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Archive for the ‘Bike Lanes’ Category

In November 2014, the FHWA published the Road Diet Informational Guide to help communities understand roads diets and their numerous benefits to all roadway users. This past month, LADOT was able to participate in a webinar hosted by the FHWA, which acquainted participants with the new guide. The lessons learned can help inform policies and influence design to create safer streets in our neighborhoods.

As a refresher, road diets (also known as roadway reconfigurations, road buffets, road redesigns, etc.)  are a traffic calming measure that reconfigures roadway space to enhance safety and efficiency for all road users. Road diets can calm and reduce traffic speeds on wide arterials and are an effective safety solution to high traffic speeds, which have caused innumerable traffic fatalities nationwide and in Los Angeles. The most popular design, the standard 4 to 3 configuration, often replaces one auto travel lane with two bicycle lanes, one in each direction, and includes a center turn lane for left turns and emergency vehicles.

Diagram depicts how a road diet is configured when converting from a four-lane roadway to a three-lane roadway.

An example of a typical 4:3 road diet design: FHWA Road Diet Informational Guide

Many of Los Angeles’ arterials were designed during the post-highway planning era. These arterials were built with very wide lanes and often to accommodate a larger volume of cars. Wide lanes are unsafe by design for many users of the roadway because they produce an environment that facilitates speeding and unsafe behavior. The road diet design narrows the travel lanes and is predicted to reduce vehicular speeds and therefore reduce collisions and injuries. Additional benefits include improvements in mobility, access, and livability. There are many misconceptions associated with road diets, but much of these have been refuted by studies and research. The AARP created a fact sheet on road diets, based on nationwide research, showing that road diets are good for business. According to the AARP, “Road diets increase and enhance business activity by reducing traffic speeds (which helps motorists notice the shops, eateries and businesses they’re driving alongside) and by accommodating pedestrians and bicyclists (who tend to spend more money at local businesses than drivers do).”

As has been demonstrated by the successful road diets along York Boulevard & Colorado Boulevard, road diets provide many stand alone safety benefits for all, while simultaneously enhancing connectivity for bicyclists. After the 1.3 mile road diet on York Boulevard between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Avenue 54 was installed in 2006, a detailed traffic analysis showed a 23% and 27% reduction in collisions and injuries, respectively, per mile per year. Many bicyclists already ride on arterials because they connect neighborhoods. Adding bicycle lanes increases safety and bolsters connectivity, while providing additional buffers for pedestrians and shortening crossing distances. Bicycle lanes also create a safety-in-numbers effect, an added safety feedback. People on bicycles may also ride more predictably if a space is designated, reducing wrong way riding and dangerous weaving between parked cars and auto traffic.

A total of 51.9 miles of road diets have reshaped the landscape of streets in Los Angeles since the City began implementing them in 1999. However, many new road diet projects were implemented after the adoption of the 2010 Bicycle Plan. It is important to note that road diets are not just meant to serve bicyclists. Discussing the safety impacts of road diets clarifies that road diets equalize the playing field and create safer streets for people walking, bicycling, taking transit, and driving.

sa12_013

The FHWA Road Diets Informational Guide is detailed and thorough, but if you don’t have the time to read through all of it, here’s a quick list of the key safety and operational benefits for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians found in the guide:

  • Decreased number of vehicle travel lanes pedestrians must cross, therefore reducing the multiple-threat crash (when one vehicle stops for a pedestrian in a travel lane on a multi-lane road, but the motorist in the next lane does not, resulting in a collision) for pedestrians
  • Provide room for a pedestrian crossing island
  • Improved safety for people on bicycles by adding bike lanes (such lanes also create a buffer space between pedestrians and vehicles)
  • Provide the opportunity for on-street parking (also a buffer between pedestrians and vehicles)
  • Reduced rear-end and side-swipe crashes for automobiles
  • Improved speed limit compliance and decreased crash severity when vehicular crashes do occur due at lower speeds

With this new information in hand and the FHWA guide in our back pockets, we look forward to working with more neighborhoods to determine where to implement safer roadway design across the City.

