Tags: bikeshare, Mayor Garcetti, Metro, Santa Monica Spoke, West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition
This week, bikeshare is back on the agenda for Los Angeles County. LACBC participated in a meeting at the Westside Cities Council of Governments on Tuesday hosted by Assemblymember Richard Bloom and will be supporting a motion at Metro today by Mayor Garcetti and Directors Yaroslavsky, Knabe, Bonin, and O’Connor to coordinate a countywide bikeshare program. Streetsblog covered these developments on Tuesday. For over a year, LACBC chapters Santa Monica Spoke and the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition have been advocating for bikeshare in their respective communities. As a result of their efforts, Santa Monica stands to lead on the issue with a grant in hand to fund the launch of a system, while entrepreneurs are still seeking to bring privately funded bikeshare to West Hollywood. In the meantime, bikeshare in the City of LA has all but floundered.
In an effort to coordinate local efforts, Metro will now prepare an industry review and business case analysis for bikeshare in L.A. County, potentially resulting in a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select a single countywide vendor. As local cities make progress and Metro decides whether to step into its natural role as a regional transportation agency, LACBC will continue to support whatever process results in a bikeshare system that serves L.A. County’s needs. We believe any system should adhere to the following principles:
- Go Big. Bikeshare works best with concentrated deployments in areas with supportive infrastructure. Clusters of kiosks should be of sufficient density in targeted neighborhoods to enable convenient use, not distributed sparsely across a broad coverage area. Cities installing bikeshare kiosks should also provide adequate on-street bike infrastructure to enable safe bike travel with an emphasis on access to transit.
- Bikeshare is a transit system. A countywide approach should ensure that the transit system is primarily designed to maximize transportation utility. A business case analysis should not deem an unprofitable system as unsuccessful if it meets a distinct transportation need cost-effectively. While advertising will likely be a significant revenue source for any system, it should not be a determining factor in the choice of kiosk locations or communities to be served.
- Equity matters. A transit system also has the expectation of serving diverse populations equitably. The business case analysis must address how a bikeshare system can serve low-income communities in terms of both geographic deployment of kiosks and a fare structure that enables low-income households to participate. While not all communities can be served immediately, the system must be designed to reasonably serve low-income communities as it expands.
- Seamless operation. To ensure countywide integration, a single hardware vendor should be selected so that the customer experience is seamless and all equipment interoperable. Local operators could be chosen for maintenance and rebalancing of the single vendor’s equipment.
- Integrated fare structure. Fare systems should be integrated with other transit accounts such as TAP and Express Lanes for a unified customer experience in paying for multiple transportation options.
LACBC is encouraged by Metro’s involvement in this process. As the county’s transportation agency, Metro will play a key role in funding the infrastructure and education programs that complement bikeshare and are critical to its safe deployment. We look forward to working with Metro and local cities to ensure that these principles are incorporated into bikeshare operations in L.A. County.
Tags: bikes on transit, Metro
Last Thursday, Metro Board Operations Committee approved an amendment to lift the bikes on rail peak hour restrictions and authorize the removal of seats on Light Rail trains (Gold, Blue, Green lines). Now this item heads to the full Metro Board and your support is needed!
You can view the staff report regarding the amendment here. We feel it’s really important for Board Members to hear from folks who ride bicycles and ride transit. Several of the questions asked of Metro staff from Board members at the Operations Committee regarded how seat removal will impact transit riders, failing to realize that people with bicycles are just as much transit riders as people with luggage, baby strollers, or folks with no baggage. The Committee also failed to note that many existing riders already bring their bikes on, instead, framing the debate around projections of new cyclist riders coming on and taking seats from riders without bikes.
As Metro Board meetings can be cumbersome we’re asking for folks to submit support emails and comments to the Board by emailing Michelle Chau at (email@example.com). We’ve drafted a sample letter you can use here: SupportItem22
Also on the agenda on Thursday is a proposal by Santa Monica City Councilmember, SCAG Board member, and Metro Board member Pam O’Conner through the Metro Sustainability Committee to create an Active Transportation Agenda. This Agenda would review and report on existing and develop new Metro policies to encourage walking and bicycling, build capacity for developing countywide Safe Routes to School and Safe Routes to Transit programs, develop partnerships with the public health agencies, among a myriad of other short and long-term strategies. The results of the Agenda would help inform the next Metro Call for Projects and hopefully set a framework for better active transportation projects.
You can view the full Metro Board Meeting agenda here.
We invite all LACBC members to attend and speak on behalf of both of these important steps by Metro, or if you can’t attend, email the Board members at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Metro, Wilshire Blvd.
