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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.

Fact_Sheet_Year2_Page1

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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1st Street Bike Lane

Looking east towards City Hall from the 1st Street bike lane

It has been three months since we announced Nate Baird’s departure from the Bike Program and while Nate is sorely missed, we are pleased share that we now have authority to hire someone to fill his position.

To date, we have received about 50 applications but because the review process has not yet started we will open the application process again for an additional two weeks (closing on July 18th).

A .pdf copy of the job description is available here: Bicycle Program Project Coordinator

Interested candidates should complete a City of Los Angles application and submit with a cover letter and resume to: LADOT Bureau of Personnel Services, 100 S. Main Street, 10th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Note: Those who have already submitted applications need not re-apply. All applications and supporting documents must be received no later than Friday, July 18th. 

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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.
IMG_9006

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!

IMAG1364

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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Karina Macias, LADOT Bike Program Graphics Guru

2014 is a big year for the LADOT Bike Program identity!  For the past 8 months we’ve been blessed with the ultra talented Karina Macias, our pro-bono consultant who designed new Bike Program stickers, spoke cards, and took the Bike Program graphic identity in an entirely new direction.  The Bike Blog took a moment to sit down with this graphics mastermind to get to the bottom of her brilliant design strategy.

Bike Blog: Why #BikeLA?

Karina: “We wanted to encourage a community, within social networking, of people who ride their bicycle in LA. [#BikeLA] would be the easiest way for bicyclists to share their ideas and stories.  This is the Bike Program’s way of identifying with them and building a community around bicycling.”

Bike Program Sticker by Karina Macias

Bike Blog: Why green?

Karina: “Bikes mean money… I mean, green is a comfortable color.  The Spring Street bike lanes are green and it makes bicyclists feel comfortable.”

Bike Blog: What about the spoke cards?  I see there’s a golden ticket…

Karina: “With the City of LA’s growing bikeways network, I felt this was the Bike Program’s way of giving bicyclists a golden ticket to a transportation network, to pedal powered transportation.”

This is your Golden Ticket!

Bike Blog: And the anatomy of a safe bike?

Karina: “That stems from my own ignorance of what a safe and well maintained bike should look like.  I wanted to share with everyone what I researched.”

Anatomy of a Safe Bike

Karina also designed a very handy spoke card that outlines the rules and regulations every Los Angeles bicyclist should know and carry on their bike.  The card includes both State and LA City bicycle laws.

Rules and Regulations Spoke Card side 1

Rules and Regulations Spoke Card side 2

We are so proud of these new promotional materials! Please stop by an outreach event soon to stock up on our fun, informational, and awesomely designed stickers and spoke cards!

And, if you want, you can follow Karina on Twitter! @kmacfromla

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Sharrows on Westholme Dr. in Los Angeles

A pair of sharrows on Westholme Dr. in Los Angeles

We’re excited to announce that LADOT crews will be installing approximately 20 miles of new shared-lane markings — or “sharrows” — in neighborhoods across the city.  Sharrows are intended to supplement the bicycle lane network in Los Angeles by:

  • Providing gap closures in the Class II (Bike Lane) network
  • Enhancing Class III (Bike Route) Bikeways- This includes future BFS facilities
  • Improving bicycling conditions on two-lane roadways with dashed centerlines


Click here to access or download the original spreadsheet

(more…)

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The Bicycle Program has been working on an update to our Bikeways Map on BicycleLA.org. In addition to our regular updates that keep the Bikeways Map accurate as new bikeways are installed, we’ve recently added new features to make the map more user-friendly and informative than ever.

legend1

We’re using new colors to show the different bikeway types.

New Legend and Map Colors: Traditionally, the map has displayed all bikeways in Los Angeles, using different colors to distinguish between paths, lanes, routes, and sharrowed routes. Now, we’ve adjusted the old color scheme to make it easier for readers to distinguish between the different types of bikeways. Bicycle paths are shown in green, bicycle lanes in red, bicycle routes appear blue, sharrowed bicycle routes are a pink-magenta, and bicycle friendly streets are a light blue.

(more…)

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