Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – Kasia Bohos finds happiness in bicycling

We are collecting nominations for the Year-Round Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a monthly Why you Ride series because for many Angelenos, Bike Week never ends!

  • Name: Kasia Bohos
  • Origin and destination: From West Hollywood to Culver City
  • Distance: Long commute (5 miles or more)
  • Type of commute: Traffic-congested commute
  • The commuter: Converted commuter (for new riders); chic commuter (riding with flair); and zealous commuter (encouraging others to try pedaling to school or work)

Thank you, Anna Martin of LA Brakeless bike shop, for nominating Kasia for the Golden Pedal Awards! Your participation is important!

Kasia seems to be having a fun time on the bike!

Kasia seems to be having a fun time on her bicycle… Go Kasia!

When Kasia entered LA Brakeless about six months ago, she admitted to being a bike novice and was shy about her lack of knowledge. The bike shop staff set her up with an entry-level bicycle and the necessary accessories. A few weeks later, Kasia bounced back in and told them that she had started biking to and from work every day and was now barely using her car. Kasia said she had never felt better and was seeing things on her way to work that she had not noticed when she was driving.

Kasia was so excited about her new-found love of biking that she sent countless co-workers to the store and prompted her employer to put up a bicycle rack for employees in the parking lot. The staff at LA Brakeless nominated Kasia for a Golden Pedal because they love to see the lives of people in their community touched by cycling in such a positive way. In their own words, “Kasia was touched by cycling and spread that love to many, many people.”

With help from our generous Bike Week LA sponsors, Kasia will receive a Bike Week LA T-shirt, bike patch kits, ankle straps, bike maps, Metro Bike Guides, and “Every Lane is a Bike Lane” bumper stickers.

Click here to read more about Kasia’s cycling experience!

Go Metro to Tour da Arts for car free fun and save on gifts with TAP card

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Enjoy Santa Monica’s sights and sounds at Santa Monica Museum of Art’s (SMMoA) sixth annual Tour da Arts on Sunday, August 24 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. SMMoA’s cultural bicycle festival and tour is a car-free community event for riders of all ages.

The free all-day event offers art, music, performances, and sustainable transportation advocacy. The festival kicks off with a 9-mile bike ride that will stop for screenings and performances by local artists. Registration is required at SMMoA.org.

Show your valid TAP card at reception and save 10% on purchases at the SMMoA’s gift store GRACIE.

To get to SMMoA, take Metro Rapid 704 and exit at Santa Monica Boulevard and 26th Street. Enter Bergamot Station from 26th Street (the south east side of 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard). For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.

Suggest station locations for phase 1 of bikeshare program!

Bikeshare Interactive

Bikeshare Interactive

Metro is leading a regional effort to develop a user-friendly bikeshare system to increase transportation choices for people traveling to and from transit stations and making short trips. The program will provide a fleet of bicycles that can be borrowed from strategically placed bikeshare stations.

Metro is currently studying station locations in the Regional Bikeshare Implementation Plan and seeking input on areas identified for Phase 1 implementation: downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica.

Metro has proposed a number of initial launch stations. Let us know what you think of these locations by clicking ‘like’ or leaving a comment. If you know of a great spot for a bikeshare station, pin it on the map. If that location has already been suggested, you can tell us you ‘like’ it or give more information by leaving a comment.

Final bikeshare station locations will be determined by Metro, staff of Phase 1 cities and the bikeshare operator. Locations will be determined based on availability of space, right-of-way, ADA access, demand, support and numerous other factors. Implementation is currently planned for 2016.

With your help, Los Angeles County will be one step closer to a regional bikeshare system. Please visit the interactive map to make your station suggestions. Input will be accepted through September 8. For more information or to provide feedback, send an email to Bikeshare@metro.net.

Below is a short FAQ on bikesharing and station locations:

What is bikeshare?

Bikeshare programs provide a fleet of strategically located bicycles that can be borrowed for individual local trips. Bicycles can be returned to the same station or a separate one, depending on what suits your trip.

What makes a great bikeshare station location?

Bikeshare stations located near key destinations, rail and bus stations and within accessible distance of other bikeshare stations help people make trips.

What is Metro going to do with my proposed station sites?

Metro and implementing jurisdictions will consider all proposed station sites, comments, and ‘likes’ received as part of this process. Final selection of bikeshare station locations will take into account availability of space, right-of-way, ADA access, demand, support and numerous other items.

Why can’t I pin a station where I want?

We don’t want to waste your time—so we are limiting pins to areas being considered for Phase I. If you have other suggestions, please email them to bikeshare@metro.net

Which cities are being considered for Phase I implementation?

Downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena, and Santa Monica are being considered for Phase 1. As part of the Implementation Plan, Metro will be studying areas suitable for Phase 2 implementation.

Why are only four areas being considered? 

