Advocacy

People For Bikes is hosting another Draft Meetup in Burbank

RSVP NOW SPACE IS LIMITED! >> pfcycl.es/2maqUZ5
Free Tacos, Beer and Non-Alcoholic Beverages in a casual networking environment for people for love bikes.

DRAFT brings riders, brands, bike industry and policy makers together and gives them a venue for bike news and networking!
Join us for a fast paced hour of ideas, entrepreneurs, and bikes, capturing some of the exciting things happening for Los Angeles Bikes, Biz & Beer sponsored by Golden Road Brewing.

SCHEDULE
6:30 – 7:30 pm: Beer + Banter
7:30 – 8:45 pm: Program + Speakers
8:45 – 10:00 pm: More Beer + Banter!

 

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The LA River Bike Path Reopens

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Los Angeles District, issued a task order September 1, 2016 under an existing contract to BJD Services, for strategic in-channel, non-native vegetation, trash and debris removal in the Los Angeles River for work in the area adjacent to Elysian Valley between Fletcher Drive and Riverside Drive (at I-110). Work was initiated on September 19, 2016. The primary focus of the work is to manage by hand removal the largest strands of continuous non-native vegetation in the Los Angeles River. Initial work has been completed. As such, the LAR bike path will re-open weekdays beginning Wednesday, March 15, 2017. The current status of our efforts includes removal of approximately 12,192 cubic yards of non-native vegetation and 3,048 cubic yards of trash and debris from the area.

The Corps’ contractor will continue to perform monthly maintenance within reaches 5C, 6A, and 6B through September 2017. This work does not require additional bike path closures.

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Sharing the Road – Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists

From DMV.ca.gov

 

Each year in California, more than 100 people are killed and hundreds of thousands more are injured in bicycle collisions. Some bicycle related crashes are connected to the bicyclist’s behavior, while others are due to the motorist’s lack of attention.

  • Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations. Refer to the California Driver Handbook to become familiar with these rules.
  • Motorists must look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes, and opening doors next to moving traffic. Respect the right-of-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you.

 

Four Basic Safety Tips

Here are four basic bicycling tips:

  • Maintain control of your bicycle.
  • Protect yourself–reduce the risk of head injury by always wearing a helmet.
  • Be visible, alert, and communicate your intentions.
  • Ride with traffic.

 

Maintain Control of Your Bicycle

There are many things you can do to control your bicycle, even in an emergency. First, ensure your bicycle is the right size and properly adjusted to fit you. A properly fitted bicycle is easier to control, more comfortable, and causes less fatigue. A bicycle shop can help you choose the correct size bicycle. Ensure your bicycle is in good working order by inspecting it regularly.

The California Vehicle Code (CVC) contains specific laws pertaining to bicycle riders. For example, it is unlawful to operate a bicycle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug (CVC §21200.5).

Convictions are punishable by a fine of up to $250. If you are under 21, but over 13 years of age, your driving privilege will be suspended or delayed for one year once you are eligible to drive.

Protect Yourself

Even a simple fall can cause a life threatening head injury. The brain is fragile and often does not heal the way that broken bones can. The damage can stay with you for life. Properly fitted helmets provide protection. By law, bicycle riders under 18 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet while riding on a public road (CVC §21212).

Be Visible and Alert

Even if you obey all traffic laws, there is always a risk of being hit by a motorist who is not obeying the laws, or who simply does not see you. Ride carefully–vehicles waiting at stop signs, in driveways, or parking spaces may suddenly pull out in front of you. Watch for vehicles that have just passed you and may turn right, as well as vehicles coming the opposite way that may turn left in front of you. Be prepared to stop or take evasive action.

Use hand signals before making turns or changing lanes to warn traffic around you. To signal a left turn, look behind you, over your left shoulder, and then extend your left arm out. To signal a right turn, hold your left arm up with your elbow bent (you may also hold your right arm straight and point to the right). You do not have to keep your arm extended while completing the maneuver always have at least one hand on the handlebars to maintain control. To signal that you are slowing or stopping, extend your left arm down.

Using lights and reflectors at night is the law (CVC §21201). During darkness, bicyclists must have the following equipment:

  • A front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet.
  • A rear red reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet.
  • A white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles visible from a distance of 200 feet.
  • A brake which will enable the operator to make a one brake wheel stop on dry, level, clean pavement.