On Wednesday, February 2nd, LA city council will vote on the fate of the Westside extension of the Wilshire Boulevard Bus Only Lanes. This is our last opportunity to salvage Bus Rapid Transit as a regional connector! Transportation Committee Chair Bill Rosendahl is aiming to cut the 8.7 mile project down to 5.4 miles, eliminating a crucial portion of the route for Westside commuters.
Some Background: MTA’s board has already caved to bus-only lanes opponents in Condo Canyon and exempted the plan from Comstock to Selby Avenue. Now, Brentwood and West LA residents are using this action as leverage to further thwart Bus Rapid Transit in their neighborhoods. After advocating for six years for the Wilshire Bus Only Lanes, Rosendahl is caving to a loud minority who put their narrow interests before the needs of thousands of bus and bicycle commuters who pass through the Westside everyday.
The original Wilshire BOL project, which allows for cyclists to share bus lanes, has proposed to stretch from MacArthur Park to Centinela Avenue. Beverly Hills and the Condo Canyon region are already exempted. If the latest opposition succeeds, the lanes will stop at San Vicente, cutting off efficient bus and bicycle access to Santa Monica, a destination for nearly 100,000 of LA’s daily commuters.
Come to Wednesday’s City Council Meeting and join LACBC at in the fight to keep the Wilshire Bus Only Lanes intact. We urgently ask for all types of community members to voice support for the full implementation of the Bus Only Lanes, especially Westside residents and stakeholders.
The meeting will take place at 10 am on Wednesday, February 2nd at City Hall, located at 200 N. Spring Street. If you can not make the meeting, we urge you to call Council Member Bill Rosendahl’s office at (213) 473-7011.
Voice your demands to protect efficient and sustainable transportation alternatives from the short-sighted and selfish BOL opponents, who prioritize their cars over comprehensive improvements to traffic congestion, air quality and transportation access for bus riders and cyclists in Los Angeles.
Tags: Metro, Wilshire Blvd.
Dear Metro Board of Supervisors:
Today, you voted to exempt the area on Wilshire between Comstock Ave. and Selby Ave. in Westwood, also known as “Condo Canyon” from the Wilshire Bus-Only Lane (BRT) Project. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is writing to express our profound disappointment in your decision today to disregard the needs of tens of thousands of bus riders and cyclists in favor of a small wealthy enclave of residents in Council District 5. Various low-income, environmental, transit user, student, and cyclist community organizations mobilized to support Metro and LADOT’s staff recommendation of moving forward with this project without exemptions. In fact the bulk of today’s comments were in support of the complete project.
Yet it was clear that Supervisor Yaroslavsky and other Board members never intended to approve the EIR as recommended by staff. The Board blatantly opposed the wishes and essentially disrespected the political process by failing to truly acknowledging today’s public comment and the hundreds of letters submitted in support of the staff’s recommendations. Supervisor Yaroslavsky made it clear in his comments today that a minority of affluent drivers’ voices and financial positioning held more influence.
Despite the strong support of LADOT, whose study determined that travel time would only be reduced by 30 seconds (at worst) at intersections not directly in Westwood, the Board showed its pre-determined bias by swaying to the Condo Canyon community and their privately funded “independent study.”
As members of the Metro Board of Directors you should all be committed to upholding Metro’s Mission of being “responsible for the continuous improvement of an efficient and effective transportation system for Los Angeles County” and to uphold the values of sustainability, integrity, and in identifying best practices for continuous improvements. This decision reflects an obvious derailment of your responsibilities as Metro Board Members. By not supporting a complete bus/bike lane throughout the busiest corridor in the nation you are not supporting the best interest of all the taxpayers in LA.
We hope in the future the Metro Board of Directors steps up and demonstrates leadership for our region and prioritizes progressive transportation solutions that benefit those who have to commute without cars–and those who should–via bike, bus, rail, or by foot, instead of maintaining the status quo of dangerous, unhealthy, and auto choked streets.
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Tags: Mayor Villaraigosa, Metro
This Thursday at 9:30 AM, Mayor Villaraigosa will be bringing multiple bike and bikes-on-transit related issues to the Metro Board Meeting. Villaraigosa previously submitted the motion below, titled “Enhanced MTA Bicycle Policies & Programs,” at the MTA’s Executive Management and Audit Committee where it received full committee approval. The motion would direct Metro CEO Art Leahy to complete the following tasks and report back by the December 2010 Board meeting.
