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Reseda Goes Green

Reseda Rollout!

As you may have been following, Reseda Boulevard, one of the Mayor’s 15 Great Streets, is getting some BIG upgrades! In a series of phased installations of marking, striping, and K-71 reflective bollards that constitute a very excitingly reconfigured street, last night, LADOT crews began putting in the some of the finishing touches – the frosting on the cake, if you will – with a splash of green!

Reseda Boulevard between Gresham and Rayen got a new layer of thermoplastic last night! #freshkermit

These upgrades to safety and efficiency are on Reseda, between Plummer and Parthenia. The segment is the business corridor and the heart of the Northridge neighborhood. In addition to the City’s first parking-protected cycletrack, upgrades include new continental crosswalks, street furniture and a funky new sidewalk pattern to reflect the mid-century flagstone facades unique to the corridor!

LA MAS Project Manager, Stacey Rigley putting in the final bolts for the mid-century modern-inspired street furniture

Phase 1, the segment on the east side of Reseda Blvd between Rayen and Gresham, will be officially unveiled this Saturday, April 11th. A community workshop for Phase 2, which includes both sides of the street between Nordhoff and Gresham, will be held following the unveiling on Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm at Benjamin Moore Catalina Paints (more details here). Phase 2 upgrades will be installed from April to June, culminating in a final community event this summer.

To create a safer environment in the portions of the cycletrack where people on bikes will interact with people in cars, the design called for highlighting the conflict zones with green. These locations include driveways, bus stops, and right turn pockets.

A graphic illustrating how the green will highlight conflict zones

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Survey! (and Prizes!)

The Bike Program is excited to share a survey on behalf of our friends at the Coro Program. A couple of the fellows are conducting research into Angelenos’ attitudes towards various modes of transportation in their city. The survey is quick and will provide some fantastic insights for their research. If you have the time, please fill it out. But more importantly, please share with your friends so they can reach a wide audience. We hear there may even be prizes for randomly selected participants! Read more from Ellen and Nella below…

 

Hello!

We’re conducting a study as part of our fellowship to better understand attitudes toward sharing the streets in Los Angeles.

We are interested in responses from all walks of life. Whether you ride a bike, drive a car, walk, use transit, skateboard or scoot, we want to hear from you. It would greatly help our research if you could take the survey yourself, and also share the link with your extended networks in Los Angeles.

The survey takes about 10 minutes, and respondents can be entered in a raffle for a chance to win one of our prizes.

Thanks for your help!

Ellen Riotto and Nella McOsker, Southern California Coro Fellows

 

Coro Fellows Ellen and Nella

 

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Rosemead Boulevard: the Complete Street features a cycletrack buffered by landscaped medians

It seems like cycletracks are all the rage these days on the LADOT Bike Blog.  We love the idea of the low-stress bicycle riding experience these facilities provide and are learning as much as we can about them as we prepare to install them in Los Angeles!

Last week we had the pleasure of convening a City of Los Angeles coalition to visit Temple City’s Rosemead Boulevard, a complete street that includes a fully constructed and landscaped cycletrack. The trip was organized by our very own Bicycle Coordinator, Rubina Ghazarian. The Active Transportation Division Outreach and Engineering staff were accompanied by our colleagues from the the Great Streets Studio and the Bureau of Street Services to learn about the outreach, design, construction, and maintenance of the new Rosemead Boulevard.

Temple City welcomes Bureau of Street Services engineers, Great Streets Staff, and the LADOT Active Transportation Division

The Temple City segment of Rosemead Boulevard, CA State Route 19, has undergone dramatic change in its use and form since being relinquished by Caltrans to the local municipality in 2008. State Routes, traditionally managed by the state department of transportation, Caltrans, are state highways and typically carry high volumes of cars at high speeds.  Some of these routes are formalized into spaces exclusively for cars, like freeways, while others remain woven through our residential and commercial corridors.  When Temple City began to consider options for improving the route to better serve local residents, they recognized the dynamic community development potential resting in the relatively large roadway.