Increase your visibility by wearing light or bright colored clothes, such as yellow or lime green. Red appears black in fading light and is not a good choice for riding in the evening. Mirrors provide opportunities for increased awareness of your surroundings, but use mirrors only as an aid. Always look over your shoulder to make sure the lane is clear before turning or changing lanes. Make sure your brakes are in good working order.

Ride With Traffic

Ride in the same direction as traffic. This will make you more visible to drivers entering roads or changing lanes, because they will know where to look for possible conflicts. On a one-way street, you may ride on the left as long as you are riding with traffic.

How Far to the Right?

Ride on the right, but not so far that you might hit the curb. You could lose your balance and fall into traffic. Do not ride too far to the right:

  • When avoiding parked vehicles or road hazards.
  • When a traffic lane is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side.
  • When making a left turn so that vehicles going straight do not collide into you.
  • To avoid conflicts with right–turning vehicles.

 

Hazards

Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Avoid running over potholes, gravel, broken glass, drainage grates, puddles you can’t see through, or other unsafe road conditions. Look over your shoulder to avoid swerving suddenly into traffic. When possible, signal before changing lanes.

Parked Vehicles

Bicyclists should ride far enough away from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by an opening door.

When to Take the Traffic Lane

A bicycle lane is a designated traffic lane for bicyclists, marked by a solid white line, and typically breaking into a dotted line at the corner. A bicycle lane is different from a simple white line showing the edge of the road because it follows specific width requirements and is clearly marked as a bike lane. Many roads do not have designated bicycle traffic lanes, so bicyclists share the traffic lane to the left of the white line. If there is no shoulder or bicycle lane and the traffic lane is narrow, ride closer to the center of the lane. This will prevent motorists from passing you when there is not enough room. Bicyclists can travel at speeds of 20 mph, or faster. You should also use the traffic lane when you are traveling at the same speed as the traffic around you. This will keep you out of motorists’ blind spots and reduce conflicts with right-turning traffic.

Motorists Passing Bicyclists

Be patient when passing a bicyclist. Slow down and pass only when it is safe. Do not squeeze the bicyclist off the road. If road conditions and space permit, allow clearance of at least three feet when passing a bicyclist.

Obey Traffic Signs and Signals

Bicyclists must obey STOP signs and red signal lights. It’s a good idea to stop for yellow lights too–rushing through a yellow light may not leave you enough time to make it across the intersection before the light changes.

Left Turns

There are two proper methods for making a left turn on a bicycle:

1. Using Traffic Lanes

As you approach the intersection, look over your left shoulder for traffic. If clear, signal your turn and move over to the left side of the lane, or into the left or center turn lane. Position yourself so that vehicles going straight cannot pass you on your left while making your left-hand turn. Yield to oncoming traffic before turning. If you are riding in a bicycle lane or on a multi-lane road, you need to look and signal each time you change lanes. Never make a left turn from the right side of the road, even if you’re in a bicycle lane.

2. Using Crosswalks

Approach the intersection staying on the right. Stop and either cross as a pedestrian in the crosswalk, or make a 90 degree left turn and proceed as if you were coming from the right. If there is a signal light, wait for the green light or the WALK signal before crossing. Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

People For Bikes wants to know what you think about bicycling in your community.

From PeopleForBikes.org

In fall 2017, we’ll publish the first PlacesForBikes city ratings: a data-driven system identifying the best U.S. cities for bicycling and rewarding those that are improving the fastest.

Want your town on the all-star list? The ratings will be based in part on your input.

 

TAKE THE COMMUNITY SURVEY >

Everyone can participate regardless of where, how or why they ride. It asks questions such as how safe biking feels, whether it’s getting better, and where are your favorite places to ride. Click on the link above to take the 10 minute survey and share this link with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. The more responses we get by April 15, the better picture we’ll have of local biking.

For a chance to win a $1500 Trek bike and other prizes, you can provide your name and email. [Official sweepstakes rules.] Or you can participate anonymously.

To get the full picture of bicycling in your community, we are also gathering data on your city’s bike network and recent progress. Please forward this link to your city leaders and ask them to complete the City Snapshot. The deadline for completed City Snapshots is also April 15, 2017. One staff person from each city or town should fill out the City Snapshot.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CITY SNAPSHOT >

The five-star ratings are based on several pieces of data, including Community Surveys and available data on safety and bike riding. The PlacesForBikes ratings evaluate how good biking is today, an acceleration factor of progress being made, and a piece we call reach, which looks at how well the entire community is being served by biking.

