Expo Bike Lane Heading Eastbound on Jefferson at La Cienega Station
When the first phase of the Expo Light Rail opens from Downtown Los Angeles to La Cienega Boulevard this Saturday, transit enthusiasts won’t be the only ones cheering. The line also includes nearly six miles of bike lanes that parallel the route, improving connectivity and transportation options for all cyclists throughout the region.
The bikeway cements the Expo Rail Line’s role as a multi-modal project which transforms an “inactive” rail right-of-way into a transportation corridor with access by bicycle, walking or bus.
“Most rail lines provide car-free transportation to hubs that are within walking-distance of each station, leaving inaccessible wider areas between stations or neighborhoods that force commuters to brave car-choked streets,” says William Ward of the Expo Construction Authority.
The Expo Bikeway, on the other hand, provides yet another option for reaching destinations along what will eventually be a continuous corridor to Santa Monica, either using a bicycle the whole way or in combination with the train.
Bike Lane crossing over Expo tracks at Gramercy Place.
The first phase of the Expo Line officially opens Saturday, April 28, and the 5.9 miles of Expo bike lanes running parallel to the project are a welcome addition to the Los Angeles County bikeway network. Metro hopes the new rail line proves to be a success with riders of all types.
The Expo Line’s parallel bike lanes should also help foster multi-modal bike commuting and create easy east-west cycling connections. Ample bicycle parking at stations also will be available.
Several local bicycle blogs have raised concerns about safety along the route, particularly where the lane crosses the railroad tracks at Exposition and Gramercy, approximately one mile west of USC. We’re happy to report that the city of Los Angeles’ transportation department — known as LADOT — recently added new roadway markings and signage to improve this crossing, including a limit line and a bicycle symbol.
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
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.
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.
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…
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’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.
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.
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.