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Posts Tagged ‘Tom LaBonge’

Wednesday afternoon saw the penultimate stage completed in the years-long journey to get a new bike plan adopted for the City of Los Angeles.  In a special joint session, both the PLUM (Planning and Land Use Management) and Transportation Committees met to discuss the draft LA Bike Plan.  As the two committees with input on the bike plan, they are the last step before the plan faces the full City Council for adoption into the City’s general plan.  The crowd on hand was much smaller than those who turned out for the Bike Plan at the City Planning Commission, but there was still ample representation from the LACBC, Bikeside and the BAC.

The joint committee hearing was held in City Council chambers

While there was a small measure of conflict among speakers and committee members (mostly centered around equestrian/mountain biking conflicts), the plan itself easily sailed through committee.  Below the fold, we’ll cover the highlights of the hearing.  If you want blow-by-blow coverage, you can always check out the twitter feed of LADOT Bike Blog’s author Christopher Kidd (@BikeBlogChris).  You can also check out the twitter hashtag #LABikePlan to see what the collective bike community had to say during the hearing.

There were three items heard before the joint committee.  The first was an action item (requiring a vote) and the last two were “receive and file” items (which don’t require a vote).

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Less than a month after a bike ride/meeting along 4th Street, the LADOT Bike Program is moving forward on Bicycle Friendly Street improvements. Not only will the LADOT Bike Program be adjusting or replacing all loop detectors along 4th Street to pick up bicycle wheels, but we’re also going to extend the 4th Street Sharrows to either La Brea Avenue or Cochran Avenue.

That’s another 1.7-1.8 miles of Sharrows, which more than doubles the length of the existing Sharrows on 4th Street.

Sharrow on 4th and Gramercy facing East Bound

Get ready for more of these

This is big news. Getting something like this done in less than a month at the City is like getting it done in 2 hours in the real world. It just doesn’t happen that often. Yet, here we are.

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On the morning of Wednesday, October 27th, representatives from the LADOT Bike Program and the LACBC, a reporter for the Larchmont Chronicle, Heidi Sickler from Mayor Villaraigosa’s office, and Carolyn Ramsay from CD 4 Council Member Tom LaBonge’s office gathered together at Shatto Park to take a bike ride.  You can be sure that LADOT Bike Blog was in attendance as well.  You can read the LACBC’s take on the ride here.

Shatto Park

LACBC's Alexis Lantz waits in the Shatto Park parking lot

A leisurely morning bike ride through Koreatown may not seem like an earth shattering event, but the reason they all came together marks the beginning of a new type of bicycling infrastructure in Los Angeles.  The group that assembled that morning was there to do the preliminary scoping for all the possible treatments for a Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) along 4th Street, otherwise known as the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard.

Ed. Note: You can check out the rest of our 4th Street photos at the LADOT Bike Blog flickr page.

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There has been a lot of talk lately, both on this blog and elsewhere, about Bicycle Friendly Streets (more commonly known as Bicycle Boulevards).  The LACBC has long been campaigning to turn 4th Street into a Bicycle Boulevard.  Rich Risemberg reports that Council Member Tom LaBonge is also committed to a Bicycle Boulevard on 4th Street.  CicLAvia’s route went along 4th Street, giving an idea of what a Bicycle Boulevard could be.   Waring Avenue has also been identified as a site for a Bicycle Boulevard, both by Council Member Tom LaBonge and by Hollywood Examiner writer Taylor Nichols.  In terms of a street in LA that already most closely resembles a Bicycle Friendly Street, Westholme Avenue might have the strongest case.

Sharrows AND traffic circles? Be still my beating heart!

But sometimes lost in the shuffle is what, exactly, makes up a Bicycle Friendly Street or Bicycle Boulevard?  How are they different from other streets?  What is installed and why does it make bicycling safer?  How much does it cost and how does it get installed?  Come along with LADOT Bike Blog as we examine the:

Anatomy of a Bicycle Friendly Street

Diverters

Bikes go through. Cars? Not so much

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Tour LaBonge: Hollywood

It’s said that all good things must come to an end, and so this last Wednesday saw the last ride of this summer’s Tour LaBonge. Gathering at the CD 4 district office on Fountain Ave, the ride proceeded on a 12 mile loop through Hollywood.

Courtesy of Council District 4

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(Update: You can also read up on the event at L.A. Eco-Village Blog)

On Saturday, July 24th, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) will host a press, walking, and biking event showcasing their efforts to transform 4th Street into Los Angeles’ first Bicycle Boulevard.

Travel 4th Street: Bike ride at 10AM, walk at 10:30

This free event will have both a bike ride and walking tour of 4th Street. Meeting at 9:45AM in Pan Pacific Park, the bike ride will leave from the front of the auditorium at 10:00AM and end at Shatto Park in Koreatown. Leading the bike ride will be Rick Risemberg, author of the Bicycle Fixation Blog and friend of LADOT Bike Blog. Walkers will meet at 10:15AM at 4th Street & Normandie Avenue, leaving at 10:30AM and also ending at Shatto Park in Koreatown.

After both those on bicycle and those on foot arrive in Shatto Park, the LACBC will be holding a press event from 11-1 covering the how’s, the why’s, and the when’s of their Bicycle Boulevard project. If you want to know more about the community and more about Bicycle Boulevards, be sure to take advantage of this event.

But maybe we should back up a step: what is a “Bicycle Boulevard”?

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Don’t forget! The last Tour LaBonge rides this Wednesday evening through Hollywood. Riders meet at Tom’s Hollywood field office (6501 Fountain Ave) at 5:30 pm tomorrow.

Ready to go at the Mulholland Fountain

In a ride worthy of Joe Linton, Mr. LA Creek Freak himself, the 5th Tour LaBonge ride took a spin through Griffith Park and the LA River last Wednesday. (more…)

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