For technical difficulties or questions with either survey, contact us at placesforbikes@peopleforbikes.org.

Metro Committees Approve Union Station Bike Hub Budget

From StreetsBlogLA

 

Metro has big plans for upgrading L.A.’s historic Union Station to prepare for the 21st century. Future plans include run-through tracks (SCRIP), high-speed rail, expanded structures, and pedestrianization of station frontage. Construction is already underway on the new busway station. One small project that took a small step forward today is the Union Station Metro Bike Hub.

 

Metro had planned and budgeted to site the bike hub in an existing underground parking area below Patsaouras Plaza. The planned area was converted to ADA parking, so the bike hub was moved to a new stand-alone structure on the north side of the ticketing room in the historic station – near the Mosaic Apartments. Moving the site from within an existing building to a new freestanding building has increased the cost from $1.3 million to $2.5 million.

 

The Union Station Metro Bike Hub will be similar to the existing bike hub at the El Monte Silver Line BRT Station, which includes staffed bike parking, bike repair services, basic bike supply retail and some bike education materials.

 

Today, two Metro board committees (Finance, Budget and Audit, Planning and Programming) approved the $1.15 million budget increase. The item will now go to the full Metro board for likely approval at their February 23 full board meeting. If approved by the full board, construction would start next month, with an anticipated opening in Fall 2017.

 

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Over 80 Organizations Stand with CalBike Calling for Reforms on Proposed Spending Package

From CalBike.com

 

On Monday, 82 organizations endorsed a set of recommendations, developed by CalBike and our allies, to call for changes in a deal to increase revenue for transportation system maintenance. The deal, two years in the making, invests too much in the old transportation paradigm of roads, including expansion. It will keep people stuck in their cars instead of giving Californians real,  sustainable and affordable options.

A letter delivered to Senate Transportation Committee Chair Jim Beall of San Jose, Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Jim Frazier of Oakley, and Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly, expresses support for the main goal of the funding deal — new revenue to maintain roads — and some specific aspects of the deal, including its increased investment in the Active Transportation Program to provide more grants to local jurisdictions for trails, bikeways, and sidewalks, Open Streets events and Safe Routes to School programs. However, in order to make real progress in reforming our transportation system for the future, the 82 organizations signed on to the letter are asking for the following key reforms to be included in the package:

  1. Prioritize the funding toward vulnerable, low-income communities that who are disproportionately in need of alternative transportation options, greater mobility, and bear the brunt of the health and safety impacts of our transportation system.
  2. Dramatically increase funding to provide high-quality, efficient transit service especially for low-income individuals and families.
  3. Ensure we can meet our state climate change and air quality standards by carefully tracking any investment spent on expanding roads and freeways.
  4. Require expertise in climate change, environmental justice, walk, bike, and transit for future appointments to the California Transportation Commission, which oversees state and federal transportation funding and advises the Legislature.
  5. Protect the integrity of the California Environmental Quality Act, which reduces environmental impacts and improves transportation project outcomes.

 

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Bike Shop Owner Joe Bray-Ali Faces the Ride of His Life as He Challenges Councilman Gil Cedillo

From LADowntownnews.com

 

Joe Bray-Ali pedals to the glass-fronted Chimney Coffee in Chinatown, nine minutes after our appointed meet-up time on a Tuesday morning. He clambers off the bicycle that has a large cargo container affixed to the front wheel. He enters the shop; his 7-year-old milk-colored Chihuahua mix Rosie remains in the container on the bicycle, within viewing distance. Over the next hour she’ll stay put and guard the bike. The pint-sized canine barks boisterously at a larger dog who approaches her territory.

 

Bray-Ali is also figuratively seeking to protect his community and barking at a much bigger dog. Bray-Ali is running for the First District City Council seat held by Gil Cedillo. Incumbent council reps in Los Angeles almost never lose. The odds are against Bray-Ali, and Cedillo’s $300,000 advantage in cash raised with the election five weeks away only heightens the challenge. That’s why Bray-Ali has been steadily pedaling across the district, hitting meet-and-greets, raising money and, while on two wheels, recording Facebook Live streams in which he riffs about his candidacy and the community.

