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It’s a wrap! Bike Week 2015 is officially over… animated bicycling creatures, a spinning wheel of trivia, 25 foot fish skeletons, shamans, BIKE SOCKS and so much more! Thanks Metro and all the LA County partners who worked so hard to put this all together! It was truly unforgettable because Bike Weeks come and go, but the memories stay with us forever. In case your memory’s not as great as ours, or you weren’t able to attend all the events, here’s a quick recap…

This year’s program for Bike Week was jam-packed with fun. Over at the LADOT Bike Program, we made sure not to miss any of the wonderful opportunities to get up and out with Metro and our bicycle partners, propagating bike love across LA throughout the week.

Seleta Reynolds, LADOT General Manager, speaking at Grand Park's Bike Week 2015 Press Conference on Monday.  Image: LADOT Bike Program.

Seleta Reynolds, LADOT General Manager, knocks our socks off at Grand Park’s Bike Week 2015 Press Conference on Monday, May 11. Image: Jose Tchopourian.

MONDAY

LADOT General Manager, Seleta Reynolds, kicked off Bike Week 2015 with a group ride into work. She led a group ride of LADOT employees from Echo Park to LADOT headquarters in Downtown. Next stop: the Bike Week kick off press conference at Grand Park!  The press conference was star-studded with #bikeLA VIPs including Councilmember Paul Krekorian,  Councilmember Jose HuizarMetro’s day 1 on the job new CEO Phil Washington, Metro boardmember and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Caltrans’ District 7 Director Carrie Bowen, LACBC’s Executive Director Tamika ButlerCICLE’s Executive Director Vanessa Gray, Good Samaritan Hospital’s Andy Leeka, and CicLAvia’s Aaron Paley. Also, lots and lots of cameras and media from local news channels.

Later that day, Metro hosted the “Is Bicycling In Your Future?” panel moderated by Frances Anderton, host of KCRW Design and Architecture and daily bicycle commuter.  The panel featured Laura Cornejo, Deputy Executive Officer at Metro; Maria Sipin, Advisory Board Member of Multicultural Communities for Mobility; Tamika Butler, Executive Director of Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition; and Sergeant Mike Flynn, LAPD Central Traffic Division Bicycle Liaison. Panelists explored whether bicycle ridership will increase as viewed through the lens of engineering, enforcement, and encouragement. We did some math on this and… short answer: YES, bicycling is in YOUR future!

Monday night panel held at Caltrans Building. Image: Rubina Ghazarian

Monday night panel at Caltrans Building

TUESDAY

Tuesday opened with the 12th annual Blessing of the Bicycles! As usual the Blessing was at the Downtown adjacent Good Samaritan Hospital, accompanied by a delicious breakfast. During the morning, fallen bicyclists and advocates were recognized. Then religious figures literally bless bicyclists as they ride by, ensuring them a safe passage throughout the year.

The 12th annual Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by the Good Samaritan Hospital saw a large number of participants and a new recipient of the Golden Spoke Award. Image: Joe Linton/Streetblog LA.

The 12th annual Blessing of the Bicycles hosted by the Good Samaritan Hospital saw a large number of participants and a new recipient of the Golden Spoke Award. Image: Joe Linton/Streetblog LA.

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday’s Bike-In Movies defied inclement weather (by LA standards) by attracting a park full of people on two wheels and their fascinating chair-and-blanket contraptions. Danny Gamboa of Ghost Bikes and Metro’s Jack Moreau MC-ed the night. The shorts ranged from animated critters dealing with aggressive cartoon cars to the very solemn stories of families who have lost loved ones and found peace through the Ghost Bikes movement.

Bike-In Movie Night at Marsh Park had a full house, with over 100 people showing up on bikes. Image: East Side Riders BC.

Bike-In Movie Night at Marsh Park had a full house, with over 100 people showing up on bikes. Image: East Side Riders BC.

THURSDAY

Thursday was Bike to Work Day! This event featured hundreds of pit stops across LA County. Our very own LADOT Bike Program’s pit stop hung out with the Caltrans pit stop in front of our headquarters at Main and 1st Street. Commuters came for the freebies and stayed for fun! We offered snacks, information, and other cool bike swag. We had many special pit stop visits including Tamika Butler and Eric Bruins from LACBCFirst 5 LA, former LADOT Bike Program superstar Jon Overman, and a news crew from Biola University.