LACBC would like to thank Mayor Villaraigosa for his continued support on bicycling issues. We’d also like to see all of the Mayor’s motion supported by the full Metro Board. To that end, your voice is needed to drive home how important all of these issues are, both for cyclists and for the creation of an accessible transit system that meets the needs of its users.
Please come out and give your comments in support of the Mayor’s motion. Public comment cards must be submitted at the start of the meeting so please come a bit early.
See you Thursday Morning at 9:30am!
3rd Floor Metro Board Room
One Gateway Plaza
1. Recommend increased bicycle funding in the 2011 Call for Projects (tentative
goal increasing modal category from 7% to 15%, subject to future MTA Board
Current Transit System
2. Develop a phased plan for the installation of triple bicycle racks on all MTA buses
(estimated cost $1.6 million).
3. Develop a cost estimate, implementation schedule, and possible funding sources
for retrofitting MTA trains for bikes.
4. Propose a Revised Customer Code of Conduct and develop a “How to Ride
Metro” document that helps customers with bicycles and other large belongings,
including luggage, strollers and rolling briefcases, safely board and ride MTA’s
system during peak hours.
5. Identify the feasibility and cost of adding bicycle racks to the back or top of MTA
6. Provide an estimated cost and potential funding source to install improved
bicycle/stroller/luggage wayfinding signage at all rail and bus stations.
7. Incorporate bicycle mode messages in all marketing materials and campaigns
and provide an update on the status of MTA’s Bicycle Safety Advertising
Campaign on buses.
8. Work with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Transit Security Bureau to
summarize crimes on MTA property affecting bicycles and bike facilities and
recommend appropriate measures to improve bicycle security.
Future Transit Projects
9. Include in all future transit station designs stair channels or ramps so that
bicyclists can wheel their bikes safely up and down staircases.
10. Incorporate robust bicycle facilities in all transit project designs (e.g. increase bicycle parking at high demand stations, adjacent bike lanes or bike paths, i.e. Expo and Orange Line) to facilitate first mile/last mile transit access by bike.
Tags: Bike Ban, Metro
At last night’s Operations Subcommittee, a part of Metro’s ongoing Bicycle Roundtable effort, LACBC learned of a step backwards on Metro’s progress towards lifting the peak hour bike ban on all Metro Rail lines. In May, as part of Bike to Work Week, Metro announced that they would begin working to lift the ban on bicycles during peak hour periods on Metro Rail. The ban had been in question since the beginning of Metro’s Bicycle Roundtable proceedings, and historically in the bike community, for several reasons.
But last night we learned that at a recent Metro Management and Audit Committee meeting, a document with text specifically upholding the ban on bicycles, and containing other self-contradicting though consistently anti-bike language, was making its way through the Metro Board processes.
Thankfully, staff from the Mayor’s office and Metro’s Bike Planning department have already begun to move on correcting this inconsistency. LACBC will be immediately working with these groups to make sure that this language is altered to not only uphold Metro’s own promise of lifting the peak hour bike ban, but to hold Metro to its larger commitment of making their organization more bike friendly.
You can read the text of the Management and Audit Committee’s proposal to create Metro’s own Transit Court (a method Metro hopes will increase revenues by avoiding a reliance on County courts to collect fines issued by Metro) which includes language aimed at preventing bicycle use on Metro rail and buses on page 15. Leave any comments you might have on this document and its text and we encourage you to come out to Metro’s next Bicycle Roundtable, scheduled for August 11th.
Tags: Bicycle Kitchen, bike oven, bike wrangler, Bikerowave, Bikery, CCC, CICLE, co-op, LADOT, Metro
Over the last few months, LACBC has partnered with five other bike groups in LA—the Bicycle Kitchen, the Bikerowave, the Bike Oven, the Valley Bikery and C.I.C.L.E., all collectively known as the LA County Cycling Collaborative (CCC)—to finalize a grant awarded to the group by the LA County Department of Health. The funding is coming from the Center for Disease control and was part of Obama’s stimulus plan, aimed at creating jobs and addressing obesity in underserved communities.
Last fall the CCC got together and proposed to create a position we’re now calling the Bike Wrangler. The Wrangler will work with all the major institutions across the County (police departments, universities, Metro, etc.) to recover used bikes and redistribute them to the four member bike collectives of the CCC so that they can continue their mission of getting bikes to people in an inclusive, educational and accessible way. The Wrangler will also work with C.I.C.L.E. to distribute bikes at community workshops they will be teaching through programming funded by the same grant. Throughout all this the Wrangler will also be spreading the word about the CCC and its member groups’ mission of growing and empowering bicyclists throughout the County.
