Caltrans, Amtrak announce new bike reservation policy

Here is the news release from Caltrans, which funds Amtrak service in California:

Caltrans, Amtrak Announce New Bike Reservation Policy to Improve Customer Service and Enhance Safety

SACRAMENTO – Amtrak California passengers traveling with bicycles can reserve onboard bike rack space free of charge beginning June 1, 2013 when booking travel on Pacific Surfliner trains.

“We heard our customers and we responded,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Caltrans eliminated the $5 bike reservation fee to make it as easy as possible to bring your bike along when riding the Pacific Surfliner trains.”

Previously, without a bike reservation system in place, when bike racks became full, passengers had no choice but to store bikes next to luggage storage areas or walkways.  At times, if bike traffic became too heavy, bike passengers would not be allowed to board at all.

“With bike reservations, planning travel is made easier by enabling bike-toting passengers to choose an alternate train should their first choice be fully booked.
It’s truly a win-win,” said Caltrans Division of Rail Chief Bill Bronte.

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Bike Week special announcement: Metro to partner with C.I.C.L.E to sponsor 20 community bicycle rides throughout Los Angeles County

Above: a photo gallery from Saturday night’s ride between Union Station and Dodger Stadium. About 80 cyclists participated. Photos by Dave Sotero/Metro.

Here’s the news release from Metro: 

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today announced a partnership with Cyclists Inciting Changes Through Live Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.) to sponsor 20 “Urban Expedition” community-based bicycle rides throughout L.A. County over the next two years.

The ambitious effort kicks off Bike Week L.A., May 13-19, and will continue through Bike Week 2015.  Destinations and routes for these group rides are being organized and are intended to introduce new and veteran bicyclists to some of L.A. County’s iconic destinations they might not visit on their own. Metro and C.I.C.L.E. conducted the inaugural ride Saturday, May 11 from L.A. Union Station to Dodger Stadium where bicyclists enjoyed secure bike parking, an exclusive tour and special discounts to see the Dodgers battle the Miami Marlins.

The rides focus on safe bicycling etiquette, rules of the road and basic maintenance. 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.

“These rides are for all people from the first-timer to experienced rider,” C.I.C.L.E Executive Director Dan Dabek said. “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.”

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Metro promotes bicycle activities and festivities during official “Bike Week LA” May 13 to 19

Here’s the news release from Metro:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is sponsoring “Bike Week LA” activities from May 13-19 to encourage Angelinos to ride bicycles to work, school and other destinations throughout LA County to reduce traffic and air pollution. Bring a bicycle or bicycle helmet on Metro buses and trains for a free ride on Bike to Work Day, May 16.

Metro will be offering a chance to win several prizes, such as a commuter cycling package from REI valued at $750, to those who pledge to bike to work on Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 16. Pledges may be made online at www.metro.net/bikeweek. Schools, workplaces, and advocacy groups will hold bicycle pit stops that day with free refreshments, giveaways, and bicycling information for bicycle commuters.

Metro has plans to help increase the number of bicycle trips in L.A. County, and has invested close to $200 million in bike facilities and programs. Besides direct investment in bicycle projects, the expanding network of Metro buses and rail service enables more cyclists to extend their trips by combining bicycling with public transit.

All Metro buses are equipped with front bike racks. Bikes may also be taken on Metro trains. On Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 16, Metro will offer free rides to bicyclists on Metro buses and trains throughout Los Angeles County. Culver CityBus, Glendale Beeline, LADOT, Long Beach Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, Norwalk Transit, Pasadena ARTS, Santa Clarita Transit and Torrance Transit will also offer free transit rides to bicyclists who board with a bicycle or bicycle helmet. Metrolink will offer free transit rides to bicyclists who board with a bicycle.

Cyclists may bring their bicycles on Metro trains during all system hours.

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Transportation headlines, Monday, May 13

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Laurie Becklund on transactional planning in Hollywood (The Planning Report) 

The Hollywood Hills resident wants to see development in her end of Hollywood but has a lot of issues — issues she wants studied further — with the Millenium Hollywood skyscrapers being proposed near the Hollywood/Vine Red Line station. The gist of it: she thinks the project is too large and will greatly harm traffic in the area. Thoughts, readers?