From left: Elizabeth Gallardo - LADOT Bike Program's Assistant Coordinator and Tamika Butler - LACBC's Executive Director. Image: Karina Macias.

Assistant Bicycle Coordinator Elizabeth Gallardo chillin with LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler

Later that night, creatives from across the region shared their bicycle-themed artwork with LA Metro for the Color Wheels Art Show. The reception was held at the Caltrans Building, coinciding with DTLA Art Walk. Food, music, and prizes, as well as the really cool bicycle art, helped fill the room. If you haven’t yet visited the exhibition, don’t worry, the show will be open all month! One of our favorite pieces was the fish skeleton stuffed with trash found in the LA River (Bicycle Coordinator Rubina Ghazarian not included in the art piece). The piece shows not only that our bike lanes are large enough to accommodate a giant fish towed via bike trailer from Burbank, but that we need to take better care of our streets, rivers, and oceans!

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Bicycle Coordinator Rubina Ghazarian salutes Bike Week from the Color Wheels ghost fish

FRIDAY

Bike Night at Union Station was the BEST! The event was hosted in the Old Ticket Room in Los Angeles’s most historic train station. We don’t want to gloat, but our LADOT Spin-the-Bike-Wheel was pretty cool! The trivia contest was all the rage, with people lining up again and again for an opportunity to prove their #bikeLA cred and win special prizes.

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We were extra proud to see how many young people were winning at the Wheel, exhibiting some serious street knowledge… You go, #bikeLA! Image: Jose Tchopourian.

Most exciting for us though was our opportunity to debut our brand new Bikeways Guides, hot off the presses from the print shop!  We distributed hundreds of our new maps, updating people with the first new guide since 2011!  Bike Night was also full of music, food trucks, a photobooth and sweet prizes for everyone courtesy of Metro and sponsors. Free bike valet and tune-ups services were offered by Fleet Streets. Once again, Bike Night has proven to be the champion of all Bike Week wrap-ups.

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Karina and Ben holding down the fort and thrilling crowds with Spin-the-Bike-Wheel! Image: Jose Tchopourian.

Talking the talk and walking the walk, we want to share what some Angelenos did during the week. A bike ride held by UCLA Urban Planning students and alumni (and former familiar faces from the Bike Program) visited NoHo Arts Districts, Chandler Bike Path, Griffith Park, LA River Bike Path, North Atwater Park, and Golden Road Brewing on Saturday, May 16. Across the City and beyond, many other rides took place during the week. Please share with us what you did during Bike Week in the comment section!

This group of UCLA students and alumni got together and rode from NoHo to Golden Road Brewing on Sat, May 16. Image: Jose Tchopourian.

This group of UCLA students and alumni got together and rode from NoHo to Golden Road Brewing. Image: Jose Tchopourian.

Bike Week hooks you up with the events and people to begin or continue your bike journey! And probably most importantly, it provides you the tools to navigate the streets of Los Angeles by bicycle safely.  Sadly, Bike Week 2015 has ended, but the fun continues because May is Bike Month!

Ride safely and we hope to see you on the road whether it’s Bike Week or not because at LADOT every week is Bike Week!

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In early March, the bronze plaques which were installed to honor Alex Baum, were stolen from the Alex Baum Bridge. We just received news that two of the three plaques have been recovered!

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From left to right, empty slots for re-dedication bronze plaque and 2002 bridge inaugural bronze plaque. Image: Jose Tchopourian

 

Here’s a little history about the man, the legend… The bronze plaques were installed to call attention to Alex Baum’s accomplishments and legacy in supporting bicycling as a mode of transportation and recreation throughout his lifetime. The first pair of bronze plaques were installed at the inauguration of the Baum Bicycle Bridge in 2002. Fast forward to 2012, and as part of a re-dedication of the Baum Bicycle Bridge on its 10th anniversary, the second pair of bronze plaques with biographical information about Mr. Baum were added.

