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Archive for the ‘Bicyquality of Life’ Category

Monday commenced Seleta Reynolds’ first week as the new General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. On August 12th, the LADOT Bike Program had the pleasure of sitting down with Ms. Reynolds to discuss a number of topics ranging from commuting, bicycle planning, and direction for the Department moving forward.

General Manager Seleta Reynolds

The Bike Program welcomes LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds to the #bikeLA City family

LADOT Bike Program: What was your commute like today? We understand that you rode your bicycle to work on your first day. Generally, how does your Los Angeles commute compare to your SF commute?

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds:  My Los Angeles commute is already an improvement over my San Francisco commute. I rode my bike in the first day.  Some folks rode in with me to show me the ropes, and helped me navigate the streets. It was totally enjoyable and really a great way to start the first day, to get a little exercise and be out in the morning. Today I rode the bus because after dropping my daughter off at school, it was easy, just hopped on and only took about 20 minutes or so. I can also take Metro’s Red Line from where we live.  Having so many choices is a huge advantage, and the fact one of them involves riding my bike is just fantastic. When I was in the Bay Area living in Berkeley I rode BART into San Francisco. You cannot ride your bike over the Bay Bridge yet, you can only ride over half of it. Now I have more choices and one of them includes bicycling.

LADOT Bike Program: In your experience, are there things Los Angeles can learn from San Francisco when it comes to bicycling? What are some bicycle-related measures from San Francisco that you would like to see implemented here?

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: Every place is different. I worked in San Francisco for three years and before that was a consultant, working all over the U.S. I worked on a bike plan for the Reno Sparks area, and also on a plan in Denver called Denver Moves. Every place has something unique about it. San Francisco is so different from Los Angeles, mainly because the width of the streets are so hyper-constrained and the topography in the city; it really limits the routes you take and everybody wants to be on those routes. There were some really tough projects and really difficult conversations about reallocating space.

San Francisco has a strong commitment to its “Transit First” policy, and a commitment to safety and Vision Zero. I would love to see that rise in Los Angeles, to have that unifying commitment from a policy perspective on all the leadership levels It  will be great  to have bike-sharing in Los Angeles, especially in Downtown, along with more protected bikeways and better intersection treatment, bicycle signals, two-stage left turns- a higher level of consideration. People encounter bad behavior from people on bikes because there is no system set up for you when you’re on a bike. We have treated people on bikes as either fast pedestrians or slow cars when really they are neither of those things. Giving consideration to that system is important to encourage good behavior, and getting along and sharing the road.

LADOT Bike Program: What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for improving walking and bicycling in the City?

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: Short-term I would  like to see us continue to nurture and grow the People St program and  adopt a really strong safety initiative, whether that’s Vision Zero or some other initiative we have for improving safety. I think that is foundational, you have to get that right before you can accomplish more. I would also like to see us continue to shift towards moving goods and people. Thinking about the function of streets and how we can provide a street that is comfortable for the folks who are not currently out there riding or walking, understanding what those people want and need. We need to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to the bike network in particular. Building two miles of high-quality protected bikeways is better than, from my perspective, building 50 miles of five foot wide bike lanes that are just separated from traffic by a stripe. It would be great to  change our attitude when it comes to the design principles we use to approach projects.

LADOT Bike Program: The City of Los Angeles has a massive footprint, do you have a strategy for implementing the Bicycle Plan while managing other Department initiatives?

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: Partnerships are key; working closely with the Bureau of Street Services as they’re repaving streets, working closely with the Department of Water and Power on green streets, and folding our projects into those projects. Partnering with Metro on first and last mile solutions to leverage the huge investments they’re making in extending the rail lines. Also, finding private partners, people who have not traditionally funded transportation and to get them to come to the table to work with us on these kinds of projects is the only way we’re really going to get it done. We have to continue to evolve the way we do outreach in communities in order to get further faster. That is something I am really excited to work on with the Bicycle Outreach Program because the program has learned a lot of lessons about what has worked and what hasn’t worked. We need to make sure we are getting that community buy-off as early as possible so that we don’t get stuck in an endless cycle of back-and-forth, which pulls us away from doing other things.

LADOT Bike Program: What do you see as some of the differences to implementing bicycle infrastructure here as opposed to your work in San Francisco?

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: The strategy here has to lead with complete streets and safety in a strong way. In San Francisco we had a really strong, across the board, commitment to Transit First, and had shifted away from Level of Service or traffic capacity. That’s different here, there is a need to provide a strong balance. Starting with that discussion will be important and a little bit different than what we did in San Francisco. I think the L.A. context will be different from a design perspective, the way we think about the function of the street is going to be different. There is no such thing as a prototypical street in either city. (more…)

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Timeline_Year2

Timeline for Bike Plan’s Second Year Projects. Click image for full .pdf document.

It was four years ago when Los Angeles adopted its Bicycle Plan, an ambitious vision of over 1,600 miles of bikeways crisscrossing the City in a safe and connected network.