Extreme commuter: UCLA staffer commutes 22 miles from Valley to campus (UCLA Today) 

Good post for the first day of Bike to Work Week.

Opinion: Metro must keep faith on Gold Line (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

Two members of the Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board say that Metro must commit $950 million to complete the Gold Line to Claremont instead of just funding it to Azusa as part of Measure R. I think it’s important to understand that Measure R doesn’t fully fund all of the Measure R transit projects or the more expensive alternatives of those projects. For example, outside money will be needed to complete the Airport Metro Connector, the Regional Connector, the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor and the light rail alternative for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor.

Bicyclists can ride Metrolink for free on Bike to Work Day

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Have bike, will travel. Bring your bike to work with you on May 16 and hop on Metrolink for free.

Here’s the press release from Metrolink:

Metrolink will celebrate Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 16, by offering free train rides to Southern California commuters who bring their bicycles on board Metrolink trains.

Metrolink bicyclists can transfer for free to Metro Rail and Bus (metro.net), as well as buses operated by 10 other transit agencies:

 

  • Culver CityBus
  • Glendale Beeline
  • LADOT
  • Long Beach Transit
  • Montebello Bus Lines
  • Norwalk Transit
  • Pasadena ARTS
  • Santa Clarita Transit
  • Torrance Transit
  • Big Blue Bus (must use coupon from bigbluebus.com)

Metrolink bicyclists traveling to Orange County can take part in the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)’s three-mile Bike Rally at 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. from the Metrolink Orange Station to the OCTA headquarters (octa.net).

“Metrolink is pleased to work with transit agencies across Southern California to support the bicycle community on Bike to Work Day,” said Metrolink CEO Michael DePallo. “It’s a great opportunity for us to promote driving alternatives and highlight the many regional connections available to commuters.”

Metrolink is committed to providing bicyclists with convenient, seamless travel options. The agency has a total of 17 Bike Cars, each of which can accommodate 18 bicycles compared to the other cars designed to hold three bicycles. Due to high demand for bicycle space, Metrolink is in the process of designing four additional Bike Cars that will hold nine bicycles each. The new cars will have only one set of bicycle racks instead of two so bicycle owners can sit next to the racks. Metrolink altered the design based on feedback from the bicycle community.

Metrolink introduced its Bike Cars in July 2011. The agency has carried more than 340,000 bicycles since January 2012.

Visit metrolinktrains.com for more information about Bike to Work Day activities.

OCTA gears up for Bike to Work day

Photo from Metrolink Official Facebook

Photo from Metrolink Official Facebook

Metro has a few great events coming up for Bike Week L.A., but the Orange County Transportion Authority has some plans of their own. Commuters in Orange County are invited to join OCTA for a bike rally on May 16, Bike to Work Day.

OCTA will be hosting a bike rally from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Participants will meet at the Metrolink Orange Depot at 7:30 a.m. and join more than 50 cyclists for a 3-mile ride to OCTA Headquarters. In addition, Metrolink will be offering free train rides on May 16 to Southern California commuters who bring their bicycles on board Metrolink trains.

“Biking is an inexpensive and healthy alternative to driving and with more than 1,000 miles of bikeways and 700 more planned, Orange County is an ideal environment for biking,” said OCTA Chairman Greg Winterbottom. “We encourage the public to grab their helmets and join the bike movement.”

South Pasadena receives funding for new bicycle amenities

Pic Green Sharrow Lane-Bike Rack

Great news for cyclists from the City of South Pasadena: it was awarded more than $400,000 in Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) Grant funds to implement its Bicycle Master Plan (BMP). The grant was awarded to fund two high-profile projects from the city’s BMP: the Mission Street Green Sharrow Lane Project and the South Pasadena Bicycle Parking Project.

Here’s the rest of the press release from South Pasadena:

The Mission Street Green Sharrow Lane project is an enhanced class III bicycle facility that will be installed in the center of the right travel lane in both directions on Mission Street from Grand Avenue to Fair Oaks. In addition, bike boxes will be installed at certain intersections as a safety and mobility enhancement for cyclists.

The City’s Bicycle Parking project consists of installing 70 new bike racks, 10 bicycle lockers and 3 bicycle shelters at various locations throughout the City.  Locations will include business areas/places of employment, transit stops, government buildings, parks and activity centers. Bike parking is an essential component to support bicycling as a viable mode of transportation. Just as cars need parking, bicycles also need a location to park safely and securely.

