I had the privilege of meeting with Mayor Garcetti this week

I was honored and delighted to have a personal meeting with the Mayor this week. The Mayor goes way back with LAEV to before he became our Councilman, and we only owned one property instead of four.  So it’s always a delight to see how far both he and LAEV have come in the past dozen years or so.  I asked if we could take a photo, so I could have bragging rights when he’s our President some day.

Here a few of the topics we got to talk about, each of which the Mayor was supportive of.  Still a ways to go on advocacy work.  But with the help of the “less cars” folks, the permaculture folks, Teresa  Baker and her LATCH Collective, Hans Johnson leading the Styrofoam ban, and LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King, and, of course, the passionate folks who live in/at the Los Angeles Eco-Village, it’s all within reach!

  • Return the original intent of AB 744 for car-free affordable housing
    Mayor Garcetti and Lois

    Mayor Garcetti and Lois

    developments near transit.   The City watered this bill down so that developers couldn’t go less than 0.5 spaces per unit.  LAEV could demonstrate this for our future developments.

  • Tiny House Villages, legalize them, even on wheels.
  • Hillside terracing, using permaculture techniques for catching rainwater.
  • Joint City/LAUSD use of playgrounds during off-school hours
  • Styrofoam ban.  Let’s do it.
  • Vision Zero.  A few additional ideas.
  • Potholes and buses.  Best cost/benefits.

Let me know if you want a copy of what I recommended about these items.

 

 

New Bike Lanes on First Street – Along L.A. Eco-Village!

New bike lanes on First Street, immediately adjacent to Los Angeles Eco-Village

New bike lanes on First Street, immediately adjacent to Los Angeles Eco-Village

There are a lot of bicyclists in Koreatown, but, as Jeff Jacobberger has pointed out, there aren’t many bicycle lanes existing or planned for the entire dense area just west of Downtown Los Angeles – including Koreatown, Hollywood, and Miracle Mile.

Over the past week, the area did receive one short stretch of bike lane. It’s about a third of a mile on First Street from Commonwealth Avenue/Beverly Boulevard to Vermont Street. This is immediately north of Los Angeles Eco-Village, and along the southern edge of Virgil Middle School.

For what seems like about a half-dozen years, this area has been under construction for LADWP water lines, and then for school construction. Despite construction closing a couple of lanes, as far as I can recall, the street never experienced any serious car congestion. The construction is done, and the street was recently resurfaced.

The treatment that was done on First Street is called a “road diet.” The street used to have two lanes in each direction, with few turn pockets. Now it has one car lane in each direction, full turn pockets, and bike lanes. Studies have shown that road diets make streets safer for drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

As of this morning, the lane markings appear about 90% done, with crosswalks and bike stencils still to go.

Continue reading

Grand Opening for New Virgil Avenue Bike Lanes This Saturday

At one point in the protracted Bike Plan processes, the city of Los Angeles labeled the Virgil Avenue bike lanes as “infeasible.” Thanks to persistence from local cyclists, including Eco-Villagers, and leadership from then-Councilmember now-Mayor Eric Garcetti (special thanks to Garcetti’s deputy Marcel Porras), the city is now striping new bike lanes on Virgil Avenue from Santa Monica Boulevard to Melrose Avenue – just northeast of L.A. Eco-Village.

The new Virgil Avenue bike lanes connect to these recent bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood

The new Virgil Avenue bike lanes connect to these recent bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood

The new bike lanes are a road diet – reducing four car lanes to three – adding bike lanes and making the street safer for driving, walking and bicycling. They are beginning to build the East Hollywood portion of the city’s bicycle network by connecting to recent bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard and are very close to bike lanes on Myra and Sunset. You can ride the new Virgil lanes nearly from the Bicycle District to the new home of the Bicycle Kitchen. Woooot! Woooooooot!

Join now-Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell in celebrating the new bike lanes at their grand opening this Saturday January 18th at 9am at Sqirl, 720 N. Virgil.

Here’s the official announcement from City Councilmember O’Farrel’s office:

Please join Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell as we celebrate the newest bike lane project in the City of Los Angeles! Continue reading

Bike Wash at LAEV Next Saturday!

Hey ridazz! Come get your bicycle washed at Los Angeles Eco-Village! For real. It’s a fundraiser for the Westside Invite L.A. – a bike messenger organized bike race, open to all cyclists.

Bike Wash!

The Bike Wash takes place 10am-5pm on Saturday Septmember 1st 2012 at L.A. Eco-Village 117 Bimini Place, Los Angeles 90004. There will be food and drink for sale – come hang out even if you don’t get your bike washed! Bike washes are available at a scaleable cost from ~$10-30 – ten gets you basic cleaning, twenty better, and for thirty: you may need to bring sunglasses because your bike will be too shiny for the unprotected gaze.

Let’s Have An s4p Plaza Right Quick!

More Streets for People Coming to Los Angeles Soon:
Great Opportunity for Neighborhoods Councils

Stephanie Speights is in the Masters Program in Urban Sustainability at Antioch University  in Culver City. She’s doing an internship with CRSP here in L.A. Eco-Village and has a passion for transportation issues.  She’ll be working with our community and neighborhood on the process and a plan for transforming our alleyway and a portion of Bimini Place into a mini park, thereby radically reducing traffic in LAEV and generating a variety of other benefits for the neighborhood.

Architect & President, L.A. City Planning Commission Bill Roschen with L.A. Eco-Village Transportation Intern Stephanie Speights at s4p meeting.

On Wednesday, May 16th, Stephanie and I attended a meeting at the LA office of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) where Architect and president of the L.A. City Planning Commission, Bill Roschen, gave a presentation on the City’s s4p program, along with Public Health Policy Analyst Margot Ocañas.

