Bike path from Constitution Ave to Waterford St closed from Aug 8 to 14

untitledThe bike path that runs to the west of the I-405, from Constitution Avenue to Waterford Street, will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Thursday, August 8 through Wednesday, August 14.

Closure is required to conduct slope grading between the bike path and freeway retaining wall. Cyclists can detour northbound on Church Lane to eastbound on Montana Avenue to southbound Sepulveda Boulevard to Constitution Avenue and vice versa.

Pedestrians can detour northbound on Church Lane to westbound on Sunset Boulevard to southbound on Barrington to eastbound on Wilshire to Sepulveda Boulevard.

Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – riding down the Imperial Highway

During Bike Week LA, we collected nominations for the Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s annual competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a weekly Why You Ride series – because for many Angelenos, every week is Bike Week!

Breeanna Taylor bikes 12 miles down the Imperial Highway to get to work.

Name: Breeanna Taylor
Start: Downey
End: La Habra
Distance: 12 miles (one way)
Time: 90 minutes (one way)

Breeanna with her mountain bike, helmet, and sunglasses getting ready to bike to work. Photo courtesy of Breeanna Taylor.

Breeanna with her mountain bike, helmet, and sunglasses, ready to bike to work. Photo courtesy of Breeanna Taylor.

She gives us her tips on bicycling to work and tells us about handling “steep hills and scary car situations” in an interview after the jump. Continue reading

Get ready to rock and roll with your bicycle

Hop on your bike to see Mucca Pazza! Photo: Mucca Pazza Official Facebook

Hop on your bike to see Mucca Pazza! Photo: Mucca Pazza Official Facebook

Beat the summer heat with an evening bicycle ride to hear live music under the stars on Saturday, July 20. Bike from the Rose Gardens at Exposition Park to MacArthur Park to experience the unique sounds and beats of Mucca Pazza at Levitt Pavilion.

The 8-mile ride, sponsored by Metro, C.I.C.L.E. and Bici Libre, is family-friendly and leisurely paced. Meet at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Rose Gardens, located across from the Expo Park/USC Station. The ride leaves promptly at 7 p.m. and returns to the starting point around 10:30 p.m. For those who want to leave from Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park, the Red/Purple Line Westlake/MacArthur Park Station is right across the street and can help you out if you’d rather not ride.

Bike riding can be hunger-inducing business, but luckily you can fill up on great Mexican fare at La Fonda Supper Club during your ride. The restaurant is located just a block northwest of MacArthur Park. Present a valid TAP card to your server on the day of the ride and save 20% on dinner and appetizers.

To get to Expo Park/USC, hop on the Expo Line, Metro Rapid 705, Bus 38, Bus 217 or Culver City Bus 4.

Keep reading after the jump for the full press release from C.I.C.L.E.

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Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – NASA “bike train engineer” conducts “bike train” to JPL

During Bike Week LA, we collected nominations for the Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s annual competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a weekly Why You Ride series – because for many Angelenos, every week is Bike Week!

Our next Golden Pedal Award goes to Charles Dandino, unofficial “bike train engineer” at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Charles was nominated by colleague Tushar Thrivikraman for spearheading their weekly “bike train” – a group ride to work that stops to pick up fellow JPL employees on the way. With Charles at the helm of the train, they’ve hit their time points nearly every week for the last nine months, rain or shine. (Hey Charles, have you ever thought about working for a transit agency?)

Name: Charles Dandino
Start: Silver Lake
End: Pasadena
Distance: 15 miles
Time: 75 minutes

Charles on his bicycle. Photo courtesy of Charles Dandino.

Charles, resident “bike train engineer” for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Photo courtesy of Charles Dandino.

Continue reading

LA Bike Trains running on schedule, fueled by enthusiasm

Hop on a bike train to work! If you’re looking for a new way to commute, LA Bike Trains has been up and running since May this year.

Bike trains are group bicycle rides that make scheduled stops for bicycle commuters to join in along the way. According to LA Bike Trains, they “harness the safety of riding in a group while kicking it up a notch by making the ride a fun social experience.”

“Conductors” with LA Bike Trains lead weekly rides along eight routes that crisscross Los Angeles County. The conductors keep the ride moving at a moderate pace and help fix any problems that come up, like a flat tire. They also offer a “Special Valet Service” to help you navigate from your home to a bike train meeting point. And unlike a traditional train, rides are free.

Bike trains are an easy way to get to work -- or to the nearest Metro station. Photo courtesy of LA Bike Trains.

Bike trains are an easy way to get to work — or to the nearest Metro station. Photo courtesy of LA Bike Trains.

“Most participants are completely new to commuting by bike,” said Nona Varnado, LA Bike Trains co-founder. “Bike trains aren’t fast or competitive. They’re for people with jobs, just trying to get to work while having fun and being healthy.”

Continue reading

Every lane is a bike lane, but do you know how to use those lanes?

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Photos: Gary Leonard/Metro

“Every Lane Is A Bike Lane” informed motorists that they have to share the road, but even with a full lane, many cyclists may be nervous about riding in traffic. That’s why Metro is working with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Bike San Gabriel Valley and Multicultural Communities for Mobility to offer bicycle traffic safety classes.