“These grant-funded projects will promote healthy, environmentally-friendly mobility options supporting the City’s goal of multi-modalism while maintaining the City’s small-town character. A transportation system that incorporates bicycling can lead to a reduction in vehicle miles traveled, traffic congestion and related auto emissions, while providing healthy lifestyle choices and improved economic vitality,” stated Mayor Schneider.

To find out more information about both projects and the City’s BMP, visit the City’s website. The BMP is also available at the City Clerk’s Office located at 1414 Mission Street and at the South Pasadena Public Library, 1100 Oxley Street.

Kick off Bike Week with a Dodgers game day ride

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Get ready to ride to the ball game! Photo from Eastside Bike Club Official Facebook

On Saturday, May 11, C.I.C.L.E., the Eastside Bike Club, Metro and the Dodgers will kick off Bike Week Los Angeles with a bicycle ride between two historic landmarks, Union Station and Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine, to watch the Dodgers battle the Miami Marlins.

Deck yourself (and your bike) out in Dodgers gear and meet up with fellow riders at the front of Union Station – that’s the Alameda side – at 2 p.m. The ride will leave promptly at 2:30 p.m. Those with tickets to the game will enjoy early access, a free, exclusive stadium tour, pre-game activities and more. Use the code METRO when purchasing tickets to the game and get an exclusive discount.

The ride is 3.5 miles each way, and keep in mind there’s a bit of a climb up to Dodger Stadium. Continue reading after the jump to see the full press release from C.I.C.L.E. and tips on what to bring for the game day bike ride.

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Amgen Tour of California stops in Santa Clarita during Bike Week LA

Cyclists with Magic Mountain in the background. Photo from Santa Clarita Tour of CA 2013 Official Facebook

Cyclists with Magic Mountain in the background. Photo from Santa Clarita Tour of CA 2013 Official Facebook

The City of Santa Clarita will be one of the host cities for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California next week, which also happens to be Bike Week LA. The city will be the site of the Stage 3 Finish on Tuesday, May 14, and the Stage 4 Start on Wednesday, May 15.

There will be a series of events to celebrate the bicycle race, including a viewing party at Salt Creek Grille, SENSES Rock the Bike, and Bike to Work Day. Don’t miss the Lifestyle Festival on Tuesday, May 14, which will take place at the Westfield Valencia Town Center at the corner of Citrus and Magic Mountain Parkway, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Check Santa Clarita Transit for public transportation routes.

Traffic will be impacted on local roads during the course of the event, keep reading after the jump to see the details.

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Bike Week Coming to L.A. May 13-19

Bike Week L.A. Cometh.  Cyclists ride Downtown L.A. during previous Bike Week L.A.

Bike Week L.A. Cometh. Cyclists ride downtown L.A. during previous Bike Week L.A.

Metro, in partnership with agencies and organizations throughout L.A. County, is sponsoring “Bike Week L.A.” this May 13-19.  There’s a ton of cycling-related activities to get you on your bike next week.  Here’s Metro’s news release.

Metro Promotes Bicycle Activities and Festivities during Official “Bike Week LA” May 13-19

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is sponsoring “Bike Week LA” activities from May 13-19 to encourage Angelinos to ride bicycles to work, school and other destinations throughout LA County to reduce traffic and air pollution. Bring a bicycle or bicycle helmet on Metro buses and trains for a free ride on Bike to Work Day, May 16.

Metro will be offering a chance to win several prizes, such as a commuter cycling package from REI valued at $750, to those who pledge to bike to work on Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 16. Pledges may be made online at www.metro.net/bikeweek. Schools, workplaces, and advocacy groups will hold bicycle pit stops that day with free refreshments, giveaways, and bicycling information for bicycle commuters.

Metro has plans to help increase the number of bicycle trips in L.A. County, and has invested close to $200 million in bike facilities and programs. Besides direct investment in bicycle projects, the expanding network of Metro buses and rail service enables more cyclists to extend their trips by combining bicycling with public transit.