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Click image for full “Second Year Implementation Fact Sheet” .pdf

With the forth year of implementation underway, the Bike Program in collaboration with the Department of City Planning is conducting outreach on a number of major bike lane projects currently on the horizon.

In the coming weeks, the City will be hosting roundtable forums to  address concerns and articulate the goals of the projects on a local level. The forums are intended to engage a broad cross-section of the affected constituents, hearing from multiple perspectives, including: local organizations, businesses, residents, bicycle commuters, neighborhood councils, council district offices, and other key stakeholders.

Upon sharing the big picture goals, and listening to diverse community concerns, the City will follow up with an analysis of the potential options. The analysis will include relevant data that highlights the benefits and impacts of each option, which will be informed by the roundtable discussions. Ultimately, the details of each project will reflect a collaborative vision incorporating local needs and citywide policy goals. The design options will be presented at larger public hearings, where a formal staff report will be made available in advance for additional input before final approval.

The projects up for discussion, formally part of the “Second Year” of the Bicycle Plan’s implementation, are:

For context and background on the process, find below the presentation that was given during a webinar on April 17th. The audio recording from the webinar is available as well for your review.

Presentation

Second_Year_Implementation

Click image for a .pdf of the presentation shared during the webinar.

Webinar

For additional information or questions regarding the process or specific projects, please contact David Somers of the Department of City Planning:

David Somers
Tel: (213) 978-3307
Fax: (213) 978-1477

david.somers@lacity.org

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A lot of hard work goes into installing corrals that are safe and durable!

This week, the LADOT Bike Program worked with City crews to install two new Bicycle Corrals, making Los Angeles just a bit more bicycle friendly than it was before. The first corral was installed in the Northeast LA neighborhood of Cypress Park, in front of Antigua Coffee (3400 N Figueroa St, 90065) on the corner of  North Figueroa and Loreto Street. Antigua is a proud partner in our Bicycle Friendly Business program and was quite pleased to see the Corral installed, especially since there are so many neighborhood bike rides that originate at the bike shop next door, Flying Pigeon. Councilmember Gil Cedillo says he is pleased that, “Yancey Quinonez’s vision for that developing business area continues to be realized.”  The Councilmember recognizes that, “The bike corral is a great addition to the southern portion of the Figueroa corridor,” reiterating that a Corral at Antigua Coffee, a focal point in the community, can act as a powerful anchor for business in Cypress Park.

Antigua Coffee’s front door now features our Bicycle Friendly Business window cling! Bicycle Corrals and bicycle parking are integral parts of our Bicycle Friendly Business program.

A couple hours later, City crews finished installing a second Corral in North Hollywood outside of the Laemmle Theater NOHO 7 (5240 Lankershim Blvd, 91601).  This corral will provide much needed bicycle parking near the vibrant and buzzing bicycle and pedestrian hub adjacent to the theater, Television Academy, and shops that have developed around the Metro North Hollywood Station.
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Greg Laemmle of Laemmle Theaters will join Councilmember Paul Krekorian to celebrate the Lankershim Bicycle Corral with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 21, at 2pm in front of the theater.  Councilmember Krekorian says, “North Hollywood just keeps getting better for cyclists and pedestrians. I’m really proud that we teamed up with Greg Laemmle on this new bike corral. Working with business and community partners to improve the quality of life for neighborhood residents and visitors is what the City of Los Angeles does best.” Laemmle Theater will also offer two free bicycle-themed movie screenings, open to the general public that day (see Laemmle Theater’s announcement for additional details)!

Adding to the festivities, the Lankershim Corral celebration coincides with Laemmle Theater’s FIRST EVER  Tour de Laemmle, a 122 mile journey in which theater owner Greg Laemmle will be bicycling to visit all seven Laemmle Theater locations! The Tour de Laemmle is free and open to the public – riders are encouraged to join the route along the way.

Each of the Dero Cyclestall Bicycle Corrals installed today can park 12 bicycles, though we’ve seen some locations overflowing with as many as 18! Their addition to the City’s streets brings the LADOT Bike Program’s total Bicycle Corral count to seven. Together, all the Corral parking combined provide enough parking for 82 bicycles! And more Corrals are on their way!

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The first bicycle to use the North Figueroa Street bike corral

We love to see our Bicycle Corrals in action so if you use any of our Corrals be sure to share pictures with us on our Facebook or Twitter. To see more photos from our installations, check out our flickr albums “Lankershim Blvd Bike Corral Installation” and “Figueroa Bike Corral Installation

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Bicycle Repair Stations unwrangled in Los Angeles!

Bicycle repair enthusiasts! We have posted before about the upcoming rollout of Los Angeles’ very first Bicycle Repair Stations, and after receiving many applications from interested businesses we are excited to say that this morning we installed four locations throughout the city. We’re excited to see this project in the ground and happy to offer this unique opportunity for business owners to encourage bicycling in their community. Bicyclists in L.A. can make use of a Bicycle Repair Station at any one of the following locations:

  • 1731 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles 90041, sponsored by Organix
  • 5125 York Blvd., Los Angeles, 90042, sponsored by The Hermosillo
  • Sunset Triangle Plaza next to 1521 Griffith Park Blvd., sponsored by Pine and Crane
  • 4343 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008, sponsored by Kaos Network
A close up pciture of the tools that each bicycle repair stand will include.

