Which Bike Lanes Should Be Protected? New Guide Offers Specifics



Say this for conventional bike lanes: they’re easy. Building protected bike lanes takes real work.

Maybe that’s why, since U.S. cities started building modern protected bike lanes 10 years ago, one seemingly simple question has come up more than maybe any other: Which streets need them?

It’s impossible to answer that question perfectly, and most U.S. road design institutions haven’t tried. Until now.

At its annual conference Tuesday in Chicago, the National Association of City Transportation Officials released a free 16-page document that makes one of the first comprehensive attempts to answer that question.

In advance of NACTO’s full digital rollout (coming in a couple of weeks), we’ve got a sneak peek at the contents.


That’s a chart designed to take the basic traits any street — auto speed, traffic volume, lane count — and spit out a recommendation of what sort of bike lane the street should have to create the sort of low-stress riding experience that gets people of “all ages and abilities” — eight-year-olds, 80-year-olds, bike-sharing tourists — on bikes.

Got a two-lane, two-way 25 mph street that carries 4,000 autos per day? According to NACTO, a buffered bike lane will do. But if the traffic speed is 30 mph, it’s time to protect the bike lane with a curb, posts or planters.

Many city agencies have already put together their own internal guidance for questions like this, and NACTO’s guidance here is on the stringent end of the spectrum. For example, the PeopleForBikes Bicycle Network Analysis considers a conventional striped bike lane to be “low-stress” if there’s no curbside parking and speeds are less than 30 mph.

NACTO, though, is holding its recommendation to a higher standard, and that’s fine. “All ages and abilities” is, after all, a higher bar for a bike lane than simply “low stress.”


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‘Idaho stop’ may soon be legal throughout California



A variation of what’s commonly known as the “Idaho stop” – the law that allows bicyclists in that state to treat a stop sign as a yield sign – may soon become legal in California.

The California State Legislature will consider a bipartisan bill, AB 1103, in January that would permit bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields.

But it’s not exactly like the Idaho stop. That law defines the rules for stop signs and red lights slightly differently for a bike than for a motor vehicle. First, a cyclist may treat a stop sign as a yield sign: yield to anyone who has the right of way but not necessarily come to a complete stop. Second, a cyclist may treat a red light as a stop sign: proceed through a red light after coming to a complete stop if the coast is clear. These laws have been in place since 1982. Bicycle collisions decreased by 14.5 percent after they took effect, and today Boise has fewer bike crashes than comparable California cities.

AB 1103 does not include the second part of the Idaho law.

Regardless, every cycling organization I am aware of supports the California bill. However, there also is a lot of organized opposition to it.

The intent of the law is to allow a cyclist to clear an intersection more quickly, increasing his or her safety and facilitating smooth motor vehicle flow, by acknowledging the physical differences between riding a bike and driving a car. The counterarguments are fairness (cyclists should follow the same rules as everyone else) and safety (fear that cyclists will use the law as an excuse for blowing through intersections dangerously).


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City finally gets control of Venice Boulevard, paving the way for a pedestrian-friendly makeover


Mar Vista residents can expect to see a little more movement along Venice Boulevard next year — not increased vehicle traffic, but progress on streetscape improvements designed to get people out of their cars.

The mile-long stretch of roadway between Inglewood Boulevard and Beethoven Street is part of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative to revitalize neighborhood commercial centers. Great Streets launched in 2014, but until recently the boulevard fell under the authority of Caltrans, not L.A. City Hall.

Following more than two years of negotiations and a legislative push by state Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, city officials took possession of Venice Boulevard earlier this month.

This means ideas that have been taking shape through public engagement efforts begun in 2014 can start being implemented next year, said L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin.

“The things that I’d like to move on fairly quickly are the mid-block crosswalks, protected bicycles lanes and parklets. The order in which things happen is still a little up in the air,” Bonin said.

Mid-block crosswalks accommodate pedestrian movement where there isn’t an intersection. Protected bike lanes are separated from vehicle traffic by curbs, medians or other barriers. Parklets, as one might expect, are tiny parks — typically an expansion of sidewalk over on-street parking spaces to accommodate landscaping, public seating or bicycle parking.

Bonin, who pushed for Mar Vista’s inclusion in Great Streets, hopes to catch up with similar projects in other council districts now that the jurisdictional red tape has been cut.

“I’d like to see everything done in 2017. We could have gone a year ago if we had the boulevard,” he said.

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LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway Design Completion Project

The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering invites you to attend the first in a series of community meetings to discuss the LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway Design Completion Project. During this meeting, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the project and provide input on preliminary design concepts.

The LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway Design Completion project, currently in the pre-design phase, involves designing and constructing approximately 12.5 miles of new bike path and greenway facilities along the Los Angeles River that will complement and connect to projects that have already been built or are underway. The project area encompasses San Fernando Valley from Vanalden Avenue to Forest Lawn Drive/Zoo Drive.

This first round of community meetings will be held at the following times and locations:


Meeting content and format will be identical, so feel free to attend the meeting which best accommodates your schedule. Please join the Bureau of Engineering, the Consultant team, and Council Districts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 as we meet to discuss the preliminary design concepts of this exciting project.
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Bike Index – Bicycle Registration


The Bike Index makes stolen bikes harder to sell and easier to recover by making sure important information about your bike is there when you need it the most.