 

Bicycles are important to Bray-Ali. He opened the Figueroa Street bike shop Flying Pigeon nine years ago, though in a shocking twist, he is closing it to focus full-time on his campaign. Life on two wheels has also been a source of activism; he’s been a key figure in Los Angeles’ vocal, often cantankerous and surprisingly well-organized bike lobby.

 

Bray-Ali, 37, is thoughtful and has a folksy manner — in a Live stream as he pedals to an L.A. Times editorial board meeting, he tells the camera affixed to his bike, “Got my suit, got my fancy shoes on.” In another he sits down at a piano and adeptly spins into some blues noodling. He has a quick laugh and a nice haircut. He seems more human than politician, and if the campaign doesn’t work out you could see him as a TV talk show host.

 

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L.A. Parks Committee Approves Griffith Park Plan and River Purchase

Good news from LA Streets Blog

 

This afternoon, the Los Angeles City Council Arts, Parks, and River Committee advanced two key proposals that enhance livability and improve the quality of life for Angelenos. Both items were approved unanimously by councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell, David Ryu, and Bob Blumenfield. These items will soon move to the full city council for final votes.

Griffith Park Shuttle Plan

The city Recreation and Parks Department moves forward with its Griffith Park/Observatory Circulation and Parking Enhancement Plan. The plan is a promising step toward dealing with congestion largely due to tourist traffic seeking to visit L.A.’s iconic Hollywood Sign.

Over the past year, Recreation and Parks has refined an initial draft plan to manage park traffic by adding a seven-days-per-week shuttle connecting the Vermont/Sunset Metro Red Line Station shuttle to the Griffith Observatory. To pay for the shuttle, the park would charge for parking at the observatory. The plan keeps current car-free park roads car-free.

The Parks Department had hoped to implement the new shuttle late last year, but a group of rich homeowners have threatened a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit to block implementation. The neighbors assert that the paid parking plan will cause tourist traffic to spill over into their neighborhoods west of Griffith Park.

The parks committee heard the appeal from the homeowners, as well as extensive public testimony in favor of the plan, and voted to move forward with the new shuttle/parking plan, which could begin in late March. The item goes to full city council tomorrow.

 

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Culver City Explores Expo-to-Downtown Protected Bike Lane

From Urbanize.la

 

Although Culver City has capitalized on its nearly five-year-old Expo Line Station with a series of commercial developments on adjacent properties, the elevated Metro stop remains isolated from the city’s commercial core nearly a half-mile west.  While a long-term solution may call for a continous build-out of pedestrian-oriented development down Washington Boulevard, Culver City is looking to temporarily bridge the gap by adding a new bicycle connection between its Downtown and the station area.

This past weekend, Culver City held a public workshop regarding a proposed protected bike lane along Washington between Wesley Street and Ince Boulevard.  These types of bike lanes are segregated from automobile traffic through the use of a physical barrier, such as a curb, parked cars or bollards.

The concept has already been successfully implemented at several locations across Los Angeles County, including the San Fernando ValleyDowntown Los Angeles and Long Beach.

In Culver City, the proposed lanes would link a bustling stretch of Culver Boulevard with Helms District.  Both neighborhoods are currently witnessing an influx of new apartments, offices, shops and restaurants.

 

Continuing Reading

Preview Some of the Design Options for the Slauson Segment of the Rail-to-River Bike/Pedestrian Path

I am currently working my way through Metro’s design concepts for Segment A (above) of the Rail-to-River project and will explore some of them more fully in a longer story ahead of next month’s meeting in South Central. But, in a year that has been mostly terrible from start to finish, it is nice to end on a positive note with happy drawings of how a blighted corridor might be transformed in a deserving neighborhood.

One of the more interesting things to note is that a survey Metro distributed this past fall (and we wrote about here) found that respondents would most likely use the path for walking and were much less likely to use it for biking or to connect to transit.

The survey was far from scientific, of course, and while many of the respondents live in South L.A. or are advocates for the area, the bulk of respondents were not necessarily folks that live along Slauson itself or ones that commute to work or school along the corridor.

Even so, such a finding does actually support the case I’ve made in previous articles for the project to be designed with South Central families in mind. Meaning that adequate space for walking, amenities (like benches, art, lighting, and fitness equipment), and even for the vendors who have been working along that corridor for a decade or more (as a way to help activate the space and make it feel welcoming and safe) will be key to making the project successful and community-centric.