By now, most of you have heard about the City’s first s4p project, the Sunset Plaza triangle (at Griffith Park Blvd. and Sunset in the Silverlake area), or if you haven’t, check it out here: http://flyingpigeon-la.com/2012/03/a-place-in-the-sun/

What most of us probably hadn’t heard is that the 11,000 square foot plaza was accomplished by the City in partnership with local community groups in an unprecedented four months and for under $30,000! (Of course, the community groups worked and advocated for this many years before the City actually got involved).

Planning Commissioner Roschen is passionate about  pedestrianizing our city.  Inspired by New York City’s transformation of Broadway Continue reading

Bike Lanes Extended on Vineland in NoHo

New bike lanes on Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood

The city of Los Angeles has been quite implementing quite a few new miles of bike lanes lately. This year I’ve seen more new mileage implemented than any year (calendar or fiscal) since at least 1996. I rode some of city’s newest bike lanes today. They’re on Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood – 0.2 new miles of bike lanes extending from Chandler Boulevard to Burbank Boulevard.  Continue reading

Main Street Bike Lanes Coming to Downtown L.A.

Former striping has been cleared from Downtown L.A.'s Main Street - in anticipation of bike lanes to be added this weekend

In anticipation of new bike lanes, the old lane markings have been scraped away from Main Street in Downtown Los  Angeles. It’s the second Main Street that the city is adding bike lanes to – after Main Street in Venice a couple weeks ago. This project extends the recent Spring Street bike lanes southward 0.7 miles – from 9th Street (where Spring merges onto Main) all the way to Venice Boulevard – through Downtown L.A.’s Fashion District. Continue reading

New bike lanes on Main Street in Venice

New bike lanes on Main Street in Los Angeles' Venice neighborhood

The city of Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) has finished striping some snazzy new bike lanes on Main Street in Venice. The Main Street bike lanes extend 0.8 miles from Windward Circle (the traffic circle at Grand Boulevard and Windward Avenue) all the way to the city limit border with Santa Monica, just northwest of Rose Avenue.  Continue reading

Some Easy Bike Lane Projects L.A. Can Do Right Away

I’ve been pretty critical of the city of Los Angeles Transportation Department’s (LADOT’s) August 2011 announcement to implement lots of sharrows instead of actually implementing the bike plan the city approved in March 2011. Sharrows are wimpy. Bike lanes are proven effective.

The city should be fulfilling its pledge with 40 miles of bike lanes - like these lanes recently added to Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard

Some folks have said: “OK, Joe, you don’t like the city’s sharrows – but what should they be doing?” Generally my answer is: BIKE LANES!

This blog post is a more long-winded response to the question of what projects I think L.A. should be implementing right now. Below I list bikeway projects that I think are good – and that I think that the city of L.A. could move forward with quickly.

I tend to favor easy “low-hanging fruit” projects. I’d love to see protected bike lanes, bike boulevards, road diets… but I think that these will take a relatively long time. Under current city biases, these ambitious projects can take years; so I tend to favor the easier bike lane projects. The good news is that the city is already doing quite a few of these easy projects – for example, recent lanes on Vermont Avenue and Washington Place.

My list below (sorry the framing is getting long, and it’s not over yet) are all EASY bike lane projects – aka low-hanging fruit – specifically:

  • Bike LANES – not sharrows, not bike routes, not “bike-friendly streets.”
  • NO CAR LANE REMOVAL – Bike lanes that can be implemented in the existing roadway without impacting through-traffic-capacity.

The list below are the cheap, easy, quick projects that can get the city to its pledged 40 miles this fiscal year. My sense is that if the city can actually complete more easy painless bike lane projects, L.A. drivers will see more bike lanes and will come to expect them. Soon, with greater public acceptance, the city can move on to doing additional and more ambitious projects. Continue reading

New Bike Lanes in East San Fernando Valley

New bike lanes on Chandler Boulevard in North Hollywood

For New Year’s Day I headed up to the San Fernando Valley to check out two new bike lane segments. Bike lanes striped recently:

  • Tuxford Street – 1.3 miles from Lankershim Blvd to Glenoaks Blvd – in Sun Valley
  • Chandler Boulevard – 0.9 miles from Woodman Ave to Leghorn Ave – in North Hollywood (near Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks)

Continue reading

Analyzing and Mapping L.A.’s 5-Year Plan for Bikeway Implementation

In March 2011, the city of Los Angeles approved its new Bike Plan. Overall the bike plan has 1600 miles of bikeways that will take, oh, the rest of my lifetime or so, to implement… if we’re lucky. Approved with the plan is what’s called the “Five Year Implementation Strategy” which I will call just the “5-Year Plan.”

Below I’ve explained the 5-Year Plan, posted my corrected version of it, and posted maps of the bike lane facilities planned.

Continue reading

New Bike Lanes on Washington Place

New bike lanes on Washington Place in Mar Vista

Thanks, Vicki Karlan, for taking some great photos of folks riding the new Washington Place bike lanes. The lanes, which were explained in detail at this earlier post, were striped by the Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) last weekend, Saturday December 10th 2011. They extend 0.77 miles – from Albright Avenue to Grand View Boulevard – in L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood, adjacent to Culver City.  Continue reading

Some Good Bicycle News – from Culver City and Mar Vista

New bike lanes on Washington Place in Culver City - alongside Tito's Tacos on Washington Place just west of Sepulveda

I was on the Westside yesterday for L.A. Streetsblog‘s end-of-the-year party (at the wonderful, yummy Earl’s Gourmet Grub on Venice Blvd), so I got the opportunity to ride on Culver City’s new bike lanes on Washington Place and Bentley Avenue. Apologies that it was late at night, hence the really poor photos.  Continue reading