Communities, a nonprofit advocacy organization. “You only have one opportunity to build a billion-dollar bridge in a century. And Mark felt passionately that the bridge needed to be constructed to benefit everyone and to connect as many places as possible. He called it, ‘the bridge to everywhere.”

LACBC, along with advocates and professionals from Long Beach and beyond, agree there could be no greater tribute to Mark than to see the bicycle and pedestrian paths on the new Gerald Desmond Bridge or the bridge itself named in Bixby’s honor. “It was Bixby’s vision, passion, negotiating skills, work-ethic and ability to forge a collaborative coalition that took the bike and ped path from concept to a world-class idea that will impact thousands for generations to come,” said Howard. “His leadership and vision on many issues will be sorely missed by many in Long Beach, but in particular, by the cycling community.

Join friends, family, bicyclists, and others in Long Beach for “Mark Bixby: A Celebration of Life” public memorial planned for this Friday, March 25th at 10 a.m. at the base of the peninsula on the bay beach, between Gondola Getaway and the U.S. Sailing Center. Click here for more information.

The Bixby family has set up a memorial webpage for Bixby at Legacy.com.  Click here to visit the memorial webpage.  His family has asked folks to make donations in his honor to the following local charities Mark was involved with: YMCA of Greater Long Beach Camping Services Endowment, Rotary Club of Long Beach Scholarship Foundation, or Children Today.

LA Bike Plan, Figueroa Corridor and Protected Bike Lanes

February 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 4 Comments
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Concept rendering for Figueroa Project

One of the proposed design treatments for Figueroa

In case you missed the news last week – on Monday, January 31st the City of Long Beach began construction on the first physically separated or protected bike lanes in LA County. This week residents of the City of Los Angeles will have the opportunity to weigh in on protected bike lanes and more at a couple of community and City Council Meetings.

This Tuesday and Thursday evenings the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) will be holding community workshops to discuss the My Figueroa Corridor Project. Included in the vision for the project are protected bike lanes on Figueroa and even more progressive visions for how the corridor can be transformed to be oriented more for pedestrian and bicycle mobility and access. We’re excited to see a City of LA street project that incorporates protected bike lanes and really takes a Complete Streets approach.   This could be an incredible opportunity for the City of Los Angeles to begin implementing one of the new policies in the Draft Bike Plan – piloting protected bike lanes.  We encourage folks who live, work, and travel on Fig to learn more about the project and the proposed design ideas.  These workshops will be held on this Tuesday, February 8th and Thursday, February 10th.  More info can be found here.

This Wednesday, February 9th at 2pm, a joint Transportation and PLUM Committee meeting will be held to review the LA Bike Plan and the Five Year Implementation Plan before it heads to full Council for approval in the next week or two. The adoption of the Draft Bike Plan is one of the ways the City of LA can begin moving on protected bike lane projects – as we noted above, piloting protected bike lanes is a policy in the Plan and the Technical Design Handbook (a section of the Plan) further outlines how the city can implement them. With the adoption of the City of LA’s Bike Plan LACBC will be launching campaigns for protected bike lanes on streets such as Figueroa, Main, and Spring in downtown LA – and we welcome your feedback about what other streets would be great for protected bike lanes. With the successful implementation of protected bikes lanes in Long Beach and hopefully in downtown LA in the next year or two – we will be pushing for the implementation of protected bike lanes in communities across the county.

Meeting Info:

Figueroa Workshop meetings:

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 – 6pm to 8pm

Location: FIDM, 919  S Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90015

Date/Time: Thursday,  February 10, 2011 – 4pm to 7pm

Location: Expo Center, Roy A Anderson Recreational Center, Multi Purposes Room, 3980 Bill Robertson Lane,  Los Angeles, CA 90037

Joint Transportation and PLUM Meeting:

Date/Time: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 – 2:00 pm

Location: City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Room 340, Los Angeles, CA 90012



Schwinnmasters Bicycle Club Picnic + Raffle!

June 25, 2008 at 11:49 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | Leave a comment
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Schwinnmasters is a Bicycle Club based in Compton, Ca, which works to promote peace and a healthy way of life through bicycling.

Proceeds from their Raffle at the Picnic will go towards presents for children during the holidays.

WHEN: Saturday, June 28th, 11:00am-6pm
WHERE: Scheer Park
4600 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach,
CA 90805

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