The process is simple, secure, and free. Learn more or register your bike now.


So far we’ve registered 100,183 bikes and recovered 3,463 stolen bikes.





It’s simple: we offer an easy and efficient way to store and update important identifying information about your bike.


In the unfortunate event that your bike is stolen, you can harness the power of our network to help get it back. Registering with Bike Index ensures that law enforcement, bike shops, individuals, and everyone in between has the information they need to help reunite you with your bike.


Bike Index is the most widely used bicycle registration service in the world. We strive to be the best resource in the fight against bicycle theft.






Cofounded by Seth Herr and Bryan Hance in 2014, Bike Index is the nation’s largest and most successful bicycle registration and recovery service with over 100,000 catalogued bikes, 75,000 registered riders, 320 community partners and 3,200 confirmed recoveries to date.


Seth, a bike mechanic, conceived Bike Index as a universal bicycle registry for his customers and the cyclists of Chicago.


Bryan, creator of, developed a bicycle recovery resource leveraging community-driven tools and engagement to produce successful claims dating back to 2004.


Merging the two services in 2014, Seth and Bryan created a system that is the culmination of over 20 years of combined experience creating modern, innovative platforms designed to equip the cycling community with the necessary tools to secure their equipment against theft.


Simple. Efficient. Effective.


Bike Index. It’s bike registration that works.






Safer Cycling Through Improved Infrastructure

By John Pucher and Ralph Buehler


It is crucial to improve cycling safety in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention’s injury statistics Web site (WISQARS) reports that in 2014, there were 902 cyclist fatalities and 35 206 serious cyclist injuries (requiring hospi- talization). The United States has much higher fatality and serious injury rates per kilometer cycled than comparable high- income countries. Controlling for exposure levels, cyclist fatal- ities in 2010 per 100 million kilometers cycled were 4.7 in the United States versus 1.0 in the Netherlands, 1.1 in Denmark, and 1.3 in Germany.1 Serious injury rates in 2010 were also much higher in the United States: 207 serious injuries per 100 million kilometers cycled versus 44 in Germany.1

Clearly, the United States has a long way to go to achieve the Vision Zero goal described by Cushing et al.2 As emphasized in that article, traffic fatalities and serious injuries are not in- evitable, and they can be reduced to low levels by implementing the right policies, especially improved infrastructure and technology. Traffic safety experts now use the term “crashes” instead of “accidents” to em- phasize that the design of the transportation system contributes to most traffic fatalities and in- juries. Although Cushing et al. focus on Sweden, all Scan- dinavian countries—as well as the United Kingdom,

the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria—for decades have been implementing the sorts of policies advocated by Vision Zero, which applies to all means of travel. The new perspective of Vision Zero is that traffic fatalities and injuries can and should be reduced far below current levels and

should not be accepted as an inevitable risk of travel.

Cushing et al. apply Vision Zero to the case of cycling and pose the question of whether improved cycling infrastructure can make cycling safer in the United States.2 The article by Pedroso et al. shows that the large growth in bicycle in- frastructure in Boston from 2007 to 2014 was associated with
a reduction in the cyclist injury rate and a large increase in cycling levels.3

Except for some college towns and a few large cities, most roads in the United States have no cycling infrastructure, and what exists is often dangerously designed, poorly maintained, and not connected to form a useful network. Bicycle infra- structure with physical separation from motor vehicles is especially important on high-speed, high- volume arterials with large vehicles such as trucks and buses.4 In addition, intersections are dangerous for cyclists because of turning motor vehicles. Yet only a few American cities have been redesigning intersections to reduce that danger.


Ask An Officer



Join us for a conversation with LAPD, CHP, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and bicycle collision attorney Jim Pocrass about traffic laws, walking, and bicycling in LA. Presented by LACBC, Pocrass & de Los ReyesLos Angeles Walks, and the L.A. Vision Zero Alliance we’ll discuss what are some of the new laws we need to know and issues of concern for people walking and biking in LA today? What about Vision Zero and the enforcement components? Each panelist will share their perspective to start the conversation and will be followed by Q&A with the audience.


Attendance is free and open to all.  Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served before the panel discussion begins.



  • Jim Pocrass Esq. – Pocrass & de Los Reyes LLP
  • Officer Andrew Cullen – Los Angeles Police Department, Traffic Coordination Section
  • Officer Leland Tang – California Highway Patrol, West Valley Area
  • Sgt. Robert Hill – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department


6:30 pm – Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Panel discussion


Bicycle parking – free bike valet will be provided by LACBC

Metro stations – Pershing Square, 7th St. & Metro Center

Automobile parking – street parking and off-street lots.