Temple City Mayor, Carl Blum, a retired LA County civil engineer, saw the transfer of Rosemead as a once in a lifetime opportunity, with the understanding that major roads only get a shot at redesign once every 50 years.  He set the project aspirations high, envisioning a Complete Street that would work with the street they already had, to serve users of all modes and abilities.  Blum says that in pursuing such an ambitious project, Temple City is “planning for the future.” He understands the long trajectory of the project and that its full potential will only be realized later.

Our visitor package provided a living picture of the Rosemead project and its connection to the community

After many community meetings and design charrettes, the new Rosemead Boulevard plans grew to include landscaping, bike parking, sidewalks, pedestrian scale lighting, public art, and rubberized asphalt, which would minimize the noise of the large arterial.  With the new Rosemead, residents received universal ADA compliance, new and improved gutters, and over 100 new trees that will grow to create a living canopy for the neighborhood, reducing the heat island effect and cultivating a sense of place for the corridor.

Temple City cycletrack includes pedestrian scale lighting and a cement bicycle lane buffered by parking stalls and landscaped medians

Our visit proved very educational, providing an on-the-ground example of a Complete Street.  With the pending adoption of Mobility Plan 2035, we may see more projects in Los Angeles that fulfill the Complete Streets objectives of facilitating travel for people of all ages and modes.

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Welcome the a bicycle frielndly Larchmont Village!

This week the Bike Program worked with LADOT field crews and General Services to install two new Corrals, bringing our Pilot Phase 2 that much closer to completion. The first install took place on Larchmont Bl, with the corral sponsored by the Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese. This corral was requested back in 2012, but did not have a business sponsor until local advocate Rick Risemberg hit the streets and identified Simon Cocks, a partner in the local wine and cheese shop, to take on the Corral maintenance agreement. Cocks is an avid bicycle rider who commutes on his bicycle to Larchmont every day. The Larchmont Corral serves a bustling commercial corridor that will benefit from the 14-18 extra parking spaces created for people on bikes. Councilmember Tom LaBonge says, “The Bike Corrals are really a testament to the innovating ideas that the Department of Transportation is bringing to our city to make it accessible for everyone.  Encouraging more bicyclists to Larchmont will help the local economy of Larchmont.” High demand already exists for bicycle parking and people using the Corral will have unlimited time to shop, dine, and explore Larchmont businesses.

Simon Cocks, partner at Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese (they have VERY delicious sandwiches!) with bicycle advocate Rick Risemberg showing the power of partnership between advocacy, business, and local government

The other benefit of the Corral that cannot be overstated is its function to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians using the adjacent crosswalk. Crosswalks can be difficult for pedestrians in busy commercial corridors – drivers are distracted, looking for parking, or rushing to get through the congested area. The Larchmont Corral effectively removes 10 feet of unprotected crossing distance from the intersection. Passersby remarked at the installation that cars would often try to cut through the painted area where the Corral was installed, in order to get to the nearby parking lot quicker. With the Corral placement, the pedestrian crossing distance is now only 9 feet without refuge, making it ideal for more vulnerable users like children, seniors, or people with impaired mobility.

As seen from the perspective of the crosswalk, the placement of the corral protects the pedestrian from traffic that might otherwise cut through the painted zone

Treatments that shorten crossing distances are popular pedestrian safety countermeasures, the most well known version being curb extentions or “bulb outs.” In the Larchmont context, the Corral serves the same purpose as a “pinch point“- a narrow midblock pedestrian crossing- without necessitating expensive curb extention construction that often requires drainage and utility relocation.  Short pedestrian crossings are the gold standard of complete streets, and we are happy to see the Corral creating a new solution (perhaps never before implemented!) to this circumstance.