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My bicycle route is mainly on neighborhood streets, providing a lower-stress and more pleasant experience.

Jose Tchopourian, LADOT Bike Program.

The Los Angeles region is vast and challenging to navigate by any transportation mode. Some residents, like myself, find it more enjoyable and oftentimes faster to commute using a bicycle alone or in combination with public transit.

Before guiding you through my “hybrid commute”, which combines bicycling and transit, I would like to point you to some helpful resources for making trips by bicycle: bike maps and infrastructure, transit maps and timetables, bike rules of the road, and fun bike rides and education.

Since September, I have been commuting from my home in the NoHo Arts District to class at UCLA’s Urban Planning Department. My trip combines a bike and Metro’s underground Red Line subway. The total commute is 14 miles long and takes about 1 hour door to door.

I start my trip on the Metro Red Line at the North Hollywood station in the direction of Union Station. I ride the train two stops, departing at the Hollywood/Highland station. The train ride takes about 9 minutes. If you are riding Metro Rail with your bike, keep the following in mind: 1) use elevators or stairs to enter and exit stations 2) if the train is full, wait for the next one 3) give priority to passengers in wheelchairs, and 4) stand with your bike in the designated area for bikes, which are clearly identified with a yellow decal adjacent to the car doors.

Holding my bike while riding the Red Line Subway into Hollywood.

Holding my bike while riding the Red Line Subway into Hollywood.

The second part of my commute, an 8-mile bicycle ride, takes about 45 minutes and allows me to experience the sights and sounds of multiple neighborhoods.It is important to follow the rules of the road while operating a bicycle. Obey all traffic signals and stop signs, yield to pedestrians, and use lights to be visible at night. I find that riding predictably and communicating with other road users makes my ride safer.

The route I have selected avoids steep mountainous terrain. Instead, I experience slight inclines during my trip. In addition to elevation, I also consider the type of streets I will be using to get to my destination. Eight years of using a bicycle for moving through Los Angeles have taught me that safety comes first. Even if riding on arterial streets might bring me to my destination a few minutes earlier, I prefer to trade time saving for the lower-stress experience of riding on residential and neighborhood streets. When I do ride on arterial streets, I pick those that have bike facilities on them.

Here is my route. If you see me on the road, say hello!

If you would like to share your favorite route, send it to bike.program@lacity.org.

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Timeline_Year2

Timeline for Bike Plan’s Second Year Projects. Click image for full .pdf document.

It was four years ago when Los Angeles adopted its Bicycle Plan, an ambitious vision of over 1,600 miles of bikeways crisscrossing the City in a safe and connected network.

Fact_Sheet_Year2_Page1

Click image for full “Second Year Implementation Fact Sheet” .pdf

With the forth year of implementation underway, the Bike Program in collaboration with the Department of City Planning is conducting outreach on a number of major bike lane projects currently on the horizon.

In the coming weeks, the City will be hosting roundtable forums to  address concerns and articulate the goals of the projects on a local level. The forums are intended to engage a broad cross-section of the affected constituents, hearing from multiple perspectives, including: local organizations, businesses, residents, bicycle commuters, neighborhood councils, council district offices, and other key stakeholders.

Upon sharing the big picture goals, and listening to diverse community concerns, the City will follow up with an analysis of the potential options. The analysis will include relevant data that highlights the benefits and impacts of each option, which will be informed by the roundtable discussions. Ultimately, the details of each project will reflect a collaborative vision incorporating local needs and citywide policy goals. The design options will be presented at larger public hearings, where a formal staff report will be made available in advance for additional input before final approval.

The projects up for discussion, formally part of the “Second Year” of the Bicycle Plan’s implementation, are:

For context and background on the process, find below the presentation that was given during a webinar on April 17th. The audio recording from the webinar is available as well for your review.

Presentation

Second_Year_Implementation

Click image for a .pdf of the presentation shared during the webinar.

