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.
Bike Parking Ordinance Hearing: March 30th
As covered extensively by LA Streetsblog, LA City Planning has drafted an ordinance to beef up bicycle parking requirements for new developments. Flying Pigeon and LACBC have also spilled virtual ink describing the proposed ordinance, and rightly so; this is an ordinance long overdue for revision, and will hopefully help make LA a more bicycle friendly city. A public hearing is scheduled to take comments on the proposed ordinance this Wednesday, March 30th in City Hall Room 1010 at 1:00 PM.
Currently, only buildings over 10,000 square feet in Commercial or Manufacturing zones are required to provide bicycle parking. Even when a new development in these zones must provide bike parking, the current ordinance only requires bike parking at a rate of 2% of the auto parking required. The new draft ordinance bumps up the minimum requirement for bike parking (between 5-10%, depending on the zoning) and extends the requirement to all new multi-family developments, buildings undergoing major renovations, or buildings undergoing a change in use.
The ordinance also amends the rules around swapping car parking for bike parking, allowing developers to replace up to 10% of their required auto parking spaces with short-term and long-term bike parking spaces. Since bike parking spaces take up less room than an auto parking space (obviously), this can reduce costs for developers and give them incentive to provide as much bicycle parking as possible. This “parking swap” idea was first presented by Josef Bray-Ali in the LA Business Journal, and we’re glad to see it finally make its way into the City’s municipal code.
The ordinance also creates separate requirements for long-term bicycle parking (which would be used by residents or employees, respectively) versus short-term bicycle parking (which would be used by guests and customers, also respectively). Different parking needs for different people in the ordinance demonstrate a highly nuanced understanding of bicyclists’ needs and we applaud City Planning for crafting an outstanding draft ordinance.
As an additional flourish, the ordinance has intentionally vague specifications for what types of bike racks to use (beyond some minimum safety measurements) in order to encourage creativity from developers. Having such broad specifications means that developers could install art racks or innovative new racks without violating the City’s ordinance. The ordinance would also allow businesses to count spaces at a nearby bike corral against their bike parking requirement, which would give businesses incentive to support bike corral projects across the City (making it easier to get them installed than it is today).
If you want to provide public comment on the draft ordinance, try to make it out to City Hall Room 1010 on Wednesday afternoon. If you can’t, you can always email your comments to Tom Rothmann at firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the public record.
(Ed. Note: A big “thank you” to Rye Baerg for all his hard work on the ordinance and for his work with us at the LADOT Bike Blog)
BPIT Meeting (Venice Boulevard and more): April 5th
(Ed. Note: Don’t forget! All the agendas, projects, and notes from previous BPIT meetings are all in one handy location: Our BPIT Page)
If you read the LADOT Bike Blog, even in passing, you’re sure to know what the BPIT is and why it’s so important. Tuesday, April 5th will see the third meeting of the BPIT in City Hall Room 721 at 2:00 PM. As it has been since the first meeting, the BPIT is a publicly-driven process. It’s the people who show up to the BPIT who determine the agenda and set project priorities. If you want new bike lanes in LA, this is the meeting for you.
The agenda for the upcoming BPIT meeting, which was set at the previous BPIT meeting, will cover progress made on 7th Street and discuss extending the current project’s eastern limit from the Figueroa to Main Street in downtown. Expected updates for 7th Street include progress made on street configuration designs from LADOT Bikeways Engineers and progress made on community outreach conducted by Council Member Reyes’ office.
Other projects being brought before the BPIT include a number of other BPIT “Top 10” projects (like Venice Boulevard) and other top priority projects, like extending bike lanes on Sunset Boulevard. Make sure to read the whole agenda here.
The April BPIT meeting also debuts the new BPIT flowchart, which describes how bike infrastructure projects get built. The flowchart is still a living document -meaning that City Planning is still refining and improving their (and our) understanding of the process- and is subject to change. You can download your copy of the flowchart here.
BAC Meeting (Projects, Planning & Advocacy): April 5th
Also on April 5th is the bi-monthly meeting of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee. The BAC meets, as always, at 7:00 PM at Hollywood City Hall on the first Tuesday of every month.
The BAC will be hearing updates on all LADOT Bike Program projects, updates from LAPD’s Sergeant Krumer, the results of City Planning’s public hearing for the bicycle parking ordinance, updates on the BPIT’s progress, the anti-harassment ordinance that recently passed through T-Committee, and many other issues. The various subcommittees to the BAC will also report on their meetings, whose members often work closely with LADOT in monthly meetings to improve bicycle infrastructure projects before they get to the broader public.
If you need a primer in all the issues that concern bicyclists in Los Angeles, the BAC is a great place to start your education. The BAC is in place to represent the needs of all LA’s bicyclists; if you have a need that you feel isn’t being met by the BAC, it is incumbent upon you to attend the meetings and let your BAC representatives know what you think. We’ll also post their April meeting agenda when it becomes available (update: here it is).
And coming early next week, LADOT Bike Blog will post an interview we did with new BAC Chair Jay Slater.
CicLAvia: April 10th
The first CicLAvia of the year kicks off on 4/10/11, with two more scheduled for 7/10/11 and 10/9/11. April’s CicLAvia will mirror the route of last year’s first-ever CicLAvia, though the folks working at CicLAvia are working at expanding the route later this year. As always, CicLAvia is a free, fun, family-friendly event. It’s not a race and it’s not a parade. Just think of it as a 7-mile long park where you can ride your bike, stroll, jog, sit, or play.