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New bike lanes have been popping up all over the city, including this one on Eagle Rock Blvd. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock

Why Data Matters For Bikeway Implementation

Over the past two fiscal years, the LADOT Bicycle Program has installed well over a hundred miles of new bike lanes, filling gaps in the city’s bicycle network and enhancing street conditions to make cycling more safe and pleasant. Alongside this effort, the LADOT will also soon be moving forward with highly anticipated bike projects in the city’s first EIR package, marking a huge step forward in the 2010 Bicycle Plan implementation process.

However, great as these accomplishment are, we don’t fully know the impact of bike lane projects and neighborhood bike networks unless we collect data evaluating the impacts of all this new bike infrastructure. How do new bike lanes and road diets affect the number of people bicycling on a street? Do bike lanes improve overall street safety? These are questions we need to answer. Additionally, we don’t know where bike infrastructure is most needed, and has the most potential if we don’t know the popular cycling corridors in the city. Simply put, data collection is incredibly important for evaluating the effectiveness of existing bikeways, and determining how best to advance new bicycle projects.

Since 2009, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) has coordinated – with the help of volunteers – bicycle and pedestrian counts throughout Los Angeles to help measure changes in the level of cycling. The results of the LACBC’s most recent counts, from 2011, observed a tremendous increase in the amount of cycling compared to 2009, particularly on streets that received bike lanes in the time between the two counts. While studies across the nation have demonstrated that building bicycle infrastructure leads to increases in the level of cycling, the LACBC bike counts attach real numbers to actual streets and bike projects in Los Angeles.

How YOU Can Help Future Bikeway Projects

The LACBC is now in the process of coordinating bike counts for 2013. They are scheduled to take place on the 10th and 14th of September, and the LACBC needs your help to put together the most comprehensive and accurate bike counts yet. Because this year’s bike counts will be conducted shortly after over a hundred of new miles have been implemented and with highly anticipated road diets on the horizon, they are especially crucial from a data collection standpoint. The LACBC’s September bike counts will offer an indication of how effective the past fiscal year’s bike lanes have been while offering important “before” data for future bike lane projects.

Ultimately, by simply continuing to count bicycle and pedestrian traffic, the LACBC will be collecting and compiling data the city unfortunately would not otherwise have, while reminding us not to overlook those walking and bicycling on our public streets. All modes of travel matter and deserve to be counted.

Take Action Now

LACBC Bike Count Flyer

LACBC Flyer Promoting the September 2013 Bike Count. Click image for printable version. Image credit: LACBC

If you can, please consider signing up to volunteer for the LACBC’s bike counts. The simple act of collecting accurate data on bicycle and pedestrian usage on our streets will simultaneously help educate Angelenos on the growing popularity of active transportation, evaluate the effectiveness of existing bikeways, and provide valuable data on streets slated for future bikeways.

For more information on the LACBC’s September 2013 bike counts, click here– and to be directly linked to the LACBC bike count volunteer form, click here. For those on facebook, check out the 2013 Bike Count event page.

After you sign up to volunteer, you MUST choose a volunteer orientation session to attend

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The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) Bicycle Program is currently seeking volunteer interns. The LADOT Bicycle Program combines Bikeways Engineering with Bicycle Outreach and Planning to meet the growing public need for bicycle infrastructure and programming. This internship is an exciting opportunity to be involved with the implementation of the newly adopted 2010 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan. In addition to being an active bicyclist, the ideal candidate will be a first year graduate planning student. As there is more than one internship opportunity, interns can play to their strengths by focusing on certain projects within Bicycle Outreach and Planning. Although this will be a volunteer internship, there will be opportunities for paid internships in the future. More details below the fold.

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Join the team and help make Los Angeles a better place to ride a bike!

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(Ed. Note: With the forthcoming release of the LADOT Bike Program SLM (Shared Lane Marking) Study, the LADOT Bike Blog would like to take you back to the summer of 2010 and share with you the methodology of our Sharrow study.  Confused?  Check out our Sharrows 101 post or our Sharrows Page.)

