Photos from the Saddle: CicLAvia delivers again

Freedom from the Car at Last: Cyclists ride CicLAvia

No matter how many times you ride CicLAvia through Downtown L.A. streets, the sense of amazement and revelry is as powerful as the very first time.  Nothing beats the exhilaration of riding L.A. streets with tens of thousands other Angelinos enjoying a picture-perfect day, cool temperatures and the simple pleasure of rotating wheels under the shade of L.A. skyscrapers. What a day to ride a bike in L.A.!

Here’s some photos taken from the day-long event along 10 miles of downtown area streets.

Cyclists speed through closed intersections in Downtown L.A.

Cyclists ride on newly painted bike lane

Cyclists ride along MacArthur Park

CicLAvia Kicks Off, Mayor Announces L.A. Bike Share Program

Mayor Villaraigosa Announces Major Bike Sharing Program for Los Angeles.

11 a.m. — CicLavia just started an hour ago and already there has been a major announcement from L.A. City Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa: a private bike sharing company will soon be coming to L.A. with 4,000 bikes and 400 stations.

At a 9:30 a.m. press conference near Olvera Street, the mayor unveiled plans by Bike Nation, a local bike sharing company, for a $16 million bike sharing program over the next two years in downtown L.A., Hollywood, Playa Del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach.

“Whether your destination is work, a train, a bus or your local restaurant, these bikes will get you there.  Bike Nation’s new venture reflects a sea-change in our city,” the mayor said.

Cyclists get ready to begin CicLAvia Route on Main Street.

Officials tout fourth CicLAVia in L.A. on April 15

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a contingent of other local public officials, event organizers and cyclists this morning touted the fourth CicLAvia that will soon hit city streets on Sunday, April 15.

The 10-mile route through L.A. streets will be car-free for walking, biking and playing.

“We saw during ‘Carmaheaven’ when we encouraged everybody to get out of their car, a day without a car in Los Angeles – what a beautiful thing,” Villaraigosa said. “Ciclavia represents a sea-change in our city. When we erase the boundaries between sidewalks and streets, and we just get out of our cars for even a few minutes or a few hours, amazing things happen.”

Here’s a few highlights from the press event:

  • Bike Nation, a L.A. area bike sharing company, will provide 100 free rental bikes to the first Angelenos who sign up online through the CicLAvia web site.
  • A new Spanish language Public Service Announcement is now available to advocate safety for Los Angeles’ large Spanish-speaking community.  Check the PSA out here.
  • The message for all Angelinos every day: drive safely, be courteous, follow the rules and share the road.

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Technology + Bike = Secure Bike?

Next time, lock up the entire bike

Photo by billaday via Flickr

In a recent NPR – Marketplace story, travel writer Patrick Symmes talks about an experiment he’s conducting with bikes and GPS trackers — you see Symmes has had seven bikes stolen, and he’d had enough! In a lengthy write-up for Outside magazine, the journalist attaches GPS trackers to ‘bait’ bikes planted across San Francisco and Portland (think LoJack). The man waits to catch his thief.

Full disclosure: I am by no means a biker, and I wouldn’t cry if my current bike got stolen (its a hoopty). But the story left me wondering if this isn’t a business opportunity for some brilliant, enthusiastic, bike entrepreneur? Necessity is the mother of invention, so I ask you Los Angeleno bikers:

  • How ‘high-tech’ have you gone to secure your bike?
  • What is the price point of a bike where you would invest in a ‘security’ system?

Though the author’s experiment leaves him with mixed results, he’s remains optimistic, stating – “This is a war of attrition.”

Like the police, we can and must resist, even when it’s futile. I’m still pimping around Portland on Bike Six, my little black IRO, with 11 pounds of chain wrapped around my waist and hex nuts on my wheels. All the partial solutions—a national bike registry, better serial numbering, more secure parking, GPS trackers disguised like bells and reflectors—are getting better. We aren’t going away.

Reminder: Metro offers Bike Lockers for rent in many Metro Rail and Orange Line stations. Check our Bike Metro section for full info on Locker Rentals, Bike Maps, and the Bicycle Roundtable.

