How We Roll, June 15: bikes in bus lanes, state of good repair update

Things to listen to whilst transiting: Amusing Judge John Hodgman that is also mobility related. Episode description: “Ty files suit against her partner Zach. Zach is obsessed with earning and using airline points and miles. Ty also likes to travel, but she wants to give up the crazy schemes and choose their vacation destinations and itineraries the “normal” way.”

Heads Up 1!: The Metro Board’s Planning Committee will hear a presentation from Metro staff on the revised spending plan for the potential sales tax ballot measure. The committee is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. today. Audio and video is streamed live — a link will appear here when the meeting begins.

Art of Transit: 

Wait is it not okay to bike in bus lanes? (LA Weekly)

The issue: does the L.A. Sheriff’s Department have the authority to cite cyclists for impeding traffic while riding in a bus lane — where bikes are permitted. Metro’s perspective:

Metro spokesman Rick Jager insists that officers are well within their rights to reprimand cyclists biking in bus lanes — if they think the cyclists are impeding traffic.

“Traffic enforcement staff can use their discretion to ensure that the bus traffic proceeds unimpeded,” Jager says. “For example, [in] a case where bus traffic is significantly backed up behind one or two cyclists, the deputy can make contact with cyclists.”

He adds: “These buses haul 40 to 80 people at a clip. If they’re stuck behind a cyclist, that’s unfair to people using public transit as well. It’s kind of a ‘share’ idea. It’s not a dedicated bike lane.”

The challenge, of course, is that it’s often difficult for cyclists to move to the right and allow buses to pass. There also seems to be agreement that the existing laws are open to interpretation.

Our take on the Metro ballot measure revise (Investing in Place)

The group calls for more investment in active transportation — i.e. walking and biking projects — and more guarantees for particular projects.

Is Los Angeles a horizontal city? (KCET)

As new development goes up — literally — and not out, architect Wendy Gilmartin would like to see some more inspiring designs. Concur. Some of the new buildings look pretty predictable.

California funds greater use of electric heavy-duty trucks (Transport Topics)

Hard to argue with this. The 710 South project, btw, is studying this very issue — hoping to clean up trucks traveling between the ports and the rail yards.


4 replies

  1. Regular users of 720/20 know bikes aren’t the problem, cars are and ignoring the CVC is too. Someone was being a “Jobsworth” and that is no reason for Metro representatives to fall on a sword for LASD.

  2. What I’ve done the few times I biked on the Bus Lanes on Wilshire and Sunset is that, if I see a bus behind me, I simply go for the sidewalk at an upcoming parking entrance or intersection, then proceed to get back on the Lane afterwards.

    Is this an inconvenience as a cyclist??Definitely, but considering that I’m also a bus rider, I understand the need to be considerate to them as well. If one cannot safely let a bus pass by them, it’s understandable though.

  3. There’s nothign ambiguous about the law. (a) The lane was marked “Bikes OK” so bike riders are permitted. (b) You do NOT have to ride all the way to the right if certain conditions are met; in practice nearly all lanes in LA are considered to be “substandard width lanes” under CA law. Under that condition CVC 21202(a)(3) grans bicycle riders permission to use the entire lane. Read the law yourself: Where’s the ambiguity?

    The bus must either wait behind the bicyclist or (safely) pass him in the next lane over. Safely in this context means staying at least three feet away from the bicycle, as required by CVC 21760.

    • (3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.