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Re-dedication ceremony of the Alex Bicycle Bridge on its 10th anniversary in 2012. From left to right, Alex Baum and Councilmember Tom LaBonge. Image: Stone Canyon Neighborhood Watch

 

Just around the time City of LA’s longest serving bicycle-advocate Alex Baum (1922-2015) passed away on Sunday, March 1st, the three bronze plaques were reported missing. As you can imagine, our team was saddened to hear the news. A few days after the bronze plaques were stolen, South Coast Recycling contacted the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to report that someone had tried to sell these bronze plaques to their facility. Luckily, the Center was able to recover two out of the three stolen bronze plaques. A third bronze plaque (like the one in the photo below) is still missing. LADP continues to search for the missing plaque. Anyone with information should contact LAPD.

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From left to right, re-dedication bronze plaque currently missing and 2002 bridge inaugural bronze plaque (the only plaque that was not stolen). Image: Jose Tchopourian

 

LADOT staff is currently in the process of installing the two bronze plaques returned to us by our friends at the LA Recycling Center.

Thank you for your support,

LADOT Bike Program

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We know the stereotype that Los Angeles is a car city,  that it’s not safe to bike, and that sometimes those that do bike can find it difficult to do so. It’s why we at the LADOT Bike Program work hard to make our city a friendlier place for people on bicycles and why we’ve always got plans to expand our work. But sometimes there are devastating incidents that remind us of how much more work we have to do, and the many ways that we need to approach bicycle safety. Because bicycling safely in this city doesn’t end with a sharrow or a bike line – it’s also about knowing that if something were to happen to you the law would be on your side.

That’s where Damian Kevitt comes in. Just over a year ago Damian was hit by a car while on his bike on Zoo Drive on the edge of Griffith Park. What could have been a minor accident turned very dangerous when the driver proceeded to flee the scene and entered the 5 freeway with Damian trapped underneath. To this day, the driver’s identity is unknown.

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Damian back on the bike

The seriousness of Damian’s accident is surpassed only by the height of his courage; within months Damian was back on a bike again, not only biking but also running and swimming, joining a community of athletes with similar physical challenges. There is no doubt that it takes a ton of resilience to come back from a collision  like Damian’s; but it wasn’t enough for Damian to ride again on his own.“Too many people are losing their lives or being injured themselves because someone was unwilling to stop and render care….If I can do something that is going to prevent at least one other person then I can walk away from this feeling in some kind of bizarre way that it was worth it, that at least I accomplished something good out of it” he said. Just days after the incident and hours out of one of many surgeries, Damian promised to finish the ride, but not just for himself. Damian became the catalyst for a movement of people in Los Angeles devoted to making the city is a safer place to bike.

Finish The Ride, a joint effort of Damian, LA County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), and Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), is happening on April 27th at 8AM. All proceeds benefit LACBC’s continuing hit-and-run campaigns and CAF.  But as Damian explained, it’s “not that there’s a lack of solutions or even resources [to address hit and runs], there just needs to be enough pressure to make it a priority. Make it enough of an issue that is has to be confronted.”  The more people that come out to support the event, the greater the visibility for the cause. If you can’t ride, you can volunteer.

Sunday, April 27th 8:00 AM. The ride starts at 4810 Sunset Blvd and finishes at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park. Credit: Finish The Ride

Sunday, April 27th 8:00 AM. The ride starts at 4810 Sunset Blvd and finishes at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park. Credit: Finish The Ride

“It’s unfortunate,” Damian said, “that we have to legislate it in order to effect the change, but if that’s the necessary evil in order to prevent people who are unable to make proper moral choices than that is the necessary evil.” You can urge our legislature to increase penalties on hit and run drivers by signing the petition here.

For our part, Councilmember Tom LaBonge has directed LADOT to work on identifying improvements on the Zoo Drive bridge.  LADOT engineers are working with Caltrans to make safety improvements at the location and recently Caltrans re-striped the Zoo Drive bridge by placing double yellow stripes.  Soon we will be installing delineators on top of the lines on the bridge that lead to the south bound entrance of the 5 Freeway, to further discourage drivers from crossing the double yellow lines and prematurely entering the freeway.  Councilmember LaBonge is allocating funds from the CD-4  budget to ensure that the delineators will be installed for Finish the Ride.

Some people probably doubted that Damian would ever recover enough to bike again, just like some people don’t think LA can ever be a biking city. We know otherwise. Join Damian and others on April 27th, to show that Los Angeles really can be a city friendly to bicyclists, and one that is safe and accessible for all. “Being in LA and being outdoors in a very raw way is what bicycling is about wherever you live. The importance is to do that in a way that is safe and fun,” Damian said. “LA has got the fun. We just need to make it safe.”

