L.A. County’s Bike Advisory Committee comes out of the closet

Tuesday, Stephen Box revealed the existence of the county’s newly formed Bicycle Advisory Committee — and their plans to hold the first official meeting in private.

He also provided contact information for the L.A. County Supervisors who appointed most of them, just in case someone might have something to say on the subject. A few hours later, along with a number other people active in the cycling community, I received an email from county Bikeway Coordinator Abu Yusuf inviting one and all to attend its inaugural session tomorrow night.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

According to Stephen’s article, the County of Los Angeles BAC — not to be confused with the city BAC chaired by Glenn Bailey — was formed to advise the county on its new bike plan, currently being developed by the highly respected Alta Planning and Design. The same Alta Planning responsible for the much-maligned bike plan currently under consideration in the City of Los Angeles.

Although, to be fair, the assumption in most cycling circles is that Alta wasn’t allowed to do their best work.

To put it mildly.

So now they have another chance to develop a comprehensive Los Angeles bike plan, for one of the few local governments that may actually be more dysfunctional than the City of L.A.

As Stephen Box points out, this plan will only affect unincorporated parts of the county, which are scattered in and around the 88 municipalities within the county. Which means areas as varied as the bay-side former singles paradise of Marina del Rey and East Los Angeles — the real Eastside, on the other side of the L.A. river, now accessible to Westside urban tourists via the Gold Line.

But what’s really needed is an umbrella plan that will coordinate and unite bikeways throughout those 88 communities and countless unincorporated areas that make up the this county of nearly 10 million people. So you can actually start in one city, and ride throughout the county without dealing with the current mishmash of disconnected bike systems.

Or none at all, if you happen to find yourself in bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be on anyone’s agenda, including this one:

Agenda

Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting #1

County of Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan

January 14, 2009

6:30PM – 8:00pm

Introductions (10 min)

Overview of Bicycle Master Plan Process (15 min)

•    Draft Goals and Objectives of Plan

•     Work Completed to Date

Purpose of BAC (30 minutes)

•     Staff describes intended purpose (e.g., review of deliverables, advise/assist on outreach, etc.)

•     Q&A

Outreach Strategy (20 minutes)

•     Tapping into Existing Meetings and Planning Processes

•     Formal Workshops

o     Locations

o     Potential Dates

o    Meeting Format

Next Steps/Action Items (15 minutes)

•    BAC to provide input on Goals and Objectives by 02/05/2010

•    BAC to provide input on meeting locations and dates by 01/29/2010

Still, it’s a start. And the fact that the county has discovered bicycles is a good thing.

Now let’s see if they can give Alta the freedom LADOT didn’t.

Details — including this nifty chart of bike parking facilities — below.

Building Address Number of Racks
County of Los Angeles Hall of Administration (West Side of building on N Grand Avenue) 500 West Temple Street Los Angeles, CA 2 inverted U racks
Los Angeles County Superior Court (west side of building 110 N Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 2 Inverted U racks
Los Angeles County Superior Court (east side of building) 110 N Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 6 Inverted U racks
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 2 Inverted U racks
Metro Civic Center Station Intersection of Hill Street and 1st Street 6 rack parking spots

This is to inform you that the first Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting for the County’s Bikeway Master Plan has been scheduled for Thursday, January 14th, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The meeting details are as follows:

Location: Room 150 – County Hall of Records

320 W. Temple Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Contact: Abu Yusuf, ayusuf@dpw.lacounty.gov, (626) 458-3940

Agenda: See attached agenda.

Parking: Parking is available at the music center located at the corner of Grand and Temple, or at the Cathedral which is right across from the Hall of Administration.  The table below lists some of the bicycle racks in the area.

Transit: Both the Metro Purple Line and Red Line subways are serviced by the Metro Civic Center located at the intersection of 1st Street and Hill Avenue.  Many buses also service this location.  Metro lines 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 96,378, 439, 442, 485, 487, 489, and Metro Silver Line stop at this location as well as Foothill Transit lines 493, 497, 468, 499, and 699.

Please feel free to inform others who may be interested in attending this meeting.

………

On a related subject, the South Bay Bicycle Coalition is pushing for a regional bike plan throughout the seven-city area to address the problem of disconnected jurisdictions. And a recent study notes that each additional mile of new bike lanes per square mile results in a corresponding 1% increase in bike commuting.

………

Dr. Alex asks why we should adopt a new bike plan if it doesn’t improve on the last one, while Jeremy Grant suggests keeping the Dept. of DIY’s guerilla sharrows in Highland Park. Here’s your chance to become an L.A. Bike Cop. Streetsblog reports on former police officer and Council Member Dennis Zine’s apparent commitment to supporting L.A.’s current car culture, as well as LACBC’s recent success in developing a Bike Parking Resource Guide. The Swedish rapper who beat a Hollywood jazz musician to death for touching his car continues to claim it was self-defense. In an incident reminiscent of the recent hit-and-run murder of Robert Painter, a Morgan Hill woman was charged with manslaughter for the death of a cyclist riding in the crosswalk; writing on BicycleLaw.com, Rick Bernardi examines the complicated legal issues involved. Bernardi also takes up the related subject of whether a crosswalk is part of the highway or an extension of the sidewalk. A solution for crossing busy intersections; I’ll let someone else try it first, thank you. Winter riding tips from GOOD — including the first one, which suggests riding here in SoCal. New York takes another stab at a vulnerable users law. Webster’s word of the year for 2009 is “distracted driving.” Dark clothing at night is risky, whether in Abilene or L.A. A London cyclist uses his helmet cam to catch drivers at their worst, proving it’s not just L.A. after all. Memorial planned for four Welsh cyclists killed in the UK’s worst cycling disaster. Scotts turn down a proposed road tax on cyclists. A UK coroner urges parents to ensure children’s bikes are properly maintained.

Finally, Boise, Idaho passes new three-foot passing and anti-harassment laws, along with a ban on reckless riding, while the LACBC writes about the failure of our own anti-harassment ordinance to get past the Public Safety Committee. Is anyone else embarrassed that towns like Boise and Columbia, Missouri do more to protect their citizens than our own once-great city?

4 comments

  1. Joe Linton says:

    Thanks for covering this. A minor point, not a big deal, but something that I thought I’d mention. You state above:

    “As Stephen Box points out, this plan will only affect unincorporated parts of the county, which are scattered in and around the 88 municipalities within the county.”

    This is actually something that wasn’t pointed out in the article. I think the plan’s scope is something I pointed out in the comments to Stephen’s article. It’s not a big secret but it’s also not really published anywhere that I know of. It’s something I had to ask about when my county contact (from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office) contacted me.

    I don’t want to take anything away from Stephen – I think it was his quick going public with this that got the meeting open to the public – which was/is very much needed. Kudos to Stephen for this!

  2. […] is the kick-off meeting of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Advisory Committee (this is county – not to be too confused with the city committee that shares the same name.) […]

  3. […] The L.A. County Bikeway Coordinator is Abu Yusuf, according to BikingInLA. He can be reached at ayusuf@dpw.lacounty.gov or 626.458.3940, if you’ve got further […]

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