Pasadena’s Gooden Center Announces 4th Annual Richard Selje Ride for Recovery


The Gooden Center in Pasadena will host its fourth annual cycling fundraiser, the Richard Selje Ride for Recovery on Saturday, October 29 at 7:00 a.m. The event features three rides of varying lengths: the Century (100 mile), Metric Century (62 mile) and Quarter century (25 mile), and takes you through the beautiful foothills of the San Gabriel Valley, from La Crescenta to Monrovia. Supported by the Pasadena Fire Department and Police Department, the ride departs from City Hall and ends at the Gooden in-patient home, an old Pasadena craftsman, on El Molino Avenue. The ride is a unique opportunity to support Pasadena’s oldest non-profit recovery center dedicated to health and wellness for men, their families and the community. Proceeds help provide scholarships toward treatment and counseling to men and their families based on financial need.

For the past fifty-four years, The Gooden Center has provided an affordable, clinically based, fully accredited outpatient and in-patient substance use disorder program of the highest quality to over eight thousand men and their families. The Bishop Gooden home is located in the heart of Pasadena, in a turn-of-the-century Pasadena craftsmen bungalow, and offers a warm, caring environment and solid foundation for recovery for men and their families. The center’s namesake is founder Episcopal Bishop Robert Gooden, Bishop Suffragan of the Los Angeles Diocese from 1930-1947, who was committed to the idea that the unique nature of every individual should be known and developed. The center’s family treatment program offers counseling to the patient and his family, including children ages seven and older and free clinical aftercare for men and their families for life.

The Ride for Recovery is named in honor of Richard Selje, retired Pasadena architect and former Gooden Center Board member, beloved advocate of recovery, and former cyclist. Though no longer a cyclist, Mr. Selje attends the event each year and delivers a warm send-off to the riders. “Over the years I’ve witnessed first hand the transformative work that the Gooden has done and the difference made in so many lives. It is a true honor to be a part of this community.”

Tom McNulty, CEO of The Gooden Center, “I want to thank all the members of the Pasadena community, and our donors, and especially the Gooden Center’s Board of Directors for their ongoing support and dedication to helping those in recovery in Pasadena and the greater Los Angeles area. It is because of you we are able to continue to provide affordable care for all patients.”

Register Here

Union Street Bike Track Is on Track


By EDDIE RIVERA, Community Editor


Arguing only against the lengthy timeline for implementation, the City Council Municipal Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to initiate Metro grant funding for the first phase of a new east-west two-way protected cycle track to be built along Union Street, from Wilson Avenue to Arroyo Parkway.


As part of a new “road diet” — a lessening of lanes to include bike lanes — fourteen intersections on Union Street will eventually be upgraded with new bicycle signal heads in both directions from Hill Street to Arroyo Parkway, along with the installation of protected left turn pockets for vehicles, as part of the track.


Total cost of the track is estimated to be S3.3 million. Metro will reimburse the city for costs up to $2.7 million, and the city will provide matching fund of $684,613.00.


While a group of bike advocates and enthusiasts praised the track, all three members of the Committee present — Chair Councilmember Margaret McAustin and Councilmembers Tyron Hampton and Andy Wilson — questioned the lengthy timeline of the project, which would not actually begin construction until 2021.


Asked Hampton of Rich Dilluvio, senior transportation planner and Pasadena’s pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, who presented the project to the Committee, “How can we do this faster?”


Dilluvio explained that the timeline presented was a “worst case scenario” timeline.


Councilmember Andy Wilson then told Dilluvio, “Give us best case numbers and details. This construction timeline is frankly, embarrassing.”


Committee Chair McAustin also voiced her concerns about the timeline, but praised the project, saying, “This has a ‘If you build it, they will come’ feel to it, and I think this could really change people’s thinking and create critical mass, in a good way.”


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Bicycle riders, how do you share the road with buses? Take our survey

To people who ride bikes in Los Angeles County: we want feedback and “real world” insights on your experience sharing the road with buses.

Metro is conducting a study (the link is below) that will develop design guidelines for the safety and comfort of people riding bicycles, while also considering bus operational efficiency and the concerns of bus operators for safely sharing county streets.

The study specifically looks at how street markings, signs, and bike lane designs affect the safety and comfort for bicycle riders. Metro’s survey will ask you to evaluate and share your experience with both specific bike facilities in L.A. County and conceptual designs that may not be in widespread use here. It also delves into specific interactions you might have with buses as you ride down the street, and how those interactions affect the choices you make about riding a bicycle.

In addition to this survey, the project includes gathering feedback from the bus operators themselves and from the planners and engineers who design bike facilities around L.A. County. Metro will also be reviewing worldwide guidance and designs, and collecting data from before and after many bikeways were installed in the county. With this comprehensive outreach and data analysis, Metro will develop design guidelines that cities and agencies around the County can use to design bike facilities that are safer for everyone and that accommodate the needs of Metro and other bus agencies.

The study will also develop recommendations on education and training for bus operators as well as people who ride bicycles. The study is anticipated to be completed by late summer 2017.

The survey does not focus on bike racks on buses, bike parking or bringing bikes onto buses. Bicycling law and enforcement issues are also outside the scope of Metro’s study, but the study can provide the data analysis to help inform future decision-making on this subject.

If you ride the streets of L.A. County, please share your personal experiences via a short, 10-minute survey and be entered for a chance to win an iPad or one of three Metro Bike Prize Packs!  Take the survey here: