If you’re trying to figure out the safest and quickest way to get to a destination and/or connect to Metro Stations on your bicycle in Los Angeles, you’re in luck! The Los Angeles Department of Transportation recently released an update to their online city of Los Angeles bikeways map.
Not only can you find info on existing bikeways throughout the city, you can even browse through the various bikeways currently in development. Pretty cool to browse through and see the development of bikeways in downtown and extending development on Venice Boulevard.
Updates to the interactive bike map include:
New Legend and Map Colors
New Layers: Bikeways in Development & Long-Terms Bikeways
New Details about Bikeways
Full Screen Mode
You can find more details about the update here. Check out LADOT’s online map here, and be sure to let the LADOT Bike program team know what you think of their new map.
Be sure to also download Metro’s countywide bike map and check out the Bike Metro website for more info. An updated Metro bike map will be released in Spring 2014. We also recommend using NextBus on your smartphone for real-time bus and train arrival information — it helps when planning trips.
B Line at Main & 7th in downtown L.A. Photo by Alan Weeks.
B Line on the Macy Street Bridge (now Cesar Chavez Avenue). Photo by Alan Weeks.
9 Line at Griffin Avenue & Avenue 26. Photo by Alan Weeks.
B Line at Main & 12th, downtown L.A. Photo by Alan Weeks.
9 Line at Lincoln Park Avenue & Main, Los Angeles. Photo by Alan Weeks.
Line 5 at Colorado Boulevard & Argus. Photo by Alan Weeks.
N Line at Sunset and Spring, downtown L.A. Photo by Alan Weeks.
N Line on Temple & Spring in downtown L.A. Photo by Alan Weeks.
B Line on Hooper. Photo by Alan Weeks.
B Line at Evergreen & Brooklyn in Boyle Heights. Photo by Alan Weeks.
I had the pleasure of lunching earlier this week with Alan Weeks, the retired Metro employee who literally shot thousands of photos of the Los Angeles streetcar scene in the 1940s, ’50s and early ’60s.
Alan sent me the above collection of black and white photos the other day, most of them shot in 1948 and 1949. I definitely see a few “Then & Now” possibilities in the photos and I encourage you to give it a crack if interested and share with us via our Twitter page. Or if you manage to duplicate one of Alan’s shots, email me and maybe I’ll feature it on the blog.
His collection has gone a long way to helping all of us either remember or comprehend the vastness of the streetcar network which vanished for good in 1963 after a long decline. “At the time, there was a lot of us who never thought we’d see rail transit in this area again,” Alan said. “It seemed like everyone wanted a house, two cars in the driveway and a swimming pool.”
Alan is now busy on two fronts: documenting rail’s comeback in the area with construction of the Expo Line’s second phase and the Gold Line Foothill Extension. And he’s still plugging away, digitizing many of his old photographs and slides. Many of Alan’s photos can also be seen on the Metro Transportation Library & Archive’s Flickr page.
As summer winds down, just wanted to post a few notes from Source Planetary & Universe Headquarters, conveniently located next to Union Station and the county jail:
•The International Olympic Committee on Saturday picked Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, spurning Istanbul (again) and Madrid. In 2017, the IOC will select the site of the 2024 Summer Olympics, with Los Angeles possibly in the running.
The above video was part of Tokyo's bid for the games. I think it's interesting for a couple of reasons. One, it emphasizes the walkability to many of the Olympic venues in Tokyo. Two, it doesn't emphasize transit, perhaps because Tokyo's subway is notoriously crowded.
With that thought in mind, allow me to backtrack for a few paragraphs.
In a rare foray into the Wild West that is reddit, I was asked recently when Metro might take a Measure R extension back to voters. An extension failed at the polls in November despite receiving 66.1 percent approval — just shy of the two-thirds necessary for a victory.
Short answer: no decision to go back to voters has been made by the Metro Board, the ultimate decider on such matters.
Long answer: In June, the Metro Board adopted an acceleration strategy. Part of that strategy was asking Metro staff for a report on when it would be best to return to voters — either 2014 or 2016. It's fair to say that's an acknowledgment that it will be difficult to accelerate anything without extending Measure R past its current 2039 expiration date. Why? There's likely not enough federal funding otherwise without a big local match.
The thrust of the piece: sprawl isn’t a reason for our region to stop growing. If anything, it’s the exact reason we should continue to grow but in a denser fashion — to create more jobs, more jobs near transit and to give transit the riders it needs to survive and thrive.
The three key paragraphs:
These issues are connected. Popular lore is that we have gotten too big, too dense. NIMBY groups blame growth for most of our woes. But by protesting growth they are also cutting off the funds that have kept us going thus far; and NIMBY activist’s resolve is putting the fear of God into our politicians if they just think about new development.
Building public transit into a city with an automotive DNA is not nearly enough. Public transit needs ridership to sustain itself. In our car-based city, people are living too far apart from each other to make it possible for enough of us to walk to transit. Once we are in a car, not enough of us get out to switch over to trains. Metro calls this the first mile, last mile problem. There are lots of smart people working on this problem, but the only way to fully resolve it is not to limp along with the city we have, but build the city we need.
The right answer is density, even if “density” is the least popular word in post-war suburban America. We often throw the word out as a verbal firebomb against new development. However, the right density is really our solution. Not everywhere of course, only within walking distance of a transit station. To offset building concentrations, we can become less dense in between transit lines to the point where we can create new open space. Yes, a better, denser, and more sustainable city can also mean less dense areas and more parks! If we succeeded in creating a balance between higher density along public transit lines and new open space in other areas of the city, we’d once again create a model for the world to admire and imitate.
I highly recommend giving the entire article a look. If you’re reading The Source, it’s likely that you’re interested in this exact kind of thing and disputes about density remain a near constant in our area.
My three cents: Even with the expense of driving, I don’t think many people in our area are prepared to give up having a car. They’re too convenient and/or necessary for many people despite the hassles.
I do think, however, many people would love to drive less to save money on gas and depreciation of their expensive vehicles. I also think many people crave living in the kind of nice, walkable, bikable, transit-able (new word!) communities that Gerhard discusses in his article.
I also think Gerhard hits a home run on the article’s most important point: using sprawl as an excuse to shut down economic growth is a really bad idea that will harm our region far more than it helps it.
If you missed it yesterday, he’s a good post about neighborhoods that are particularly transit-friendly and livable in our region. Of course, not all our commenters agree (do they every?) and the fun part of this list is that we’ll likely have to revamp it down the the line as the transit system is built out. I hope Westwooders are thinking about what it might take to get them on this list!
In 2006, a 1.3-mile segment of York Boulevard between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Avenue 54 was reduced from two lanes in each direction to one lane plus a middle turning lane; bike lanes were added four years later. Did it make the road safer? LADOT has stats that show it did, although it doesn’t remain an accident-free zone. Interesting stuff!
Speaking of road diets, the city of Los Angeles has been planning to put Figueroa on one between Staples Center and USC — including cycle tracks, which are bike lanes separated from traffic by barriers (such as parked cars or bollards). Some street parking would be lost as part of the plan and now new City Councilman Curren Price wants more study of the impacts — with some businesses (including car dealerships and AAA) concerned about those impacts.
The motion does not call for LADOT to stop work on the project, and word out of the Mayor’s Office is that the agency will continue planning for construction if/when this motion moves forward. At this point, we don’t know if Price plans on waging a campaign against the project or if he just wasn’t satisfied with the information provided in the Environmental Impact Report.
The agency that runs buses and trains in the Salt Lake City region is adopting fare cards very similar to Metro’s TAP cards. UTA officials say they believe the cards will help move them toward a distance-based fare system eventually; patrons currently get to ride for two hours (including transfers) on the base fare of $2.50.
New York launched its bike share program on Memorial Day weekend and the San Francisco region debuted theirs on Thursday — with bikes in San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Redwood City and Mountain View. It’s a modest program compared to New York; the Bay Area will initially have 700 bikes compared to New York’s 6,000 bikes. There are now 34 cities in the U.S. with programs. A bike sharing program is planned for Los Angeles but has run into (shocker!) problems involving advertising on bike rental stations. It may launch next year.
Every weekday morning I commute to work during rush hour on bike, starting from the Mid-City neighborhood and ending at Metro headquarters, adjacent to Union Station in downtown LA.