“A pillow of cement” – “Pillow”-type curb extension at 11th & Clay, in Portland, photo courtesy Seattle Transit Blog

The second installation took place on Colorado Bl at Caspar, in front of Big Mama and Papa’s Pizzeria and the 5 Line Tavern.  At this location, the Corral had been requested by both the Pizzeria and Core Club LA, a yoga and fitness studio down the block.  As the first to request, Core Club signed on as the maintenance partner, but the enthusiasm for the Corral illustrates that these facilities do not just serve a single business, they serve the community.  Corrals can act as attractors for businesses, and in other cities, they have been seen to improve foot traffic and business visibility by 67%.  Complementing the buffered bike lane that provides traffic calming to Colorado Bl and the Bicycle Repair Station further down the corridor, the Colorado Bl Corral bolsters bicycle friendliness in Eagle Rock, adding important infrastructure to the Northeast LA Bicycle Friendly Business District.

As the Colorado install wrapped up, we saw an eastbound bicyclist as well as a westbound mother with child in tow enjoying the buffered bike lanes

We are very happy to wrap up the year with 2 more Corrals, which brings our annual total to 7 new installations!  We have a few more Corrals allocated to the Pilot, pending installation on Westwood Village’s Broxton Ave., Downtown Historic Core’s Main St., and the Arts District’s Traction Ave. Once the cycle is complete, we will begin the next Phase, introducing a modified design of the Cycle Stall Elite.  Stay tuned for 2015, it will be a great year for Los Angeles streets!

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The Bike Program is happy to announce the next step in Los Angeles becoming a more bicycle friendly destination: LADOT’s Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Program!  The BFB Program is a citywide opt-in program that encourages businesses to embrace bicycle friendly practices in order to attract more local trips by walking and bicycling.

The Bicycle Friendly Business Program is part of a larger City effort to focus on Great Streets. Mayor Eric Garcetti says that, “The Bicycle Friendly Business Program represents one of the many tools in our Great Streets toolbox. As we remake our streets to better serve our neighborhoods, the Bicycle Friendly Business Program will make it easier for Angelenos to choose to travel and shop by bike. We look forward to seeing you on the street!”

In Los Angeles, 50% of trips are under 3 miles, and therefore can be easily traversed on a bicycle. People on bikes can be great for business!  Studies have shown that small businesses are more visible to people who travel at slower speeds. In New York City, Toronto, and Portland, people who walk and bike were observed to spend more money per trip and visit multiple establishments. People on bikes also tend to know their neighborhood better, which builds community and makes neighborhoods safer.

“Our neighborhoods are stronger when people can live, work and shop at local businesses without needing their cars, and the Bicycle Friendly Business Program will help put neighborhoods first in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin, who Chairs the City Council’s Transportation Committee. “I’m excited to see the Bicycle Friendly Business Program expand throughout Los Angeles and I think the expansion of this program is a great sign that LADOT is heading in the right direction and making alternative transportation a priority.”

Here on the Bike Blog, businesses can learn about being Bicycle Friendly, the Program’s details, and even opt in to be one of LA’s first certified Bicycle Friendly Businesses!

The Citywide program will give businesses the opportunity to be recognized for their Bicycle Friendliness by adhering to a variety of bicycle friendly practices.  The program then provides bicyclists with a directory of local participating businesses specifying the bicycle friendly amenities offered.

The BFB program shows how all types of businesses can be more friendly to people on bikes and provides data resources to illustrate their benefits for business.  For more information on the program, check out these pages:

The Bicycle Friendly Business Program

Program Details

Count me in!

Benefits of Bicycle Friendly Business

Take a look and show your friends!  We definitely see a Bicycle Friendly Los Angeles in our future!

Bicycle Friendly Business on York Boulevard.

 

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A rendering showing plans for Los Angeles St. facing South.

A rendering showing plans for Los Angeles St. facing South.

Looking South on Los Angeles St. towards City Hall.

Looking South on Los Angeles towards City Hall.