Webinar

For additional information or questions regarding the process or specific projects, please contact David Somers of the Department of City Planning:

David Somers
Tel: (213) 978-3307
Fax: (213) 978-1477

david.somers@lacity.org

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Small businesses and bikes blend on N. Figueroa St., Photo courtesy Flying Pigeon LA

We are happy to announce that the City of Los Angeles is working on establishing its first Bicycle Friendly Business District in Northeast Los Angeles.  For the past year, the Bike Program has been developing a Bicycle Friendly Business District (BFBD) program to foster a broad and engaging range of bicycle friendly features in business districts or corridors.

The program aims to provide districts with adequate bicycle facilities including bicycle parking and repair stations, bikeways, creating maps of the bikeway network, installing signage, and facilitating bicycle wayfinding.  By cultivating bicycle friendly business practices in local businesses and developing local business districts to welcome patrons on bicycles, these districts seek to build community, increase physical activity, and make streets less congested while supporting Los Angeles neighborhood businesses.

Bicycle Friendly Business Districts – What are they?

A BFBD is a partnership between the City, neighborhood and business organizations, and local businesses that improves a business district’s Bicycle Friendliness through bicycle infrastructure and local business promotions to people travelling by bicycle.  The district encourages and promotes short, local trips, especially for shopping, dining and recreation.

The BFBD program complements complete streets and traffic calming objectives in order to capture local dollars and further neighborhood development in Los Angeles.  Districts cooperate with the LADOT, the Council Office, and local community partners to implement services already offered free of charge through the LADOT Bike Program.

These services, infrastructure, and other program elements combine with  local investment in bicycle amenities and programs privately funded by neighborhood and business partners.

(more…)

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Virgil Village bike lane dedication

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell speaks about the economic and safety benefits of the new Virgil Avenue bicycle lanes.

New bicycle lanes have been installed on Virgil Avenue in East Hollywood. The bicycle lanes stretch from Santa Monica Blvd. to Melrose Ave. and were installed in conjunction with new pavement and crosswalk striping at intersections. Over this past weekend, Council Member Mitch O’ Farrell hosted a small ceremony in Virgil Village to celebrate the neighborhood’s latest bicycle lane project. Before leading a group of residents to test ride the new lanes, the council member gave a small speech acknowledging the economic and safety benefits of the new lanes, as quoted by L.A. Streetsblog yesterday: “…we implemented a solution that makes for a better pedestrian environment and that encourages small business growth along this blossoming commercial corridor”.  For more photos of the event, check out our Flickr page. (more…)

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LADOT is pleased to release the cumulative list of Year 2 planned bicycle lanes. See the list below for the street name, council district and the respective mileage and limits of each project.


Click here to access or download the original spreadsheet (Revised 1/23/14 to include spreadsheet link)

This Year 2 list contains the next 40 miles of bicycle lanes prioritized for installation.  Each project is part of an ongoing effort to strategically close gaps in our bikeway network by connecting new infrastructure to existing bicycle paths, lanes and routes in Los Angeles.  A number of these projects are funded through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

Moving forward, LADOT will begin traffic and safety assessments for the Year 2 projects. Results from this analysis will be made available in a public report.  Upon completion of Traffic and Safety Assessments, LADOT and the Department of City Planning will hold a series of public hearings to disclose the analysis and give interested groups an opportunity to express their support or concern over the proposed bicycle lanes.

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2nd st pre marking under the 110 freeway

2nd St. bike lanes are on their way!

Downtown Los Angeles is getting better and better for bicycling. In addition to the recently implemented 7th St. bike lanes, we’re happy to announce that new lanes are being installed on 2nd St., this weekend. Work crews have already begun the process of removing the existing striping from the street. The next step will include installing new thermoplastic striping atop the mark out paint seen in the photos above and below. The new bicycle lanes will feature buffers (from Broadway to Figueroa) and will be installed from North Spring Street through the 2nd St. tunnel (which we know many are very excited about!) through to Glendale Blvd.  (more…)

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