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!.

CicLAvia – To The Sea another major success

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Photos by Dave Sotero & Metro

While it’s anyone’s guess just how many thousands of cyclists attended today’s CicLAvia — To the Sea route, anyone who rode the 15-mile route between Downtown L.A. and Venice Beach can attest it was bike bumper to bike bumper most of the way.

This year’s gargantuan bicycle ride was the longest to date, kicked off in the early morning by L.A. City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and a slew of local officials.  The mayor announced “Car-Free L.A,” a new campaign from LA Tourism that encourages tourism on bikes, public transit and walking.  Check out the web site here.  

Here’s some photos from the magnificent ride on another picture perfect Spring day in L.A.

Metro to add rail service for weekend mega events April 20-21

Here’s news release:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) plans to add train capacity on several Metro Rail lines in anticipation of major Los Angeles area events scheduled the weekend of April 20-21, including Festival of Books, CicLAvia – To The Sea, Long Beach Grand Prix and Staples Center sporting events.

Metro Rail offers convenient access to many of these activities, and remains the best option for beating parking hassles and traffic congestion for these simultaneous weekend mega events, which individually draw many tens of thousands of participants.

The focus of this weekend’s events will be on the Metro Expo Line, which serves Festival of Books at USC and CicLAvia – To the Sea.  On both Saturday and Sunday, Expo trains will operate every 6 minutes rather than the normal 12-15 minute weekend schedule.  Metro will also staff key Metro Rail stations with personnel to help manage passenger flows on and off trains, including passengers with bicycles.

Additional passenger capacity will be provided on the Metro Gold, Red, Purple and Blue Lines at various times to assist passengers traveling to and from this weekend’s other events, including Long Beach Grand Prix and Downtown L.A. sports venues. Metro also will add Metro Silver Line standby buses at El Monte Station and Artesia Station terminals to transport additional passengers as required.

On Saturday, April 20, and Sunday, April 21 the Festival of Books at USC is expected to generate a large number of attendees, many of whom will be traveling there directly by Metro Rail for the first time in the book festival’s 18-year history.  The Expo Line has two stations immediately adjacent to the event area at USC: Jefferson/USC and Expo Park/USC Station.  On Sunday, April 21, the CicLAvia — To the Sea route will travel between Downtown L.A. to Venice Beach primarily via Venice  Boulevard. The Metro Red/Purple Line parallels the route as it travels near Union Station, Civic Center, Pershing Square, 7th/Metro, and Westlake/ MacArthur Park. The route then travels south and west via Venice Boulevard, passing the Culver City Metro Expo Line Station at Venice and Robertson.  As this station is approximately halfway between Downtown Los Angeles and Venice, event attendees are anticipated to use the station when traveling via Metro Rail to and from the official CicLAvia route. CicLAvia attendees should anticipate some delays in accessing trains at this station, and be prepared to wait for the next train or subsequent train in order to board safely.

Bicycles are welcome on Metro Rail, but CicLAvia cyclists should follow a few important safety rules. Always walk with your bike in the station and on trains. If the train is crowded, wait for the next train. Please allow other passengers to exit and enter the train before boarding. Always stand with your bike in the designated open area while onboard. Always keep doors and aisles clear and give priority to wheelchair passengers. Bicyclists under 14-years-old must be accompanied by an adult. Fuel-powered, 3-wheeled, tandem, recumbent and over 6-foot long bicycles, as well as all mopeds and trailers, are not allowed.

In order to make the most out of their transit-riding experience, Metro patrons are encouraged to purchase a Day Pass on their TAP cards.  The Day Pass will enable patrons to board trains all day long without having to get in line to purchase multiple one-way fares.

For more information on the Los Angeles Times Festival of books, visit http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/.  For more information on CicLAvia — To the Sea or to view a route map, visit www.ciclavia.org/events.  Please note, limited edition CicLAvia TAP cards pre-loaded with a day pass will be available at Hub sites along the route for a donation of $20 or more.  To plan your trip via Metro, go to www.metro.net.

Can L.A. learn from Bicycle-Friendly Rotterdam?

Rotterdam

Transit-friendly bike parking facilities in Rotterdam Netherlands.

L.A. cyclist Roger Ruddick has a cool piece running on KCRW comparing L.A. cycling infrastructure with Rotterdam, a progressive bicycle-friendly city in the Netherlands.

Click here to hear KCRW story.

As Roger writes in his intro, “Rotterdam is not your typical Dutch city, with charming canals and gabled houses. Instead, with its wide boulevards and glass and concrete towers, the city actually resembles parts of Los Angeles– like the viewscape along Wilshire or La Cienega.”

Roger’s insights and interviews are intriguing as L.A. gears up for CicLAvia — To the Sea this Sunday, April 21.

Having taken a trip to Rotterdam several years back, I was personally amazed to see how well the city accommodates bicyclist parking at transit nodes.  These amenities are quite common in the Netherlands. Just don’t forget where you parked…

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Is Spring Street’s green bike lane really a problem for the film industry?

Cyclists using Spring St.'s green bike lane. Photo by Jances Certeza.

Cyclists using Spring St.’s green bike lane. Photo by Jances Certeza.

There’s been and still is a constant quarrel between the film industry, city officials, and the residents of Downtown LA over just what’s to become of Spring Street’s green bike lane.

For those unaware, in 2011 the city of Los Angeles painted green 1.5 miles of Spring Street’s bike lane to encourage more Angelenos to start cycling. The idea was openly embraced by many of the businesses along the lane, and was seen by residents and the cycling community as a forward step for the Downtown neighborhood in its goal to become a more livable space.

Those in the film industry however want it gone, arguing that the bright green lanes would be distracting for viewers in shots, and would be difficult and costly to digitally remove…

Within the public discourse many attacked such an argument, stating that it would be easy to remove the green, and that the paint should stay. One reader at Streetsblog decided to disprove such an argument and take on the task of digitally removing the green from the lanes himself. According to Streetsblog, “It took the editor all of about twenty seconds to remove the green.” Watch the video below to see how the editor easily removes the bright green from his video shot.

Every lane is a bike lane

Bike Safety campaign billboards throughout Los Angeles County

Bike Safety campaign billboards throughout Los Angeles County

 

In the spirit of sharing the road, Metro launched the “Every lane is a bike lane” campaign in late March to increase motorists’ awareness of cyclists’ rights to the road.

Not everyone—both motorists and cyclists—realizes that cyclists are allowed use of a full lane to safely navigate certain traffic situations. This includes keeping clear of cars turning right, doors opening on parallel parked cars, making a left-hand turn and riding on a narrow road. (Here is a helpful DMV guide for cyclists).

A project of Metro’s Creative Services and Marketing groups, the 'Every Lane is a Bike Lane' campaign is just one in a longer list of bicycle directives to be implemented by the agency’s bicycle planning program directed at motorists to increase awareness of cyclists’ safety.

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