Metro is launching bikeshare in areas that have proven feasible, have secured funding, and are located around Metro rail system. The rail system provides a backbone connection between the pilot cities. With an integrated system, a user can ride the first 1-3 miles to a transit station on a bikeshare bike, dock their bike, ride transit to their destination, and pick up another bike to complete the last mile of their trip. As with many other Metro services, the benefits of bikeshare extend beyond the the communities surrounding stations. Anyone who lives, works, travels through, or visits the pilot cities will be able to utilize bikeshare. As part of the Implementation Plan, expansion areas will be identified throughout the County for future phases.

When will bikeshare hit the streets of L.A. County?  

Los Angeles County is trying to accomplish a feat that no other region has been able to by creating one integrated, countywide system, which provides a seamless user-experience. Metro is working closely with jurisdictions and departments to make this vision a reality. Implementation is currently planned for 2016.

New “CicLAvia Explores” program connects audiences to local communities; first event is Thursday night

Heads up, people: the first event is this Thursday evening, a panel discussion on the new streets of L.A. in DTLA — event description and RSVP info is below. Here is the news release from our friends at CicLAvia:

New “CicLAvia Explores” Program Engages and Connects Audiences to

Los Angeles County Communities Throughout the Year

First Event is August 7 With Two Additional Events Planned for September

LOS ANGELES – CicLAvia is thrilled to announce the launch of “CicLAvia Explores,” a new program designed to connect Angelenos with communities in Los Angeles County through a range of engaging activities held separately from CicLAvia car-free event days. The Explores program kicks off August 7 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. with the New Streets of LA discussion featuring transportation leaders and advocates, held in partnership with the Levi’s Commuter Workspace at 157 W. Fifth St. in downtown LA (see full details below).

When people hear the word, “CicLAvia,” they tend to think of car-free streets filled with people biking, walking, running and skating. But CicLAvia’s mission is also to engage with people to positively transform their relationship with their communities and with each other. CicLAvia Explores extends the spirit of CicLAvia in between its signature large-scale, car-free events with a series of smaller activities in areas where CicLAvia routes have traveled, will travel to and to vibrant communities that have yet to experience a CicLAvia route.

 “After every CicLAvia we hear from people who rave about discovering a new restaurant or store, coming across a historic building or beautiful park, or simply liking the ‘feel’ of a neighborhood they’ve discovered on the route,” said Executive Director Aaron Paley. “CicLAvia Explores gives us another platform for that level of community engagement. The programs will allow our audience to have a glimpse of new routes, stay connected to previous CicLAvia streets and discover other neighborhoods.”

The Explores program, which features a new play on CicLAvia’s logo, provides opportunities to delve deeper into the sights, sounds, tastes, design and heritage of communities in a more intimate manner than on CicLAvia days. The program will offer gatherings, discussions and activities highlighting the food, culture and architecture of selected neighborhoods. CicLAvia will partner with local leaders, businesses and organizations for these events to give participants an insider’s glimpse of the community. The organization will also work with the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and with city council offices to highlight the city’s Great Streets initiatives.

CicLAvia Explores year-round activities will typically be held 4-6 weeks in advance of a car-free event to give the audience a preview of what they will find on CicLAvia day. Additionally, CicLAvia Explores provides the opportunity to revisit previous routes and go into new communities that have yet to experience a CicLAvia route, demonstrating that the organization is committed to connecting with local communities outside of a car-free event.

Each CicLAvia Explores activity will be unique to the community where it is held. Some events will be free while others will have a cost. Planned events include:

August 7 (7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)The New Streets of LA – A panel discussion followed by music, food and drinks held in partnership with Levi’s Commuter Workspace (a pop-up destination at 157 W. Fifth St.), near October’s Heart of LA route. LA’s leading transportation experts, activists and innovators will talk about the future of LA’s streets that keep LA vibrant, safe and open. The panel will feature Mayor Garcetti’s selection for General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Seleta Reynolds, as well as Los Angeles Walks executive director and founder Deborah Murphy, LA County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Jen Klausner, City of LA Transportation Commissioner Tafarai Bayne and Metro Transportation Planning Manager Avital Shavit.

RSVP at http://levis-commuter.ticketleap.com/august7/details. Event is 21+.

September 7 (2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.; 6:00 p.m. movie screening) – CicLAvia Explores Broadway – A day for CicLAvia fans to enjoy the revived Broadway Theater District, which is part of the October 5 Heart of LA route. Activities include free walking tours of the Broadway Theater District with CicLAvia Executive Director Aaron Paley (2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.), and an open house of the Million Dollar Theater (courtesy of LA Historic Theater Foundation) from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. The day will conclude with a ticketed screening of David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” in the Million Dollar Theater at 6:00 p.m. with a portion of the ticket proceeds going to CicLAvia. Visitors can also enjoy the myriad of food choices at Grand Central Market throughout the day, as well as concessions from the market for the movie that evening. Tour reservations and movie tickets will be made available in the coming weeks.

