Bike Plan Update: We Need Your Support for the Bike Plan Thurs Morn @ City Hall!

November 2, 2010 at 8:57 am | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 5 Comments

We need you to turn out and join us this Thursday morning at 8:30am at the City Planning Commission hearing on the bike plan at City Hall, 10th floor to support the bike plan, as the Planning Dept. has really taken the time to listen to cyclists’ concerns and improve. There will be some opposition at the meeting, so we definitely need all of the support you can bring! The Planning Department will be reviewing their report and addressing the concerns of the Planning Commission regarding the plan. This is your opportunity to provide more input and feedback on the plan and support progress on behalf of the actual diversity of people on bicycles in the City of Los Angeles: women, families, low-income folks–those of us to whom getting more bike infrastructure is key to getting more people on bikes and making them feel safe.

Some Background:

Yesterday, LACBC staff met with the LA City Planning staff Claire Bowin, along with Heidi Sickler from the Mayor’s office, and Michelle Mowery to discuss adding a needs based measurement to the “Bicycle Funding Priority Grading System” (Chapter 4 of the draft bike plan, page 81/82). Currently the “Bicycle Funding Priority Grading System” dictates how each street that will get a bike lane or facility is prioritized. It only had considered whether the project was part of the Citywide Network (CBN), Neighborhood Network (NBN), and whether it closed a gap in the existing network.

Low-Income Neighborhoods (Pico-Union Featured Here) Tend to Lack Any Bike Lanes

Our Requests:

LACBC has been requesting that the proposed grading system also take into account the needs of low income and transit dependent communities by adding a weighting system that has an equity criteria.

In our meeting today, we were able to secure a promise from Planning and DOT and work out a system that will create this equity prioritization in providing bicycle infrastructure for the next 5 years!

This would be a higher consideration than even the other criteria, i.e., connecting to existing bike lanes, etc. This has never been done before by the City of LA, much less across the nation. LACBC reached out to advocates and planners across the country and we are the only city besides Seattle pushing the needs of low-income car-free people first.

LACBC provided detailed comments on the draft bicycle plan on October 8th (FinalLACBCCommentLetter_10.7, LACBCRecommendations_10.7). Many of our comments have been included in the update to the plan in the “Matrix of Changes” appendix, which was submitted to the City Planning Commission along with the Planning Dept’s Staff Report. In addition to including a needs based measurement in the grading system for prioritizing projects, LACBC also requested Planning better define “Bicycle Friendly Streets” (BFS) or “bike boulevard” and ensure that no BFS would ever consist solely of new signage installed, but also include other treatments to slow traffic. (In the “Matrix of Changes” appendix Planning updated the text of page 46 in Chapter 3 and better defines a BFS, “They include signage and engineering improvements that ensure that cyclists are prioritized and accommodated as well as raise motorists awareness of the presence of bicyclists.” Planning also include language stating “A Bicycle Friendly Street shall be defined as a local and/or collector street that includes at least two treatments from Section 4 of the Technical Design Handbook,” to Chapter 3, page 46.)

We feel this is a step in the right direction and while we understands that each BFS is different, we are requesting that Planning and DOT update the Technical Design Guide to show further commitment to installing traffic calming measures with all BFS projects.

LACBC also provided comments regarding the first of the five year implementation plans and requested additional streets be added to the plan (FinalImplementationLetter_10.7.10, LACBCStreetPrioritizationList). In regards to the amount of mileage the city is committing to fund and implement in the five-year plans, we requested the city commit to a minimum of 200 miles and this change is reflected in the “Matrix of Changes” in the update to Policy 1.1.2, the text now reads “Identify funding sources to initiate the design, development and construction phases of at least 200 miles of bikeways on the CBN and NBN every five years until complete.”

While no plan is ever perfect and even the most visionary plan can wind up collecting dust on a shelf, we feel the 2010 Draft Plan provides accountability for implementation, something that was not part of the 1996 plan and is often lacking in many of the city’s plans. Through the five-year implementation/funding strategy we have the ability to hold the city accountable and better watchdog the process and progress of the bike plan.

We also realize the bike plan is just one element for getting more bicycle infrastructure on our streets, in addition to the plan we will need to push the city to update the Transportation Element of the General Plan and integrate Complete Street guidelines and standards into our Street Classification System. We need the city to adopt a multi-modal level of service measurement for our streets. Many of these items are integrated into the 2010 Draft Bicycle Plan as policies and are an important reason why we feel the bike plan should be adopted.

Most important to getting more bicycle infrastructure implemented is building political will, leadership, and the support of people who bicycle. We need to work together to make our streets safer and more bike-able so people of ages and abilities; kids, moms, dads, and grandparents will be encouraged to bicycle to meet their daily needs.

Let’s support these key wins!

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  1. Bravo, LACBC. We commend your pragmatic approach and willingness to work with all parties involved.

  2. I think your “pragmatic” approach is a stupid miscalculation (one of many).

    This plan is WORSE that what came before. It holds the city unaccountable for implementing the plan.

    Please, get a clue on this one!

  3. […] the right direction … we are requesting that Planning and DOT … show further commitment” (LACBC) and “I like a lot of what I see in the draft plan, though.” (Biking in […]

  4. We are very excited to see the progress your team has made to secure equity prioritization in bike infrastructure. Thank you for your diligent efforts to improve the bike plan and address this, among the other issues you highlight.

  5. […] Since some of these major concerns were brought to City Staff’s attention as recently as this Monday, Planning had to present the changes as an appendix to the current draft of the plan.  The major […]

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