Over three weeks in late May and early June of 2010, LADOT Bike Blog took part in pre-installation studies for the LADOT Shared Lane Marking (Sharrows) Study.  The study documented the interactions between drivers and bicyclists when a bicyclist traveled at the position where Sharrows would later be installed.  At the end of the summer, LADOT Bike Blog again took part in studying the interactions between drivers and bicyclists, this time with Sharrows in place.  It all culminates with the release in the next few days of the LADOT Bicycle Program SLM report.

Newly installed Sharrows on 4th Street

While the LADOT Bike Blog will have another write-up on the results of the report (and what it means for Los Angeles’ streets), we first wanted to give you a look at the goals, the methods, and the standards we used for the Sharrow study.

We don’t just want Sharrows, we want Sharrows the right way.  We’re happy to give you a look at how we got there.

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About this time of the month, the LADOT Bike Blog often posts up the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) – usually taking place on the first Tuesday of the month. Rather than an agenda, however, we’ll instead be discussing a number of changes being made to the BPIT – most notably, the cancellation of the August & September meetings, and the changes that will be put in place for October’s meeting. These changes (among others, detailed below the fold) were made at the behest of members of the bike community & other stakeholders, and should help make the BPIT more productive and equitable.

BPIT March Meeting 012

No August BPIT meeting, and future meetings will be held quarterly

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The Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT), which met this Tuesday, is continuing their work on the “Top 10″ list of priority projects.  In addition to working on bringing bike lanes to 7th Street, the BPIT also began discussions about extending the existing Venice Boulevard bike lanes from their current terminus at Crenshaw Boulevard all the way to Downtown LA.  We’d like to open up that discussion of bike lanes on Venice Boulevard to the public at large.  Your ability to make it down to City Hall at 2:00 PM on a Tuesday shouldn’t impact your ability to help LA implement its Bike Plan and become more bike friendly.

As part of the BPIT’s continued outreach for input on “Top 10″ projects, LADOT Bike Blog last month launched discussions (both on the blog and on Facebook) on how best to build bike lanes on 7th Street.  We’d like to again extend the opportunity to comment on how to build bike lanes on Venice Boulevard. (more…)

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Update: We were just forwarded the BAC’s agenda for their 4/5/11 meeting.  You can download it here.

The start of a new month always heralds plenty of new venues for hearing bike-related issues.  The slate of upcoming meetings and hearings relating to bicycling concerns, however, happens to be particularly robust in the coming two weeks.

  • Wednesday March 30th: City Planning is holding a public hearing for the proposed bicycle parking ordinance.
  • Tuesday April 5th: The Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meets at City Hall for their monthly meeting.
  • Tuesday April 5th: The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) holds their bi-monthly meeting at Hollywood City Hall.
  • Sunday April 10th: The first of three CicLAvias in 2011.
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CM Reyes installing racks at CARECEN; in the near future, a revised bicycle parking ordinance should hit the streets (and inform new developments)

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LADOT Bike Blog had the pleasure of sitting down with Steve Messer, a member of CORBA’s board of directors, on the rainy Wednesday morning before CicLAvia. CORBA, the Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association, is holding their largest fundraiser of the year this weekend On Sunday October 17th CORBA will host the Fat Tire Fest at the Lake Castaic State Recreation Area. We talk with Steve about the Fat Tire Fest, CORBA’s mission and activities, their response to the 2010 LA Bike Plan and more, below the fold.

Come to the Fat Tire Fest this Sunday!

CORBA’s Biggest Fundraiser

CORBA, an all-volunteer organization, uses the annual Fat Tire Fest as their largest fundraiser of the year. The festival itself will also be run entirely by volunteers, donating their time simply for their love of off-road bicycling and their desire to support the good work CORBA does.

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