Here’s the press release from Metro:

In efforts to help make bicycling safer in L.A. County, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has received a California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grant and is working with local non-profit bike organizations to conduct up to120 English and Spanish traffic skills classes countywide.

The $203,000 grant, awarded earlier this year to Metro by the California OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will fund bicycle traffic skills classes for prospective or experienced cyclists alike who are interesting in increasing their bicycle traffic skills.

Metro has contracted with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), Bike San Gabriel Valley (BikeSGV) and Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM) to conduct three- or eight-hour weekend classes through September 2013.  For a list of upcoming classes, locations and times, visit http://www.metro.net/bikes/bikes-metro/upcoming-bike-metro-events/.

“With bicycling becoming wildly popular in L.A. County, it is critically important that our cyclists know the safe ways to ride their bikes on busy L.A. streets, whether for work, school or recreation,” said Diane DuBois, Metro Board Chair. “Metro is taking a leadership role for the county in offering these traffic safety classes, so be sure to sign up if you are interested, as classes are filling up fast.”

Metro plans to reach up to 1,440 people for the classes. Each participant will receive a safety manual, helmet and bicycle lights for successfully completing the course.  Classes will be taught in cities throughout Los Angeles County, including L.A., Culver City, La Verne and Azusa.  Participants must be 18 years or older and be L.A. County residents.

“Bicycling for exercise, pleasure and commuting is a growing trend in California.  Unfortunately, so are crashes involving bicyclists,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy.  “Help insure a long, safe bicycling career by learning the valuable lessons and techniques being offered by these Metro-sponsored classes.”

LACBC will host 30 eight-hour classes, 30 three-hour classes, and one advanced-level seminar. BikeSGV will provide 30 three-hour classes, and MCM will teach 30 three-hour Spanish language courses.

“With the help of Metro and OTS, Multicultural Communities for Mobility will be able to continue to conduct Spanish bicycle safety courses throughout the county of Los Angeles to the most vulnerable of cyclists who ride their bicycle as a means of necessity,” said Andy Rodriguez ” League Certified Instructor. “Our work with low-income communities is positively impacted by this grant and we hope to save lives and teach people safe cycling skills.”

The curriculum for each class focuses on bicycle traffic skills and practicing on-road riding.  The first portion of each class will be in the classroom, with the second portion in a parking lot, and third portion on the road.  The material taught will follow the League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 curriculum, which was abridged for the 3-hour courses.

The number of miles driven in the United Stated has dropped each year since 2005 and fewer young adults are getting driving licenses. Concurrently, bicycling is on the rise in L.A. County. From 2005 to 2012, bikeway facilities within L.A. County have increased 14 percent, raising the bikeway miles from about 1,252 to 1,428 miles. And the total number of bikeway miles continues to increase as cities rapidly grow their bicycle networks.  In the past year alone, the City of Los Angeles has grown its bike lane network by 101 miles. With increases in bicycling, crashes involving injury and death have also slightly risen.  In 2010, for example, Los Angeles County had 25 fatalities and 4,201 injuries in a total of 4,226 bicycle collisions. In 2008 and 2009, Los Angeles County ranked fifth out of 58 by daily miles travelled for injuries and fatalities in California.  A review of the causes of these crashes illustrates that over half could have been prevented by the proper utilization of techniques taught in standard bicycle safety education curricula.

“LACBC is proud partner with Metro and OTS to offer in-depth, hands-on bicycle skills training that people can use for safe transportation and recreational riding,” said Colin Bogart, Education Director for the LACBC.  “These classes give bicyclists the tools to assess and manage the potential risks of riding in an urban setting, so they can freely ride anywhere with confidence.”

In efforts to raise awareness for cycling safety, earlier this year Metro also launched the “Every Lane is a Bike Lane” campaign that encouraged motorists to share the road with cyclists and give them a full traffic lane if needed. The popular campaign helped raise motorist awareness that cyclists have equal rights and responsibilities to the road per the California Vehicle Code. The campaign included messages on the back of Metro buses, billboards and spots on local radio stations.

Additionally, Metro is sponsoring 20 bike rides to further promote safe cycling in Los Angeles County. The rides focus on safe bicycling etiquette, rules of the road and basic maintenance. Each ride is led by a trained guide who will not only point out places of interest, but will instruct riders how to negotiate live traffic lanes and bike paths.  Before each ride, participants are given a “safety workshop” so they learn safe road bicycling along the route and practice proper methods of taking a bike on public transit.

Metro’s Bike Program plays an important role in bicycle planning across LA County, facilitating first mile/last mile connections to transit and supporting bicycle transportation through various policies and programs. For more information, please visit http://www.metro.net/bikes.

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) strives to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries. It does this by making available grants to local and state public agencies for programs that help them enforce traffic laws, educate the public in traffic safety, and provide varied and effective means of reducing fatalities, injuries and economic losses from collisions.  OTS draws from several federal government funding sources for its grants. OTS also mounts public awareness campaigns and acts as a primary traffic safety resource in order to enlist the help of the general public and the media encouraging traffic safety.  For additional information, visit http://www.ots.ca.gov/.