 

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The Bicycle Program would like to thank all the people who attended Active Streets L.A. last weekend to talk about walking and bicycling in their neighborhoods. Using a large-scale image of the neighborhood’s street network, locals pointed out intersections with difficult crossings and areas that felt uncomfortable for bicycling. The event was a great opportunity to identify existing conditions and key opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian improvements around the Vermont Square Neighborhood. The insightful comments we received will help us plan where traffic calming measures such as roundabouts, bulb-outs and future crosswalk locations will be most effective. We look forward to hearing more greats ideas and comments at the next Active Streets L.A. event!

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A resident uses a sticky note to indicate a difficult crossing on our map of the surrounding neighborhood.

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We received comments from residents of all ages!

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This family rode over on their scooters!

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The event had a great turnout!

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Credit: Bruce Chan http://jiachi.tumblr.com/

Credit: Bruce Chan http://jiachi.tumblr.com/

The LADOT Bicycle Program is excited to take part in the Los Angeles Bicycle Commuter Festival & Summit! This day-long event is intended “to entertain, educate and connect the ‘bike curious’ of Los Angeles to the joys of riding bicycles for transportation.” The festival features workshops and information on the basics of biking for transportation, local bicycle advocacy efforts, group rides and all things Bike-L.A. related.

Workshops and panel discussions will provide a platform to exchange ideas and experiences with other bicycle commuters. Visitors are encouraged to learn about new and existing resources to help make their bicycle commute a more enjoyable experience. In addition, there will be a number of cool bike vendors attending, a silent auction of bicycle goodies and a party immediately following the main event.

LADOT Bicycle Program will be at the festival with our usual collection of reflective ankle straps, lights, maps and other information. In addition, LADOT People St will be in attendance to answer questions and explain how residents can help transform Los Angeles’ streets into active, accessible public spaces through the implementation of plazas, parklets, and bike corrals.

The festival takes place Sunday, February 16 from noon to 8 p.m. at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza at 1125 N McCadden Pl, Los Angeles, CA.  Please note that this is a ticketed event; registration is $10 for individuals and $15 for families. See below for full details. Hope to see you there!

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Back in September, we had our first public meeting with residents of Cheviot Hills and other members of the public about the Northvale segment of the Expo Bicycle Path. The purpose of the meeting was to gather public input from the community before LADOT begins to design the bicycle path. Receiving public input before designing the path allows us to better address the comunity’s concerns about the bicycle path. LADOT’s preliminary design will be communicated at a future public meeting.

About the Northvale portion:

The Northvale segment of the Exposition Bicycle Path will be on the north side of the Expo Light Rail line between Overland Avenue and Motor Avenue, as shown in the image below. This path is being funded and constructed separately from the Expo Line and is projected to open in 2017. Many factors including steep hills, convenience, and cost were considered when locating the bicycle path at this site. This path will not go under the freeway with the Expo Train because the existing tunnel is not wide enough for both. Widening the tunnel would be prohibitively expensive for the project.

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A site plan of the Northvale segment of the Expo Bicycle Path.

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The LADOT Bicycle Program would like to thank the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC)Los Angeles Walks, and all the volunteers who helped with the 2013 Bicycle and Pedestrian Count. The results from your hard work will help us gain a better understanding of bicycling in Los Angeles. Bike count data helps planners to understand where people are bicycling, where infrastructure needs exist, who is bicycling and ultimately, helps us to better accommodate the needs of bicyclists in our community.

About the Bicycle and Pedestrian Count

The Los Angeles Bicycle and Pedestrian Count is a massive data collection effort that collects the number of people bicycling and walking at over 120 locations at 3 different times throughout a one week period. Counts occur during peak travel times from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and again that same day from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. A third count takes place on the following Saturday from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. In 2011, the bike count effort recorded 15,000 bicyclists and 75,000 pedestrians. We’re excited to see the results of this year’s bike count and thankful for all the volunteers who make this effort possible. The LACBC, in partnership with Los Angeles Walks, helps to organize the counts, recruit volunteers and process the results. Check out the results from the 2011 counts in this publication about biking and walking in Los Angeles.

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