On a bike it’s a tricky commute for many cyclists. Only one east-west street in the area has a bike lane — 7th Street — and that’s only from just west of Vermont to Figueroa. One other street, Venice Boulevard, has been designated as a bike route by the city of Los Angeles, meaning it’s deemed suitable for bike travel but there are no bike lanes. (Here’s the city’s online bike map, a very helpful tool)
Nonetheless, I’ve found there are many options in the area, although nearly all of them involve riding side-by-side with motorized vehicles. On most commute days, I prefer taking one of the main boulevards because they are faster and more convenient; there are smaller residential streets, but taking them means encountering a lot of stop signs and crossing L.A.’s busy north-south streets at intersections that may not have traffic signals or stop signs.
Some of my conclusions that may be helpful to other Mid-City-to-downtown bike commuters:
• I favor and often take Venice Boulevard or Pico Boulevard straight down as they seem to be the safest and less hectic of the big boulevards. For example, if I take Pico Boulevard starting from Arlington Avenue to Union Station, it takes me about 18 minutes to bike to work (Google Maps predicts it would take about 18 to 28 minutes to drive during rush hour).
• Olympic Boulevard is in my opinion the worst to bike on during rush hour, especially if you’re heading west. Its road conditions are beyond poor (cracks and potholes everywhere), and the right lane is less than ideal in size for car drivers going at 35+ MPH to safely pass a cyclist without having to fully switch lanes.
• Wilshire Boulevard is also a nasty monster for cyclists. But its recent addition of a dedicated bus only lane between Western Avenue to South Park View Street (cyclists are allowed to use the bus lane) has also been an improvement for cyclists, especially those who are looking to connect to the 7th Street bike lane. The other advantage of Wilshire is that cyclists can use the Purple Line subway’s Wilshire/Western station to leapfrog into downtown. Relying on the 720 bus is trickier as bike racks are often full.
• Connecting to 7th Street’s bike lane from Vermont Avenue to Figueroa Street is a nice addition to my route on days when traffic is more congested than usual on Pico or Venice Boulevard. Only issue with biking on 7th Street is that the bike lane ends abruptly at Figueroa and the lanes get significantly narrower east of that. Also, the number of red lights you hit between Figueroa and Spring Street is superabundant.
Having said that, which boulevard do you prefer to bike on? And, if you don’t take or prefer any, what are some neighborhood streets that allow for a safe and fast way to bike from the Mid-City area to Downtown LA?
It seems like bike lanes are surfacing up overnight on just about every street in Los Angeles these days. I, like many cycling advocates in Los Angeles see this as a positive change for the city, one that benefits thousands within the community.
With the expansion of bike lanes throughout the city, I’m able to see more and more encouraged folks taking up their bikes to commute, and interest those who’ve never even thought of taking up cycling to commute. Bike lanes are GOOD.
From gazing up into the ferocious jaw of a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex to wandering through the exotic landscape of fluttering butterflies, every day this summer boasts family-friendly fun at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park in Los Angeles.
The museum is now 100 years old and it has revamped itself into an indoor and outdoor adventure to celebrate the past and future all in one setting.
With two convenient Metro Expo line stops in Exposition Park — Expo Park/USC Expo/Vermont — Metro provides easy access to avoid parking fees and traffic hassles. Also, by showing a valid Metro TAP card at the box office, visitors get $1.25 off the $12 adult admission. To plan your best route, visit Metro’s Trip Planner.
At the museum, kids can gawk at the gigantic dinosaur skeletons in the renovated 14,000-square-foot Dinosaur Hall. This collection is twice the size of that in the previous hall and includes 20 full body dinos. Visitors can see the only place in the world that shows the three different phases of the life of a Tyrannosaurus rex. And the exhibit features the youngest known baby T-Rex fossil.
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.
The exhibit is the first major exhibition to survey Los Angeles’ complex urban landscape and diverse architectural innovations. Drawings, photographs, models, films, animations, oral histories and ephemera illustrate the complex dimensions of L.A.’s rich and often underappreciated built environment.
Library & Archive staff has been working with the Getty for the past year in preparation for this exhibit. Several historic items from the Archive have been lent to the Getty for display, along with additional items for the exhibit catalog publication as well as film footage that runs in the Overdrive exhibit.
The exhibit moves on to the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. later this year.