You may have heard or participated in the range of events Metro conducted as part of the Metro Union Station/1st and Central Linkages Study (Linkages Study), a campaign to understand how Angelenos use L.A.’s biggest transit hub, L.A. Union Station. Recently, the LADOT Bike Blog had the pleasure of speaking with Lillian Burkenheim, the Director of Strategic Initiatives, to discuss the Metro Linkages Study and plans for the future of biking, walking and accessing transit around Union Station.

Bike Blog: How does Metro plan to incorporate bicycle access and bicycle facilities (lockers, showers, etc.) into Union Station?

LB:

One of the first proposed projects of the Union Station Master Plan (USMP) will be a redesign of Union Station’s western entrance. This redesign will most likely involve reconfiguring the main entrance walkway to be a more direct path from the Station to El Pueblo.  From El Pueblo, the path will extend to Fort Moore (slighty north of Hill St.) before culminating at the entrance of Grand Park on Spring Street. Currently, this project is tentative and still pending approval from the Metro Board of Directors but could be constructed in the next 5 years.

Metro is currently working on developing a Mobility Hub where users could access resources such as car-share services, bike-share, and other amenities that help bridge the first-mile, last-mile gap in transit trips. Plans for the Mobility Hub are currently in development and the Union Station Master Plan will identify a location for such a hub.

Recently, bicycle lanes have been installed along streets that lead to Union Station. (Note: LADOT installed bicycle lanes on Main Street and Los Angeles Street in June of 2012.)

In the longer term master plan vision, there are concepts for both bicycle and pedestrian paths that will allow bicyclists to travel through the Station.  The proposed expanded concourse will allow easier access to walk a bike through the station at ground level. The master plan is also proposing paths that take cyclists and pedestrians over the top of the rail yard, starting with a series of plazas and terraces and connecting to a bridge over the yard.  The Master Plan proposes bike facilities of various sizes at all corners of the station, with services that would include bike share, bike storage (short and long term), and retail needs.  A larger bike hub is proposed for the east side of the site, once Patsaouras Bus Plaza is relocated.

BIKE BLOG: So, how soon can we expect to start seeing changes around Union Station?

LB:

The reconfiguration of the entrance to Union Station is likely to be the first proposed master plan project. In addition, Metro will be working with LADOT to make bicycle and pedestrian improvements on the streets around the 1st and the Central Regional connector.  Metro has also partnered with the City of Los Angeles on two Active Transportation Grants to the State that would implement improvements identified by the Linkages Study.

Union_Station,_LA,_CA,_jjron_22.03.2012

Union Station’s Western entryway at Alameda St. and Los Angeles St.

BIKE BLOG: How does the Linkages Study inform the Union Station Master Plan?

LB:

As Metro began working on the Union Station Master Plan,we recognized the need to focus on how people from surrounding communities access the station. The construction of the Metro Regional Connector seemed like a prime opportunity to study the accessibility of both transit hubs. The Linkages Study focuses on accessibility around Union Station and the Metro Regional Connector, with the goal of improving bicycle and pedestrian linkages to both destinations.

The Linkages Study began with a Community Festival at El Pueblo, which included a community bicycle tour on streets in the surrounding area. The experience was eye-opening for everyone.  During the design team’s early analysis of the study area, we rode our bikes through Chinatown, Cornfield-Arroyo Seco, Civic Center District, Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, Arts District, El Pueblo and tried to find access points to the L.A. River.  During our initial neighborhood conversations stage we discussed different travel scenarios to Union Station with the community including how to get bicyclists over the 1st Street Bridge and other ways bicyclists and pedestrians are currently crossing the L.A. River. The Linkages Study focused on navigation. For example, we found that users have difficulty finding places such as El Pueblo due to line of sight issues when they leave Union Station. These are the type of access and mobility issues that we’ve worked to identify through the Linkages Study and will address with the Union Station Master Plan.

