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Archive for the ‘Bicycle Advisory Committee’ Category

A few quick notes for the LA bike community on a balmy Thursday:

Metro’s Peak-Hour Bike Ban One Step from Repeal

The Metro Operations Committee this afternoon approved Metro Staff’s recommendations to remove peak-hour restrictions for bicycles.  As we wrote about yesterday, Metro is considering both removing peak-hour restrictions on bikes for all Metro rail lines and removing a few seats in all Metro cars to better accommodate passengers with bicycles, strollers, luggage, and other large items that can sometimes block access to train doorways. The subway lines have already had this work done, but the light rail lines are being considered, as well.

Members of the LACBC, LADOT, the BRU, the BAC, and FAST all spoke in support of removing the restrictions and removing limited seating on trains.  CEO Art Leahy was also extremely supportive of staff’s recommendations to make Metro a truly bicycle-friendly transit system.  Leahy pointed out that removal of 2 seats on a train would create room for “5 standees” per car when trains are at capacity.  Creating more capacity on Metro without increasing operating costs is just another strong argument to add to the list in favor of staff’s recommendations.

One of the Operations Committee members wanted staff to provide a report on the impacts to current Metro riders if ridership levels increase due to more bicyclists riding on Metro.  He worried that current riders wouldn’t be able to get seats during rush hour were ridership to increase due to more bicyclists riding the train.  This seemed to miss the mark a bit for me: Increased ridership should be a boon, not an impact, to Metro; and aren’t bicyclists Metro riders, too?

After discussion between committee members ended, they voted to move the recommendations on to the full Metro Board.  The full board may hear the item as soon as next week, so keep your digital eyes on the LADOT Bike Blog throughout the week for new developments.

City Planning Wins Fitting APA Award for LA Bike Plan

The Los Angeles Section of the American Planners Association (APA) just came out with their 2011 planning awards.  For their work on the 2010 LA Bike Plan, City Planning is receiving the APA “Hard Won Victory Award”.

Two years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Los Angeles having a new bike plan at all, much less the visionary bike plan that has earned admiration and envy across the country.  Much of the reason we have that great bike plan today is due to the tireless efforts of City Planning staff Claire Bowen, Jane Choi, and Jordann Turner.  It was their hard work, their endless optimism, and their tireless coalition building that brought together advocates, the City, and the public around a plan that we can all be proud of.

Though the award is being given to City Planning, it’s my opinion that everyone involved in the bike plan deserves a piece of the APA award.  The process was a “hard won victory” on all sides, and everyone involved should be truly proud of helping make Los Angeles a better place for all.

ULI Hits Long Beach

On the heels of opening their very first set of cycle tracks, Long Beach will play host to the Urban Land Institute – Los Angeles Branch.  The ULI is holding a Mobility Tour and Case Study of Long Beach’s bicycle infrastructure on May 4th.  In addition to the tour, a panel featuring Charlie Gandy, Sumi Gant, Michael Bohn, and Casey Burke will discuss Long Beach’s strategies, implementation, and lessons learned in implementing cutting-edge bicycle infrastructure.  Space is limited, and you can register on ULI’s website.

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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.

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This last Tuesday, folks from LADOT, City Planning, the Mayor’s Office, Council Offices, LACBC, Bikeside, and other concerned bicyclists all piled into City Hall Room 721 for the monthly meeting of the Bike Plan Implementation Team.  If you missed it, you can get the meeting notice and agenda here.

It’s becoming more apparent with each meeting that City Hall Room 721 may not fulfill the needs of the ever-growing BPIT: the 37 people who showed up this month were practically flowing out into the hallway.  It’s encouraging to see that so many members of the public and so many representatives from various parts of the City are committed to making the LA Bike Plan a reality.  Rick Risemberg weighed in with a very uplifting recap of the BPIT at the Flying Pigeon blog.  Dan Rodman, an excellent new writer for Bikeside, gave his own recap of the meeting.

Up on the docket for the BPIT were updates on current LADOT Bikeways projects, progress on 7th Street, the Wilshire Grand project, Sunset Boulevard, getting started on Venice Boulevard, and future program priorities for the City.

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I had the great pleasure last week of getting to speak with Jay Slater, the newly elected Chair of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC).  In February, during the BAC’s previous meeting, the BAC held their bi-annual election and voted in Jay as their new Chair.

The BAC has their next meeting this coming Tuesday night, at 7 PM, at Hollywood City Hall.  As always, BAC meetings are open to the public.  You can read the BAC agenda here, as well as the Bike Program and Bikeways Engineering reports submitted to the BAC.

In the speech he gave prior to the election, Jay emphasized the shortcomings of the BAC in years past and proposed a model of what the BAC needs to become in the future.  Below the fold Jay and I discuss what he plans for the BAC, the importance of getting the new adopted LA Bike Plan done right, his campaign to create a BAC liaison program, and his efforts to raise the profile of the BAC and their online visibility.

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Newly elected LA BAC Chair Jay Slater speaking at the LA Bike Plan adoption celebration last month

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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.
CM Reyes

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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Yesterday at 2:15 PM, the City Council’s Transportation  Committee met to discuss, among other things, a possible Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance.  The draft of the ordinance, released last month to great fanfare, was the result of a motion introduced by Council Member Bill Rosendahl.  The hearing yesterday at the Transportation Committee was the first hurdle on the draft ordinance’s path to becoming law.  It was fitting, then, that the selfsame Council Member Bill Rosendahl sat today as Chair of the Transportation Committee to hear the ordinance which he had introduced.

One step remains for the ordinance to become law

With a few adjustments, the draft ordinance cleared Transportation Committee and is now on it’s way to being agendized for the full City Council.  You can check out the play-by-play at the twitter hashtag #TComm. If adopted by City Council, the ordinance becomes law.
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Last Tuesday morning, bicyclists gathered at City Hall to watch the City Council adopt the LA Bike Plan into the City’s General Plan.  After a little celebrating and some quickly consumed lunch meals, some of those selfsame bicyclists sat down at City Hall to make sure the Bike Plan gets implemented.

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Advocates, LADOT, Planning & City staff working together

In all, 30 people crowded in City Hall Room 721 on Tuesday afternoon for the second meeting of the Bike Plan Implementation Team.  (You can catch earlier coverage of the BPIT meeting at LACBCFlying Pigeon (twice), and Orange 20.) The lead topic for the 2nd BPIT meeting was the proposed bike lanes on 7th Street (don’t forget, we’re still looking for your input on how to build them!).  The group then discussed the process to build new projects and which projects will be on the docket for the next BPIT meeting.

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