After meetings between the County and the CCC, we’re now ready to move forward in hiring the Bike Wrangler position. Please see the attached Job Description and send a resume and a cover letter to email@example.com. Pass the information on to anyone you know who’s interested as applications will be accepted until Monday June 7th at 5pm.
Tags: Bike to Work Day, clifbars, LACBC, Metro
This morning, LACBC set-up a Bike to Work Day energy station in front of our headquarters at 634 S. Spring Street. We were up bright and early, from 6am-9am. Joining us was Marin from Clifbar, promoting the two mile challenge and our amazing volunteers for the day, Ingrid, David, Lewis, and Ross. Over 50 folks came by and we handed out Clifbars, new Metro Bike Maps (2010 edition), Go Mambo bags and La River Ride info. We had a great time talking to folks about biking and we hope that more and more folks will join in in the future. To biking in Los Angeles- each one of us cyclists and soon-to-be cyclists makes a big difference. Thanks for supporting!
For more photos, click here.
Tags: Metro, US DOT
We had an incredible Friday down at MTA Headquarters, beginning with a great rally and press event of a diverse coalition of partner advocates, a strong presence of bicyclist voices in front of Senator Barbara Boxer and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, and a wonderful afternoon session with Metro’s Doug Failing and the perfect storm of bike advocates. Thanks to everyone who came out to represent the bicycle community here in Los Angeles, to all our transit, livability and labor allies and the two great governmental organizations who made today possible. We’ll have a full update for you early next week and ways we can all build on the experiences and lessons learned today.
Tags: Metro, US DOT
Tomorrow is a big day for bicyclists working with the large organizations that manage our region’s transportation policies and priorities. Both the US DOT and LA County MTA are holding events that LACBC is excited to be a part of. Below you’ll find info we’ve been circulating on both meetings.
The DOT morning event is closed to the public, but a great rally and press event has been put together with other transit and livability advocates that all bicyclists should be a part of. The Metro event had a request for RSVP, so hopefully everyone has done so already. If you can’t make either of these happenings and you have comments or ideas for the USDOT or Metro, email, Tweet, or Facebook them to us all day today and tomorrow morning in person. Oh yeah, and both events will apparently have a free bike valet run by Metro!
The US Department of Transportation, Ray LaHood (Secretary of Transportation), and Senator Barbara Boxer are holding a hearing about their priorities for the National Transportation Bill, which funds all the transportation projects in the U.S. They will only have ONE California-wide meeting and it’s going to be right here in Los Angeles!
Prior to the meeting, along with LACBC, labor, public health, environmental, and transit advocates are holding a rally and press conference. Press conference speakers will discuss opportunities to complete visionary Los Angeles County transportation projects 20 years ahead of schedule and illustrate the critical implications of the next national transportation bill for the future of California. Los Angeles voters have stood up for reforming transportation, and now we need Congress to as well.
We as bicyclists need to take this opportunity to show that we want more funding and prioritization of bicycle, pedestrian and non-auto projects.
After the press conference and rally, the main meeting will begin in the Boardroom of the Los Angeles County MTA. Unfortunately, the meeting is not open to the public, but the LACBC will be collecting comments today and during the rally to make sure that your voices are heard. Please email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us in a rally of support for bicycle prioritization in the next National Transportation Bill!
The Below message from the Bicycle Roundtable’s organizers about says it all.
Metro is convening a series of Bicycle Roundtable meetings in 2010, and we welcome your participation! Doug Failing, Metro’s Executive Director of Highway Programs and Interim Chief Planning Officer, was active in the Caltrans Bicycle Advisory Committee. He will kick-off the first Metro Bicycle Roundtable meeting.
The purpose of the first meeting is to initiate a dialogue and identifyissues of importance to cyclists in Los Angeles County. This will lead to avision for enhancing Metro’s current program. The outcome of the firstmeeting will determine the frequency, next steps, and agendas of futuremeetings.
The first Metro Bicycle Roundtable meeting is scheduled for:
Friday, February 19, 2010
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
One Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Windsor Conference Room, 15th Floor
Sign-in and receive a visitor badge at the 3rd Floor security desk.
Please be on time. This meeting will start promptly at 2:00 pm.
Metro Regional Communications
Directions and Parking Information
Served by: Metro Bus Lines 40, 42, 68, 70, 71, 78, 79, 333, 439, 445, 704,
728, 740, 745, 770, Metro Red, Purple and Gold Lines, Santa Monica Transit
10, Metrolink, and Amtrak
Bicycle parking is in Metro’s parking garage on the P1 level between the
fish tank/customer service center and Metro elevators. Please let Jennifer
Gill know if you plan to ride your bike so we can plan enough bicycle