Over here at the Bike Blog, we will not leave any corner unturned! We’re back with the Engineer’s Corner and our next visit is to the princely desk of Steve Gaur, Bikeways Engineer and our Main Man for Bicycle Corrals. Sadly for us, Steve has been promoted to another division, so we wanted to make sure we get the inside scoop before he embarks on his next career adventure.
Steve says, “Just because you’re an engineer, doesn’t mean you’re a shining star.” Well Steve, let’s see what makes you shiny.
Bikeways Engineer Steve Gaur manning the plan with Asst Bicycle Coordinator Elizabeth Gallardo at the Figueroa Corral installation, June 2014
LADOT Bike Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Steve Gaur: I’m Steve Gaur, I’m a Bikeways Engineer, part of Active Transportation Division. I have a degree in Civil Engineering. I was born and raised in LA. I live in Porter Ranch and I’ve been living here (in the valley) my entire life… I grew up here, went to school here at Cal State Northridge, never left. I obviously really love LA!
What is it like getting to work? Please describe your commute.
I started taking the Commuter Express since day one, when I was hired in 2001. I knew getting to work was going to be the most difficult part of the job based on how far away I lived, but I had learned that LADOT provides this amazing transit service, just a couple miles from my house. Every day I drive 5 miles to the bus stop in Chatsworth and then commute on the bus 35 miles Downtown, where it drops me a few blocks from work.
So how and why did you become an engineer?
I became an engineer because like most engineers, my strong point was math. My dad was an engineer for the County, which influenced me not only to pursue a career as an engineer, but to pursue a career in government. I graduated with a Bachelors from CSUN with an option in Civil. I didn’t focus on transportation in school because they didn’t offer many courses in it. In Civil Engineering, I concentrated on structural engineering, which landed me an internship at a private firm that focused on land development. At the same time, I did an on-campus interview with LADOT.
How long have you worked at LADOT and in which divisions?
I started with LADOT in 2001, so I’ve been here 14 years. I was in Geometric Design for the first 9 years and then spent a year in West Valley District Operations, before I came to Bikeways about 4 years ago.
What do your day-to-day duties consist of?
My day to day varies a lot. I work on bike path design, manage bike path projects… Since there are not many designers in our section, I take it upon myself to design- lanes, paths, and more recently bicycle corrals. I’ve designed almost all of the corral locations in the city. I coordinate with different sections and groups, perform feasibility studies for bike lanes… The list goes on- I work with Metro on different phases of federally funded projects, do field checks, site visits. And that is just a start,there’s a lot more to add!
You’ve been in bikeways a while now, what do you see as the most significant shift in how we design bikeways since you’ve been here?
There’s been a big shift since I’ve been working in the section just in four years… Before, when we were designing bike lanes, we had design standards which were strictly adhered to. Now, we have many more bicycle facility design resources like the NACTO Bikeways Design Guide, which has allowed us to experiment more. We now think outside the box and experiment with our pilot projects. In the past our upper management was old school. Today we are more flexible and open minded about exploring all the possibilities. (more…)
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