First Tuesdays can be busy! In addition to the monthly Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting in the afternoon, the day also featured the bi-monthly Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting in the evening. It was the first full meeting as BAC Chair for Jay Slater and featured a brand new BAC member, as well.
Jennifer Gill, who manages outreach efforts for the Metro Bicycle Roundtable meetings, was present for her first meeting as the new BAC representative for CD 1. Council Member Ed Reyes, long known for his strong support of bicycling, made a great decision in appointing such a capable and progressive supporter of bicycling. We wish Jennifer the best in her new role on the BAC and hope that she can bring new energy, ideas, and gravitas to the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee.
Tuesday’s meeting was well attended by both BAC members and members of the public. Fourteen out of the 19 sitting BAC members were in attendance. And 15 other individuals – including Alexis Lantz of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Don Ward of SafeStreetsNorthridge and Midnight Ridazz fame – made the trip to 6501 Fountain Avenue (Google map it).
Below the fold, we’ll get into highlights of the meeting: an update from Sergeant Krumer, discussion of the LA County Bike Plan, more specifics on the BAC Liaison Program, the BAC’s future website, an update on City Planning’s Bike Parking Ordinance, and the effort to bring a universal bicycle registry to Southern California.
Update from Sergeant Krumer
First up was the estimable Sergeant Krumer giving his customary update on behalf of LAPD:
- The investigation of the Critical Mass incident in early 2010 where an officer was witnessed kicking a bicyclist will soon be completed. While Sergeant Krumer couldn’t speak on record about the investigation, he did say that some allegations couldn’t be substantiated and some could.
- LAPD will prioritize enforcement along the backbone network in the near future.
- LAPD will make the minutes from their task force meetings available online.
- The results of recent bike lane enforcement along Wilbur Ave will soon be available.
Metro Update: Jennifer Gill
Jennifer Gill, in her introductory remarks as the newest BAC member, gave a quick update on bike projects at Metro.
- Metro is getting closer to potentially standardizing stairway channels for bicycles in new Metro stations.
- Metro will soon have bike parking requirements for future Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) at Metro stations.
- Metro is working on making bike stations easier to install at Metro stations.
- Notices and changes for Metro’s bicycle policies and for Metro’s Bicycle Roundtables are available on the bike section of the Metro website. If you subscribe to their RSS feed, you will be updated by email any time a change is made to the Metro Bikes page.
County Bike Plan
Next was an update on LA County’s efforts to craft a new bike plan. It was noted by the BAC that County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has been the driving force behind the County completing the new bike plan.
The new plan will have the potential to create a lot of bicycle infrastructure connections in the Santa Monica Mountains and to the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) as well as South LA and other unincorporated areas of LA County. The BAC members discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the plan, and urged people to comment on the plan to push it in the right direction.
This was the heart of the BAC meeting. As mentioned in our interview with Jay Slater, the BAC Liaison Program is meant to embed BAC members with different agencies and organizations so the BAC can have a more direct and effective impact on bike projects in the future. A big kudos goes out to new BAC Chair Jay Slater; his efforts secured the approvals and contacts amongst the 11 liaison organizations. The liaison positions so far are:
- LADOT Director – Jay Slater will take on the liaison position of working with LADOT interim General Manager Amir Sedadi. Jay was very complimentary of Amir and was optimistic about the relationship they had already forged.
- LADOT Bike Program – Kent Strumpell will be a liaison to LADOT Bike Program Senior Coordinator Michelle Mowery. Glenn Bailey suggested that a second liaison position be created to work with LADOT Bikeways engineer Paul Meshkin.
- City Planning Department – Jonathan Weiss will be a liaison to City Planning with Claire Bowen as his primary contact.
- Bureau of Street Services – Aubrey Provost offered to be the liaison to the BSS.
- LAPD – Glenn Bailey, who already works closely with the LAPD bicyclist task force, will take the liaison position for the BAC. Jeff Jacobberger will be a second liaison to LAPD to support Glenn.
- Sheriff’s Department – Jennifer Gill volunteered to work with the Sheriff’s Department. Because LA County Sheriffs patrol Metro, Jennifer already has some familiarity with their organization.
- Metro – Jennifer Gill also took on the liaison position for Metro, with the Metro Bike Program’s Lynne Goldsmith as her contact. This made sense, as Jennifer already works at Metro.
- Caltrans District 7 – Aubrey Provost will take this liaison position.
- LACBC – David Wolfberg will serve as the LACBC liaison, with Jennifer Klausner as his contact. There was also discussion about bringing on a second liaison for the LACBC, due to their wide-ranging work.
- Mayor’s Office – Jeff Jacobberger will serve as the liaison to the Mayor’s Office, with John Brady in the Mayor’s Office of Transportation as his contact.
- City Committees – Jay Slater and Jeff Jacobberger are taking on the city’s committees, which will include the PLUM Committee, T-Committee, and the Public Safety Committee.
- Building & Safety – Ron Skarin will be the liaison to the Department of Building and Safety, as he used to work there and has great familiarity with the department.
- Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) – Jay Slater and Jeff Jacobberger will be permanent liaisons to the BPIT, but additional BAC members may be included if new projects brought to the BPIT are in their districts.
There was discussion afterward about creating additional liaisons, especially with Recreation & Parks, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and a liaison to the bike co-ops of greater Los Angeles.
BAC Chair Jay Slater touted the increased level of access the liaison program will provide. As an example, he cited a trip he took that morning with BAC member Brian Frobisher to Council Member Jose Huizar’s office. There, they spoke with the Council Member about extending the York Boulevard bike lanes to Figueroa Street and installing bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard from Eagle Rock Boulevard to Figueroa Street as part of a multi-pronged traffic calming effort. Jay also referenced a productive meeting he had with Council Member Tom LaBonge about ensuring river access along the NBC/Universal project.
Jay Slater announced the beginning of work on a new website for the BAC. Two BAC members versed in computer programming will soon launch a site to host the minutes and agendas of BAC meetings, subcommittee meetings, and meetings with liaison contacts. The site will also be fully linked to City resources and the various contacts throughout the bicycle community.
Reseda Bike Lanes
As part of reviewing the Bikeways and Bike Program reports, the BAC came upon the subject of the bike lanes project on Reseda Boulevard from Roscoe Boulevard to Parthenia Street. The project had been presented to the Northridge South NC and was unanimously approved, though it still needs vetting by the business community on Reseda before it receives approval from the council office. The BAC has already made contacts with the local Chamber of Commerce and voted unanimously on a motion to support the implementation of this stretch of bike lanes on Reseda.
Bike Parking Ordinance Update
Rye Baerg was on hand at the BAC meeting to give an update on City Planning’s draft of the Bicycle Parking Ordinance. Planning recently held a hearing to take public comment on the ordinance, and planning is still taking comments on the ordinance until April 18th. You can still submit your comments via email to Tom Rothman. The ordinance itself is scheduled be heard before the Planning Commission on April 28th.
Last was Ted Rogers, the dedicated writer of Biking In LA, who came to the BAC to speak about the Bike Revolution bicycle registry system. Ever since the City of LA dropped their requirement to register bicycles, a gap has opened up in being able to report and recover stolen bikes. If bicyclists in LA were to register with Bicycle Revolution (which is free to use), stolen bikes could be tracked across state and national boundaries. Because the Bike Revolution system isn’t tied to any one city, it could become a regional bicycle registration system. Long Beach and Santa Monica will both soon be dropping their registration requirement, making a regional registration system even more of a possibility. At the very least, you should make sure to write down your bike’s serial number and file it away with all your important documents.
The BAC meets next on June 6th. LADOT Bike Blog will be there to cover it.