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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!

Color Wheel

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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Councilmember Felipe Fuentes leads the way

A new stretch of bike path on San Fernando Road is here! Last Thursday morning, Councilmember Felipe Fuentes of the Seventh District, City agencies, and community partners announced the installation of a new bike path on San Fernando Road from Branford Street to Wolfskill Street, opening the bike path for its inaugural ride.

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds joined representatives from Metrolink, Metro and LAPD, along with local families and friends to check out the new installation.  Reynolds says, “This section of the San Fernando Road bike path increases opportunities for people to unplug and spend time with friends and family.  LADOT looks forward to working with our partners, city leaders, and the community to connect this system to the City of Burbank in the near future. ”

Councilmember Fuentes cuts ribbon with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds.

This 2.75-mile segment of the path connects Angelenos to the existing San Fernando Bike Path. This addition is the second phase of the planned bike path that sits adjacent to San Fernando Road. Phase 1, completed in 2011, included 1.75 miles of bike lanes on San Fernando Road from Hubbard Street to Roxford Street.

LADOT Engineer Tina Backstrom says that the bike path is a challenging design, as it involves a lot of coordination and partnership with agencies like Metrolink and Metro.  The long-awaited Phase 2 improvements include lighting, striping, traffic signs, and landscaping. Metrolink also enhanced the safety of the Bike Path project by making railroad and traffic signal improvements. Specifically, the bike path design has taken the opportunity to upgrade all the pedestrian crossings that intersect with the railroad.  Backstrom says, “We’re looking at safety for everyone,” with the new path making things safer for people on bikes, walking, driving, or riding the train. (more…)

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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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Karina Macias, LADOT Bike Program Graphics Guru

2014 is a big year for the LADOT Bike Program identity!  For the past 8 months we’ve been blessed with the ultra talented Karina Macias, our pro-bono consultant who designed new Bike Program stickers, spoke cards, and took the Bike Program graphic identity in an entirely new direction.  The Bike Blog took a moment to sit down with this graphics mastermind to get to the bottom of her brilliant design strategy.

Bike Blog: Why #BikeLA?

Karina: “We wanted to encourage a community, within social networking, of people who ride their bicycle in LA. [#BikeLA] would be the easiest way for bicyclists to share their ideas and stories.  This is the Bike Program’s way of identifying with them and building a community around bicycling.”

Bike Program Sticker by Karina Macias

Bike Blog: Why green?

Karina: “Bikes mean money… I mean, green is a comfortable color.  The Spring Street bike lanes are green and it makes bicyclists feel comfortable.”

Bike Blog: What about the spoke cards?  I see there’s a golden ticket…

Karina: “With the City of LA’s growing bikeways network, I felt this was the Bike Program’s way of giving bicyclists a golden ticket to a transportation network, to pedal powered transportation.”

This is your Golden Ticket!

Bike Blog: And the anatomy of a safe bike?

Karina: “That stems from my own ignorance of what a safe and well maintained bike should look like.  I wanted to share with everyone what I researched.”

Anatomy of a Safe Bike

Karina also designed a very handy spoke card that outlines the rules and regulations every Los Angeles bicyclist should know and carry on their bike.  The card includes both State and LA City bicycle laws.

Rules and Regulations Spoke Card side 1

Rules and Regulations Spoke Card side 2

We are so proud of these new promotional materials! Please stop by an outreach event soon to stock up on our fun, informational, and awesomely designed stickers and spoke cards!

And, if you want, you can follow Karina on Twitter! @kmacfromla

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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!

(more…)

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The 2012 event celebrating our BFC designation!

In 2012, Los Angeles was recognized as a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists. Since then, the League has hired Stephen Clark as a liaison to BFCs to help these communities improve their designation and their bicycle infrastructure.

Stephen will be visiting us in LA this coming Monday, January 13th. Following a preliminary meeting with LADOT staff and a tour of some of our bicycle infrastructure, Stephen will be leading a public meeting to debrief observations from the tour and our progress generally, providing feedback on how LA can improve its BFC designation by focusing on priority actions that will have the greatest impact.

This meeting is scheduled from 4-5:30 pm at 634 S. Spring St.,  in the Edison room on the 1st floor. Please attend if you are available!

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New bike lanes have been popping up all over the city, including this one on Eagle Rock Blvd. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock

Why Data Matters For Bikeway Implementation

Over the past two fiscal years, the LADOT Bicycle Program has installed well over a hundred miles of new bike lanes, filling gaps in the city’s bicycle network and enhancing street conditions to make cycling more safe and pleasant. Alongside this effort, the LADOT will also soon be moving forward with highly anticipated bike projects in the city’s first EIR package, marking a huge step forward in the 2010 Bicycle Plan implementation process.

However, great as these accomplishment are, we don’t fully know the impact of bike lane projects and neighborhood bike networks unless we collect data evaluating the impacts of all this new bike infrastructure. How do new bike lanes and road diets affect the number of people bicycling on a street? Do bike lanes improve overall street safety? These are questions we need to answer. Additionally, we don’t know where bike infrastructure is most needed, and has the most potential if we don’t know the popular cycling corridors in the city. Simply put, data collection is incredibly important for evaluating the effectiveness of existing bikeways, and determining how best to advance new bicycle projects.

Since 2009, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) has coordinated – with the help of volunteers – bicycle and pedestrian counts throughout Los Angeles to help measure changes in the level of cycling. The results of the LACBC’s most recent counts, from 2011, observed a tremendous increase in the amount of cycling compared to 2009, particularly on streets that received bike lanes in the time between the two counts. While studies across the nation have demonstrated that building bicycle infrastructure leads to increases in the level of cycling, the LACBC bike counts attach real numbers to actual streets and bike projects in Los Angeles.

How YOU Can Help Future Bikeway Projects

The LACBC is now in the process of coordinating bike counts for 2013. They are scheduled to take place on the 10th and 14th of September, and the LACBC needs your help to put together the most comprehensive and accurate bike counts yet. Because this year’s bike counts will be conducted shortly after over a hundred of new miles have been implemented and with highly anticipated road diets on the horizon, they are especially crucial from a data collection standpoint. The LACBC’s September bike counts will offer an indication of how effective the past fiscal year’s bike lanes have been while offering important “before” data for future bike lane projects.

Ultimately, by simply continuing to count bicycle and pedestrian traffic, the LACBC will be collecting and compiling data the city unfortunately would not otherwise have, while reminding us not to overlook those walking and bicycling on our public streets. All modes of travel matter and deserve to be counted.

Take Action Now

LACBC Bike Count Flyer

LACBC Flyer Promoting the September 2013 Bike Count. Click image for printable version. Image credit: LACBC

If you can, please consider signing up to volunteer for the LACBC’s bike counts. The simple act of collecting accurate data on bicycle and pedestrian usage on our streets will simultaneously help educate Angelenos on the growing popularity of active transportation, evaluate the effectiveness of existing bikeways, and provide valuable data on streets slated for future bikeways.

For more information on the LACBC’s September 2013 bike counts, click here– and to be directly linked to the LACBC bike count volunteer form, click here. For those on facebook, check out the 2013 Bike Count event page.

After you sign up to volunteer, you MUST choose a volunteer orientation session to attend

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