All Metro buses are equipped with front bike racks. Bikes may also be taken on Metro trains. On Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 16, Metro will offer free rides to bicyclists on Metro buses and trains throughout Los Angeles County. Culver CityBus, Glendale Beeline, LADOT, Long Beach Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, Norwalk Transit, Pasadena ARTS, Santa Clarita Transit and Torrance Transit will also offer free transit rides to bicyclists who board with a bicycle or bicycle helmet. Big Blue Bus will offer free transit rides to bicyclists who board with a coupon and a bicycle or helmet. Metrolink will offer free transit rides to bicyclists who board with a bicycle.

Cyclists may bring their bicycles on Metro trains during all system hours.

On Bike to Work Day, Metro is co-sponsoring more than 60 bicycle pit stops across Los Angeles County with local organizations. Bicyclists are invited to stop by for refreshments and free giveaways at various times of the day. For locations and times, go to www.metro.net/bikeweek.

Metro is again hosting the annual Golden Pedal Awards to celebrate those who ride their bikes to work every day.  The public may nominate themselves, friends and colleagues for different cycling awards online at http://www.metro.net/bikes/bike-week/golden-pedal-awards-form/.

Free bike maps detailing more than 1,200 miles of bike paths, bikeways and bike lanes in Los Angeles County are available to plan bicycle trips. Maps may be downloaded online at www.metro.net/bikes/. Free copies are also available at any Metro Customer Center; call (213) 922-2811 to request a copy.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 11
C.I.C.L.E., the East Side Bike Club, Metro and the Dodgers will kick off Bike Week Los Angeles with the “Bikes, Baseball and Dodger Blue Ride,” a special bicycle ride between historic landmarks Union Station and Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine to watch the Dodgers battle the Miami Marlins. Meet-up is at 2 p.m. in front of Union Station (Alameda), departure at 2:30 p.m. For additional ride details, visit www.cicle.org.

Monday, May 13
Bicycle initiatives will be highlighted during Bike Week LA.  During the Bike Week LA kickoff ceremony Monday, May 13 at Grand Park beginning at 10 a.m., Metro, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), Los Angeles Dodgers, the City of South Pasadena, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), and Cyclists Inciting Change through LIVE Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.) will announce specific initiatives that promote bicycling during Bike Week LA and year-round.

Tuesday, May 14
Metro also supports the annual interfaith Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 14. For more information, visit www.goodsam.org.

Wednesday, May 15
C.I.C.L.E., LACBC, and other bicycle groups will host several guided bike rides on Wednesday, May 16 on bicycle lanes and bicycle routes around Los Angeles County, including Culver City, Pasadena, the San Fernando Valley, downtown Los Angeles, and South LA.

Thursday, May 16
Metro and other municipal transit providers will offer free rides to bicyclists on Metro buses and trains throughout Los Angeles County.

Friday, May 17 Through Sunday, May 19 – Bike Local Weekend
All weekend Metro’s Destination Discount partners will offer bicyclists discounts who mention “Bike Week” at over 60 retailers and other venues.

Bike Week LA is sponsored by Metro and other partners and sponsors, including Caltrans, C.I.C.L.E., City of Los Angeles, Good Samaritan Hospital, Grand Park LACBC, LADOT Bike Program, Metrolink, Clif Bar, REI, Better World Club, and RydeSafe.

Bike to Work Day bicycle pit stop hosts include the City of Burbank, City of Covina, City of Glendale, City of Pasadena, City of South Gate, City of Santa Clarita, City of Santa Monica, City of Torrance, City of West Hollywood, City of Whittier, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California State University Long Beach, California State University Los Angeles, Compton Community College District, Glendale College Police Department, UCLA Transportation, Friends of Chandler Bikeway, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Bike San Gabriel Valley, Bike Walk Glendale, Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition, Stans Bike Shop, Chubby’s Cruisers, Orange 20 Bikes, R.A. Physical Therapy, National MS Society, Western Asset, Century City Transportation Management Organization. Paradise Consulting, Alta Planning + Design, Pasadena Towers, Equity Office, Ampco System Parking, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, Equity Office, Fehr and Peers, Princess Cruises, IDS Real Estate Group, Bike to Wellness, Maguire Partners, Burbank Transportation Management Organization, The Aerospace Corporation, Raytheon, Howard Hughes Center, and Yahoo!.