A close up look at the tools available at each bicycle repair station

Thank you to all the community partners who make these repair station possible including our business partners and Council Districts  10, 13, and 14. We couldn’t do this without you!

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A student bicycles through the Safe Moves City.

A student bicycles through the Safe Moves City.

Improving the safety of our bicyclists is a huge priority for LADOT. It’s a driving force behind the work we do at the Bicycle Program and the reason we’re working to install more bike paths, lanes and routes in the city than ever before. However, providing adequate bicycle infrastructure is only one component. To truly create a better cycling environment and see safety improvements, we need to teach current and future bicyclists about safe bicycling practices.

Safe Moves- School Bicycle Safety and Transit Education Program

Currently, LADOT contracts with the Safe Moves program to educate over 175,000 students a year about habits and skills they can adopt to be safer bicyclists. Safe Moves works with students to teach defensive bicycling habits such as making eye contact, checking over one’s shoulder, and being aware when walking and bicycling. An interactive course allows students to bike through a mock city where students are exposed to the same risks posed by a real-life urban cycling environment. Although the course is designed to create a fun experience for the students, it’s also designed to guide each student through traffic issues they could encounter. The mock city course features railroad tracks, cars laving and entering driveways and signalized intersections. Instructors demonstrate where the door zone is, proper signaling techniques and the dangers presented by riding the wrong way against traffic.

In addition to educating students about safe bicycling skills, the Safe Moves program create a social environment where students can feel comfortable asking questions and try out different types of bicycles. Safe Moves strives to create a dialogue about how students currently travel and the alternatives to driving to school.

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Students listen to an instructor before trying out the course. Helmets provided by Safe Moves.

 Bringing Safe Moves to your school

If you’re interested in bringing a Safe Moves workshop to a school, you can contact Safe Moves at their website or you can make a request with your local principal or school administrator. Safe Moves hosts workshops during school hours (usually one per grade level), after-school workshops, community, and weekend events so you can work with Staff to design a workshop that fits your community’s needs.

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Small businesses and bikes blend on N. Figueroa St., Photo courtesy Flying Pigeon LA

We are happy to announce that the City of Los Angeles is working on establishing its first Bicycle Friendly Business District in Northeast Los Angeles.  For the past year, the Bike Program has been developing a Bicycle Friendly Business District (BFBD) program to foster a broad and engaging range of bicycle friendly features in business districts or corridors.

The program aims to provide districts with adequate bicycle facilities including bicycle parking and repair stations, bikeways, creating maps of the bikeway network, installing signage, and facilitating bicycle wayfinding.  By cultivating bicycle friendly business practices in local businesses and developing local business districts to welcome patrons on bicycles, these districts seek to build community, increase physical activity, and make streets less congested while supporting Los Angeles neighborhood businesses.

Bicycle Friendly Business Districts – What are they?

A BFBD is a partnership between the City, neighborhood and business organizations, and local businesses that improves a business district’s Bicycle Friendliness through bicycle infrastructure and local business promotions to people travelling by bicycle.  The district encourages and promotes short, local trips, especially for shopping, dining and recreation.

The BFBD program complements complete streets and traffic calming objectives in order to capture local dollars and further neighborhood development in Los Angeles.  Districts cooperate with the LADOT, the Council Office, and local community partners to implement services already offered free of charge through the LADOT Bike Program.

These services, infrastructure, and other program elements combine with  local investment in bicycle amenities and programs privately funded by neighborhood and business partners.

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Credit: Bruce Chan http://jiachi.tumblr.com/

Credit: Bruce Chan http://jiachi.tumblr.com/

The LADOT Bicycle Program is excited to take part in the Los Angeles Bicycle Commuter Festival & Summit! This day-long event is intended “to entertain, educate and connect the ‘bike curious’ of Los Angeles to the joys of riding bicycles for transportation.” The festival features workshops and information on the basics of biking for transportation, local bicycle advocacy efforts, group rides and all things Bike-L.A. related.

Workshops and panel discussions will provide a platform to exchange ideas and experiences with other bicycle commuters. Visitors are encouraged to learn about new and existing resources to help make their bicycle commute a more enjoyable experience. In addition, there will be a number of cool bike vendors attending, a silent auction of bicycle goodies and a party immediately following the main event.

LADOT Bicycle Program will be at the festival with our usual collection of reflective ankle straps, lights, maps and other information. In addition, LADOT People St will be in attendance to answer questions and explain how residents can help transform Los Angeles’ streets into active, accessible public spaces through the implementation of plazas, parklets, and bike corrals.

The festival takes place Sunday, February 16 from noon to 8 p.m. at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza at 1125 N McCadden Pl, Los Angeles, CA.  Please note that this is a ticketed event; registration is $10 for individuals and $15 for families. See below for full details. Hope to see you there!

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