Metro’s Bicycle Program has recently undergone a management change that is designed to bolster agency efforts to make L.A.’s transit system friendlier to bicycle commuters.
Metro’s Bicycle Program is now under the leadership of Diego Cardoso, an executive officer within the planning department who also directs Metro’s pedestrian, transportation demand management, transportation enhancements and sustainability planning efforts. Metro’s Bicycle Program will still be managed by Lynne Goldsmith, with support from Planning Deputy Executive Officer Shahrzad Amiri.
Those of you who have participated in the Bicycle Roundtables this year know that former Caltrans District 7 Director Doug Failing was hired at the agency as interim chief of Metro’s Planning department.
One of the first actions Doug spearheaded was the formation of the new Bicycle Roundtable series, which meets regularly with members of the L.A. bike community to share and discuss bicycle issues within the agency’s purview. Doug presided over the Roundtable series until last September.
With the hiring earlier this year of architect and urban planner Martha Welborne as Metro’s new planning chief — the formal title is Executive Director of Countywide Planning — Doug now leads Highway Project Delivery at Metro.
In debating whether the Bicycle Program should be placed under the planning or highway departments at Metro, management at the agency decided to put bikes under planning because the agency’s other non-motorized and sustainability modes were also under Planning. Bike projects, by the way, are mostly funded in the bike and transportation demand management categories in Metro’s Call for Projects.
What does that mean for the future of the Bicycle Program and the Roundtable series? Work continues on several fronts. See the most recent Bicycle Program update given to the Metro Board in November.
Doug Failing has not lost his interest in bicycle issues and remains committed to the effort.
“I plan to follow the Bicycle Roundtables closely and lend my voice to championing bicycle issues at Metro.” Doug said.
Metro’s planning department is now actively managing an aggressive bicycle agenda generated both from input from the bicycle community and the Metro Board of Directors. A report is going to the Board of Directors as part of their Dec. 9 meeting. The 10 bicycle program directives from the Board are:
- Recommend increased bicycle funding in Metro’s 2011 Call For Projects (tentatively increasing the bicycle modal category from 7% to 15%, pending MTA board approval).
- Develop a phased plan to install triple racks on all buses.
- Develop a cost estimate, implementation schedule and funding sources to retrofit subway and light rail cars for bicycles.
- Propose a revised Customer Code of Conduct to be more bicycle friendly and create a “how to ride metro” document for large packages, bicycles, strollers, etc.
- Identify the feasibility of adding bike racks to vanpool vehicles.
- Provide estimated costs and potential funding sources to install improved way-finding signage at all Metro stations.
- Include bicycle mode messages in all Metro marketing materials and provide updates on Metro’s Bicycle Safety Advertising Campaign.
- Work with LA County Sheriff to track bicycle theft and crime at all Metro stations and suggest safety improvements.
- Include ramp designs for stairs at all new Metro stations so bicyclists can wheel their bikes up the stairs.
- Incorporate robust bicycle facilities in all new transit project designs to facilitate first/last mile transit access.