Union Station is experiencing a growth in users that is expected to rise significantly over the next 20 years. Currently, Union Station serves about 66,000 people a day. With the addition of the Regional Connector and the High Speed Rail Station, the number of visitors is expected to grow over the course of the next 20 years to about 100,000 visitors a day. The Linkages Study is about improving bicycle and pedestrian access to the station, both for current and future users.

 

BIKE BLOG: How can LADOT Bike Blog readers help Metro with the Union Station Master Plan?

LB:

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, you can contact USMP staff by emailing them at lausmp@metro.net. You can download current information and information from past meetings, including watching videos of prior meetings, at the project website, as well as sign up for our eblasts and updates.  You can find out more about the L.A. Union Station Master Plan at http://www.metro.net/projects/LA-union-station/.   Information on the Linkages Study can be found here:  www.metro.net/linkages.

Last but not least, by voicing their support to elected officials, the bicycle community provides tremendous support and creates the momentum for creating bicycle lanes and paths around Union Station and its surrounding communities.

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A lot of hard work goes into installing corrals that are safe and durable!

This week, the LADOT Bike Program worked with City crews to install two new Bicycle Corrals, making Los Angeles just a bit more bicycle friendly than it was before. The first corral was installed in the Northeast LA neighborhood of Cypress Park, in front of Antigua Coffee (3400 N Figueroa St, 90065) on the corner of  North Figueroa and Loreto Street. Antigua is a proud partner in our Bicycle Friendly Business program and was quite pleased to see the Corral installed, especially since there are so many neighborhood bike rides that originate at the bike shop next door, Flying Pigeon. Councilmember Gil Cedillo says he is pleased that, “Yancey Quinonez’s vision for that developing business area continues to be realized.”  The Councilmember recognizes that, “The bike corral is a great addition to the southern portion of the Figueroa corridor,” reiterating that a Corral at Antigua Coffee, a focal point in the community, can act as a powerful anchor for business in Cypress Park.

Antigua Coffee’s front door now features our Bicycle Friendly Business window cling! Bicycle Corrals and bicycle parking are integral parts of our Bicycle Friendly Business program.

A couple hours later, City crews finished installing a second Corral in North Hollywood outside of the Laemmle Theater NOHO 7 (5240 Lankershim Blvd, 91601).  This corral will provide much needed bicycle parking near the vibrant and buzzing bicycle and pedestrian hub adjacent to the theater, Television Academy, and shops that have developed around the Metro North Hollywood Station.
IMG_9006

Greg Laemmle of Laemmle Theaters will join Councilmember Paul Krekorian to celebrate the Lankershim Bicycle Corral with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 21, at 2pm in front of the theater.  Councilmember Krekorian says, “North Hollywood just keeps getting better for cyclists and pedestrians. I’m really proud that we teamed up with Greg Laemmle on this new bike corral. Working with business and community partners to improve the quality of life for neighborhood residents and visitors is what the City of Los Angeles does best.” Laemmle Theater will also offer two free bicycle-themed movie screenings, open to the general public that day (see Laemmle Theater’s announcement for additional details)!

Adding to the festivities, the Lankershim Corral celebration coincides with Laemmle Theater’s FIRST EVER  Tour de Laemmle, a 122 mile journey in which theater owner Greg Laemmle will be bicycling to visit all seven Laemmle Theater locations! The Tour de Laemmle is free and open to the public – riders are encouraged to join the route along the way.

Each of the Dero Cyclestall Bicycle Corrals installed today can park 12 bicycles, though we’ve seen some locations overflowing with as many as 18! Their addition to the City’s streets brings the LADOT Bike Program’s total Bicycle Corral count to seven. Together, all the Corral parking combined provide enough parking for 82 bicycles! And more Corrals are on their way!

IMAG1364

The first bicycle to use the North Figueroa Street bike corral

We love to see our Bicycle Corrals in action so if you use any of our Corrals be sure to share pictures with us on our Facebook or Twitter. To see more photos from our installations, check out our flickr albums “Lankershim Blvd Bike Corral Installation” and “Figueroa Bike Corral Installation

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