September 14 – Melting Pot Tours will lead A Taste of East LA – a culinary journey which will take participants to several restaurants on or near the Heart of LA route that highlight the cuisine of East LA. The cost is $25 and includes a CicLAvia TAP card. A portion of the proceeds will go to CicLAvia. Tickets will be available for purchase online starting August 13.

For information about the CicLAvia Explores program and events, please visit http://www.ciclavia.org/explores.

The October 5 CicLAvia – Heart of LA is sponsored by Metro, a proud partner of open streets events throughout Los Angeles County.

For a download of the CicLAvia Explores logo, click here.

About CicLAvia CicLAvia is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. CicLAvia catalyzes vibrant public spaces, active transportation and good health through car-free streets.  CicLAvia engages with people to transform our relationship with our communities and with each other. With the full support of Metro, local governments, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council, Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Water and Power, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Cultural Affairs, CicLAvia is an innovative model for creating new public space and enriching civic life.

CicLAvia Partners include Metro, the City of Los Angeles, the Wasserman Foundation and an Anonymous benefactor.

Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – Vanessa Gray, C.I.C.L.E’s new executive director!

We are collecting nominations for the Year-Round Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a monthly Why you Ride series because for many Angelenos, Bike Week never ends!

  • Name: Vanessa Gray.
  • Origin and destination: From Silver Lake to destinations around Hollywood and Downtown L.A.
  • Distance: Short and medium commute – Vanessa rides anywhere from 3 to 10 miles each way.
  • Type of commute: A combination of multi-modal and clever commute.
  • The commuter: Seasoned (she’s been doing this a while); chic (riding with flair); and zealous (encouraging others to try pedaling to school or work).
Vanessa Gray, new Executive Director of C.I.C.L.E accompanied by her cute doggy and awesome vintage bike.

Vanessa Gray, new Executive Director of C.I.C.L.E accompanied by her cute dog and awesome vintage bike.

The Bike Week LA team is thrilled to give Vanessa Gray the July Golden Pedal Award.

Vanessa is known for living and breathing the bicycle lifestyle. She’s out riding in style on her vintage Bridgestone bicycle practically every day. She is a true role model and example when it comes to showing everyone that one can use a bicycle to get around town and look good while doing it!

Vanessa recently became C.I.C.L.E.’s new executive director. We’re sure she will work hard to further the organization’s mission to promote bicycling as a viable and everyday form of transportation.

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Connect US seeks to better link Union Station to neighborhoods via new esplanades and bike paths

As most of you likely know, Metro has been developing the Union Station Master Plan to preserve the historic train depot while also renovating it and redeveloping parts of the 40-acre campus as use of the station continues to grow.

A companion study has been looking at an equally important issue: better linking Union Station by foot and bike to surrounding neighborhoods. Union Station sits on the far northern end of downtown Los Angeles and, at present, it’s often not terribly pleasant to reach via sidewalk or bike.

The linkages study — called Connect US — seeks to remedy that by recommending 13 separate projects totaling $50 million to $60 million in costs that would create a series of corridors that walkers and cyclists could use between Union Station and the Regional Connector’s 1st/Central Station and surrounding neighborhoods. Among those communities: Chinatown, Boyle Heights, Little Tokyo, the Civic Center and the Arts District.

A PowerPoint of the study’s recommendations, presented by community members last Thursday at a City Hall event, is posted above. As you scroll through, there are a series of maps and renderings that provide an idea of the scope of the project.

Among the improvements: an esplanade between the entrance to Union Station that would reach across Alameda Street to El Pueblo de Los Angeles and Olvera Street; new esplanades with expanded sidewalks and protected bike lanes along Los Angeles Street, Alameda Street and North Broadway (which would sit on the bluff above Los Angeles State Historic Park), and; add bike lanes (some protected) and sidewalk and street improvements to other key streets such as 1st Street, 3rd Street and Santa Fe and Alpine.

Metro is helping to plan the improvements, which will largely be undertaken by the city of Los Angeles (the city oversees downtown streets). The project has been separated into a series of smaller projects, the idea being that each project can be done when funding becomes available, a nod to the realities of transportation funding.

The final speaker at last Thursday’s event was Gil Penalosa, the well-known former parks chief in Bogata, Colombia, and who now heads up 8-80 Cities, a nonprofit that advocates for parks, bike lanes, pedestrians and making cities more vibrant and sustainable — the kind of things people usually like in cities. As he made clear, the Connect US plan would not only help improve mobility in downtown but would make L.A. more like other well-known cities across the globe that are walk- and bike-friendly and that people love to visit.

Gil Penalosa speaking at last Thursday's event unveiling of the Connect US plan at Los Angeles City Hall. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Gil Penalosa speaking at last Thursday’s event unveiling of the Connect US plan at Los Angeles City Hall. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.