(Updated 10/24/11 with new link)
We hope everyone had a great time at CicLAvia this past Sunday. For some great pictures and coverage of the event, be sure to check out a couple blog posts we especially liked, at Orange 20 and Metro’s The Source. You can also view some of our pictures from the event here. We also hope that everyone got a chance to check out our sharrows, 7th St.. and 4th St posters along the route. Tell us what you thought of them in the comments section below. Now on to the main event!
Last Tuesday (10/4/11) was the first quarterly format Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting. In addition to being longer, BPIT was also housed in a new, bigger, and (as some attendees noted) brighter, more inviting room. The meeting was focused primarily on West L.A. bike lane projects and presentations regarding the five year priorities’ Environmental Package 1. Design proposals for Ave. of the Stars, Westwood Blvd., National Place, Bundry Dr., Centinela Ave., and Overland Ave. were presented. LADOT Bikeways also announced plans for an online facility prioritization survey that will be coming soon, and City Planning gave us a preview of the City’s process for updating the Mobility Element. More on BPIT below the fold.
BPIT PowerPoint presentation
The West L.A. BPIT presentation is available for download here. Please feel free to download the presentation and review the projects in more detail for yourself. As always, you can also view all previous BPIT power point presentations on our BPIT tab, or by clicking here. The most up to date Draft Environmental Priority 1 list is also up for your viewing pleasure on the BPIT page.
West L.A. Projects
The common theme between most of these projects was the need to either remove parking or a vehicle travel lane in order to accommodate bike lanes. Certain corridors had segments (ie. Sepulveda Blvd.: Venice Blvd. to National Blvd. and National Pl.: Overland Ave. to National Blvd.) that could accommodate bike lanes while maintaining the existing configuration. In these segments, we will be moving forward with bike lane installations.
There were serious concerns about parking removal, especially in largely residential areas along Westwood. Also, with regards to the future Westwood Expo station, BPIT attendees expressed concern over how buses and bikes would interact as bus traffic is expected to increase with the opening of the Expo Line. Finally (leaving the best for last) for Avenue of the Stars, DOT is proposing removing a travel lane in each direction (3 to 2), and installing buffered bike lanes.
EIRs for Select Bike Lane Projects
City Planning’s Claire Bowen quickly briefed us on progress related to implementing a number of Priority 1 bike lane projects that are expected to have significant auto traffic impacts, thus requiring an official approval process before they can be implemented. The City has recently conducted a request for bids to help write the Environmental Impact Reports needed to help the City’s decision makers (City Councilmembers and the Mayor) weigh the costs and benefits of implementing bikeways on the selected, prioritized streets. The City received four proposals and has already began conducting interviews. A selection should be made within the coming weeks. The City is pursuing a very aggressive timeline. The scope should be ready before the next BPIT meeting in January.
Taking back the Boulevard
Now here’s a welcomed surprise. Paul Habib with CD 14, announced that the Eagle Rock community is openly seeking a road diet for Colorado Blvd. Through their “Take Back the Boulevard Initiative,” residents hope to:
…make this central corridor through Eagle Rock a safe, sustainable, and vibrant street in order to stimulate economic growth, increase public safety, and enhance economic growth, increase public safety, and enhance community pride and wellness.
Unfortunately, removal of a travel lane for this corridor will very likely have a significant impact on auto traffic, triggering the need to conduct environmental review and roadway reclassification, prior to implementation. However, thanks to the BPIT process, these three miles of Colorado Blvd between Lincoln Ave. and the Glendale City limit have now been added to the Priority 1 environmental package. This means that Eagle Rock residents will be able to lobby their elected City leaders for a safer, more sustainable Colorado Blvd. sooner, rather than later. If successful, this project could set a precedent for the region as an example of vehicle travel lane removal to allow for increased safety and mobility for bicycles and pedestrians. Read more about how Colorado Blvd can be transformed further here.
BPIT offers a platform for public input into Bike Plan implementation. However, not everyone is able to attend BPIT meetings. To remedy this, interns at the LADOT Bike Program, with input from LACBC and others, have been diligently working on a webpage that will allow anyone with access to the internet to vote on which facilities should be implemented next within the five year implementation plan.
BPIT attendees gave great input to the design of the page and we will be incorporating some of their suggestions. We’ll keep you posted.
The Bike Program provided a bit of information on a few projects it’s working on including a new Public Service Announcement in conjunction with the LACBC and spoke cards that will better inform bicyclists of their rights. BPIT members also discussed some programs they think would be useful in helping to educated the public including a High School bicycle education program, sharrow education, partnerships with youth organizations and hiring a neutral facilitator to help work with neighborhood groups as new bike facilities are developed. DOT engineers also stressed that it is critical for advocates and concerned citizens to attend neighborhood council presentations to help show support for projects.
City Planning also gave an update on DOTs efforts to shift to a Multi-Modal LOS. An update to the City’s Transportation Element is being planned, along with a name change to Mobility Element. Public outreach for the project will be conducted in the coming months.
We’d like to know what you all thought of the new format and location. Please leave your comments below to help us improve the BPIT meetings in the future.