Listen to the audio after the jump…

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Metro hosts bike sharing demonstration at Union Station

Metro hosted a bike share demonstration at its headquarters building at Union Station on Wednesday to show agency employees and members of the public how various bike sharing systems work. It was the first time such a demo has been staged in the county’s largest public transit hub. See a short video of the demo on Youtube above.

B-Cycle demonstration at Union Station's East Portal.

The demo was planned in concert with the Metro Planning and Programming Committee, which approved the Metro Bike Program’s bike share strategy. The item goes before the full Metro Board for its consideration next Thursday. Continue reading

Metro Bike Sharing Report Headed for Planning Committee Today

Metro’s Bike Program team will come before the Planning and Programming Committee today with the agency’s Bike Share Concept Report, which examines opportunities for bike sharing in L.A. County.

The committee report is the result of a Board motion last July which called for Metro to take a “leadership role” in the implementation of a bike share program that would explore opportunities for starting a pilot project at key locations and identify possible funding, including public/private partnerships.

For those of you new to bike sharing or who may have seen it in other cities, the concept allows people to rent bikes at so-called “docking stations” around a city. The bikes can be rented at one station and returned to another. Bike sharing is considered an effective way to reduce auto trips and extend personal travel opportunities, especially when combined with transit.

Metro will have some bike sharing vendors at its Gateway headquarters building between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today to show how several of the bike sharing systems work. We’ll have a later post on The Source showing on the bike sharing report and demo, so stay tuned.

See the committee report at the following link.

Another view of CicLAvia

CicLAvia Redux, Part 2 from Nicholas Dahmann on Vimeo.

This has been bouncing around the Internet for a few months, but I hadn’t seen it until stumbling on it over the holidays. It’s by Nicholas Dahmann and is a rendering done from thousands of still photos of the CicLAvia held last April. Very cool!

By the way, something else to look forward to in 2012: the next CicLAvia is currently scheduled for Sunday, April 15. It’s good to see the event — and handing the streets of L.A. over to cyclists and pedestrians for a few hours — is becoming a regular thing.

Ride the ribbon

Cool news for bicyclists and bike rider wannabes who have thus far been too nervous — and rightly so — to ride in downtown Los Angeles.

A six-foot-wide emerald green ribbon of bike lane is ready for its inaugural ride at 1 p.m. today. To celebrate the new safer street, there will be a small ceremony at the corner of Spring and Second streets and then a chance for bike riders to try it out.

City council members Jan Perry and Jose Huizar, who is also a Metro Board member, are expected to be among those who take a first ride down the 1 1/2-mile long bike lane that extends from Cesar Chavez to 9th Street.

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New bike parking facility in Santa Monica officially open for business!

The new $2-million Santa Monica Bike Center opened this morning — the largest secure bicycle parking facility of its kind in the nation.

The bike center’s two combined locations on the ground floor of the Santa Monica Place parking structure feature almost 5,300 square-feet of space and nearly 360 secure bicycle parking spaces. The full-service facility also includes rentals, attended bike valet, showers, lockers, self-service repairs, vending and restrooms. The bike center location at 4th Street and Broadway is near stops for many bus lines and is only block away from the future Expo Line light rail terminus scheduled to arrive in Santa Monica in 2015.

Metro provided $1.5 million in funding through its 2007 Call for Projects grant program. Metro Deputy CEO Paul Taylor and Metro Board Members Zev Yaroslavsky and Pam O’Connor were on hand for the grand opening ceremony today.


Brand New Santa Monica Bike Center to open Friday, Nov. 18

Santa Monica Bike Center Save the Date

The Source earlier today reported on the City of Burbank’s new bike parking facility. Now the Big Kahuna of L.A. area bicycle parking facilities is on its way.

This Friday, November 18, the city of Santa Monica and Metro will officially open the Santa Monica Bike Center, whose two bike center locations offering secure bike parking and rentals are ideally located just blocks from Santa Monica Pier and the future Expo Line Phase II.

More details of this brand new facility will be forthcoming, but mark your calendar now for the Friday opening, which will be followed by a weekend open house.

Cyclists, meet up at Santa Monica City Hall lawn at 9:15 a.m. for a short ride to the new facility.

More info is after the jump.

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