Sharing Lessons From Long BeachJanuary 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Bike News, Uncategorized | 38 Comments
Tags: LA County Bike Plan, LA County Department of Public Works, Long Beach, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky
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).
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.