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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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…

Rotterdam1


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.

Continue reading

March for Meals on Two Wheels

Photo from C.I.C.L.E. LA's Official Facebook

Photo from C.I.C.L.E. LA’s Official Facebook

Volunteer to deliver meals by bike this Thursday morning with March for Meals on Two Wheels. Meals on Wheels West will be partnering with C.I.C.L.E.Santa Monica SPOKE and Sustainable Streets/SM Bike Center as part of a national campaign through Meals On Wheels Association of America.

Volunteers will deliver meals to homebound community members by bicycle at this special event. This fuel-free alternative to delivering meals is a great opportunity to highlight Santa Monica as a bike-friendly city while supporting MOWW services to reduce hunger and isolation in the community.

EVENT DATE:  Thursday, March 21, 2013

TIME:  Arrive 10:00 a.m.
Meal Delivery 10:30 a.m.

LOCATION: 1823 A Michigan Avenue
                    Santa Monica, 90404
Easy parking available at FAME church lot at the end of Michigan Avenue just east of
office

Please RSVP with Ellen Rabin through email at ERabin@MealsOnWheelsWest.org or by phone 310-394-5133 x 6 if you’re interested in participating.

Be a part of March for Meals to demonstrate support for senior services and increase awareness of the growing incidence of senior hunger in our community. If you are unavailable March 21, you can arrange to deliver meals another day at your convenience.

Art of transit; pre-marathon crash race edition

Photo by Mikey Wally, via Flickr creative commons.

Photo by Mikey Wally, via Flickr creative commons.

After streets are closed the morning of the Los Angeles Marathon, hundreds of cyclists take to the roads to enjoy some car-free time, led by the local Wolfpack Hustle group. The above photo was just posted to Flickr and here’s a story about the cycling event — it’s not an official thing — in today’s L.A. Times.

Metro press release on its new bike safety campaign; cyclists have legal right to take a full lane

13-1362_otd_bike_traffic_safety_30sheet_jl_lo

Let’s face it. There are only so many bike lanes in our region and there remains many places where cyclists are faced with a grim choice. They either must ride in a pebble-strewn parking lane/gutter where they have to avoid obstacles such as parked cars and garbage cans. Or they must ride in traffic lanes with vehicles that are faster than bikes and outweigh bikes by thousands of pounds.

With that in mind, here’s a news release Metro issued today on its new bike safety campaign which is more blunt than the “share the road” signs seen on many area streets. The point is this: cyclists are legally entitled to share most surface streets in California. And motorists are legally bound to pass them at a safe distance, although California law doesn’t specify an exact distance. 

Here is a good summary from the California Department of Motor Vehicles on cycling laws and guidelines:

Bicyclists:

  • Are entitled to share the road with motor vehicles.

  • Have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle and motorcycle drivers.

  • Must obey all traffic signals and stop signs.

  • Are lawfully permitted to ride on certain sections of roadway in rural areas where there is no alternate route.

  • Must ride in the same direction as other traffic, not against it.

  • Shall ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as practical– not on the sidewalk.

  • Are legally allowed to ride in the center of the lane when moving at the same speed as other traffic.

  • May move left to pass a parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, animal, or avoid debris or other hazards.

  • May choose to ride near the left curb or edge of a one-way street.

  • Should ride single file on a busy or narrow street.

  • Must make left and right turns in the same way drivers do, using the same turn lanes. If the bicyclist is traveling straight ahead, he or she should use a through traffic lane rather than ride next to the curb and block traffic making right turns.

  • Must signal all their intentions to motorists and bicyclists near them.

  • Must wear a helmet if under the age of 18.

  • Should carry identification.

  • Shall not operate a bicycle on a roadway unless the bicycle is equipped with:

    • A brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

Public officials also held a photo-op Monday to help spread the word. If you’re a motorist and don’t like it, I have this gentle suggestion: perhaps you can join cyclists in calling for more bike infrastructure to be built that helps separate cyclists from vehicular traffic.

The news release:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is launching a bold new campaign to increase bicycle safety in Los Angeles County.  The campaign, called “Every Lane is a Bike Lane … Bicyclists may need a full lane; Please share the road” will include messages on the back of 75 Metro buses, 135 billboards and spots on 21 local radio stations throughout the region.  The campaign will run between March and May, leading up to Bike Week L.A. May 13-17.

With bicycling increasing in popularity as a viable transportation mode, more biking events like CicLAvia and more new bikeways being installed on a regular basis, Metro’s extensive campaign will help raise motorist awareness that cyclists have equal rights and responsibilities to the road per the California Vehicle Code.

“The breakneck pace of bikeway construction demonstrates that Los Angeles is riding fast on its way to becoming a truly bike-friendly city,” said L.A. City Mayor Antonio Villariagosa. “As more cyclists take to our streets we need to ensure that safety and awareness are of utmost importance as our riders share the road.”

Continue reading

Transportation headlines, Monday, March 18; With Expo Line coming soon, plan to transform Bergamot Station area takes step forward

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.

Council moves Bergamot area plan forward (Santa Monica Patch)

Great news, me thinks. The plan will guide development on 140 acres around the future Expo Line station at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, with the Council voting last week to begin the formal environmental review process. As one city official puts it, the plan will help create a “city within a city” with new apartments, public plazas, 10 new streets and 15 new bike and pedestrian corridors. Critics fear traffic and the cars that will come from new residents but let’s face it — Santa Monica needs the housing to go with its many jobs and the area is being designed in such a way it should cut down on car trips by new and existing residents alike.

Here’s a slide from a city of Santa Monica power point released last year on the goals of the Bergamot area plan (on the map, left is north, top is east, etc.):

Designing the Districts PPT

One-way car flow on Colorado is better for traffic (Santa Monica Patch) 

Speaking of Santa Monica, city studies found that making Colorado a one-way street between Ocean Avenue and Fourth Street would not make traffic any worse. The Expo Line’s final Santa Monica station will be at Fourth and Colorado and the city is converting the street between the station and the Santa Monica Pier into an esplanade that will greatly curtail car traffic — and widen sidewalks to 55 feet on one side of the street. Gasp! Good news: so far the Earth has not ended because of such talk.

The bigger point about this item and the one above: the city of Santa Monica seems intent not just on having a new rail line, but using it to transform some public spaces badly in need of a change in direction.

Glendale infrastructure upgrades to benefit bike riders (Glendale News-Press)

City officials say they will increase the number of in-street traffic signal sensors that can detect cyclists in addition to vehicles. The city also says it’s planning miles of new bike lanes and a bike sharing program. You know what would be great? If officials from Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank and Los Angeles County got together and figured out some good bike routes between those cities. By “good” I mean “good” — not passable, not piecemeal, not bike lanes that are poorly maintained, unsafe or used for parking.

One other media note: who really knows what will happen with the proposed football stadium at L.A. Live — I don’t get any clear sense from the abundant media coverage of AEG’s announcement last week that it is no longer for sale. On the plus side, a football stadium would be near the Blue and Expo lines’ Pico station — which would get an additional platform under the stadium proposal. As for my personal opinion, I have no beef with a football stadium but I’d be more excited to hear about a baseball stadium in downtown proper — something that seems to work in many other cities around the world.