Tag Archive for Eric Bruins

The intersection of art and bikes; Vancouver Cycle Chic; and notes from Metro’s Bicycle Roundtable

By Dennis Bredow

By Dennis Bredow

Art and bicycling will collide in Los Angeles this weekend.

And for once, no one will get hurt. Unless maybe you get there too late to get the limited edition poster of your dreams.

This Saturday, ARTCRANK LAX returns to the city, offering original, limited edition bicycle-inspired prints from 32 different artists. Better yet, each signed and numbered poster will be available for purchase for just $40 each.

And yes, I have my eye on a few.

The popular show has been a huge success in cities across the country, from the original show in Minneapolis, to New York, Austin, Portland and San Francisco, as well as London and Paris. This is their second visit to Los Angeles, and it promises to be a huge hit.

By Coby Gewertz

By Coby Gewertz

The night will also be a fundraiser for LA Streetsblog.

Just buy an exclusive ARTCRANK pint glass filled with beer from Widmer Brothers Brewing for $5, and the proceeds will go to support the city’s best reporting on transportation issues; the same goes for raffle tickets.

It all takes place from 4 pm to 10 pm on Saturday, November 9th at Space 15 Twenty, 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd, just above Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

You might even see me there if I can convince my notoriously bike-averse wife to make an exception this time.

Anything’s possible, right?

By Cache

By Cache

………

Another event you won’t want to miss on Saturday.

The authors of Vancouver Cycle Chic are coming to town to present a workshop on Marketing Bicycle Culture at the New Urbanism Film Festival.

While city officials around the world focus their efforts on bicycle policy and infrastructure, they continue to overlook a critical third prong of increasing ridership: marketing the cycling lifestyle. This gap is currently being filled by advocacy groups and the bicycle industry, who often fall into the trap of dangerizing, politicizing, and overcomplicating the act of citizen cycling. Enter the Cycle Chic Movement, which exploded from the streets of Copenhagen in 2006, inspiring millions around the world to dress for the destination, and choose “style over speed”. Vancouver Cycle Chic – an active member of the Cycle Chic Republic – produced a series of short films to promote the simple and stylish act of getting on a bicycle, in the hope they would also motivate authorities to reconsider how they market bicycle culture to their citizens.

It takes place this Saturday at 5:30 pm at the ACME Theater in Hollywood, 135 N. La Brea Ave.

And don’t forget The Long Bike Back, which screens at 4 pm Saturday at the All Sports Film Festival at the El Portal Theater, 5269 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood.

………

I had planned to attend Metro’s Bicycle Roundtable earlier this week, and report back about the latest developments.

Unfortunately, life got in the way when a last minute client deadline I couldn’t push off kept me from attending.

However, Eric Bruins, Planning and Policy director for the LACBC, took exceptional notes, and graciously agreed to share them with us.

Bikeshare

Metro staff was tasked by the board last month with conducting a business case analysis for bikeshare in LA County.  Metro is investigating two basic options:

Metro as Facilitator

  • Metro would establish a bench of qualified vendors for cities to choose from.  Vendors on the bench would agree to a technology compatibility standard.
  • Cities would issue individual RFPs to vendors on the bench.
  • Metro would provide technical assistance and limited funding.

Metro as Lead

  • Metro would issue an RFP and select a single countywide vendor.
  • Metro would set the business model and have an active role in managing the system deployment.
  • Cities would determine station locations and other infrastructure within their public rights-of-way.  Cities would likely manage redistribution of bikes at the local level.

There will be an update at the December 5th Metro board meeting and the final report and recommendations will be released in January.

Bike Hubs

Metro is developing three initial bike hubs (a.k.a. bikestations/bike centers) at El Monte, Hollywood/Vine, and Culver City.  All will be operating by summer of 2014.  An RFP for operations will be released at the end of the month and a contract awarded in February.  Metro is intending these facilities to be cost-neutral. All bike hubs will feature:

  • Secure access and CCTV monitoring
  • Membership (fee TBD)
  • Self-lock parking for minimum 50 bikes
  • Unattended layout with flexible area allowing for potential tenant to staff and operate

Open Streets Program

Metro board allocated $2 million for CicLAvia-like events around the county, to be competitively awarded to local jurisdictions.  Guidelines are available now.  Application will be released early next year and a workshop held for interested jurisdictions.  Cities are encouraged to partner with a nonprofit/community-based organization.  20% local match required, but can be in-kind.

Education/Encouragement

Metro contractors (LACBC, BikeSGV, Multicultural Communities for Mobility) conducted 88 classes and reached 863 participants for a cost of ~$150,000. Everyone wants to find a way to make these a regular program.

CICLE has conducted 4 of 20 rides they will do over a 26-month period.  Next one is in Northridge in two weeks.

Campaigns

Universal praise for “Every Lane is a Bike Lane.”  Metro can and will do future campaigns.  Next educational messaging will provide tips for putting your bike on the bus with brochures and Transit TV PSAs.  9 bikes are forgotten on buses every day!  Bike theft from buses is an increasing problem.

Rail Car Refurbishment

Metro is doing a midlife refurbishment of its rail cars, offering an opportunity to reconfigure the layout and improve bike accommodation.  This will be a multi-year capital improvement from 2015-2018.  New features may include:

  • Digital displays
  • Separate wheelchair and bike locations in car
  • Bike securements
  • New flooring
  • New train controls
  • Sideways seating for wider aisles & greater standing capacity

Next meeting tentatively scheduled for February 4th @ 5:30 PM.

One quick aside.

If you don’t know Eric, you’re missing out on one of the most dedicated, skilled and hardest-working bike advocates in Los Angeles. Many of the recent victories for bicycling in the city can be traced directly back to his efforts.

The LACBC — and the City of Los Angeles — are lucky to have him.

………

Finally, I’m told we can expect the city to install permanent street signs along the LA River bike path by the end of this month. I’m waiting for confirmation from my source, but it looks like you may soon be able to know where the heck you are on one of the city’s most popular bikeways.

And Margaret Wehbi forwards photos of the new bike racks in newly bike-friendly downtown El Segundo.

El Segundo bike racks

Update: Bike rider killed by train in Upland; rash of NorCal and Central California bike deaths continues

Just when it looked like death may have taken a sabbatical from SoCal cycling, word comes of a rider killed in a collision with a train in Upland on Thursday.

Very few details are available at this time. However, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the male rider was hit by a Metrolink train near Benson Avenue and Eighth Street around 5:15 pm. The victim, who has not been publicly identified, apparently died at the scene.

A series of photos from the scene offer no additional information, other than showing a badly mangled bike.

The death is just the second SoCal cycling fatality this month, after a swarm of four fatalities in an eight-day period between May 25 and June 2nd, including bike racer Chris Cono, and Susan Stripko in Huntington Beach.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared to 23 this time last year, and the third in San Bernardino County. This is also the third bike rider killed by a train since the first of the year.

Unless the safety equipment malfunctions in some way, or the rider is somehow forced onto the tracks, there is simply no excuse for a collision with a train, which is confined to a clearly defined space on the tracks. Never ride under or around the warning gates or try to beat a train across the tracks.

I speak from experience, having barely beaten a train in a foolish attempt to race it across the tracks when I was a child.

A lesson I survived by just inches. And will never forget.

Update: The Daily Bulletin places the actual location as Montclair, and identifies the victim as 19-year old Pomona resident Brendan Allen Adams. Witnesses saw Adams riding south on Benson towards the train tracks, where he either ignored or didn’t see the crossing arms, for whatever reason. 

The Press-Enterprise confirms that Adams was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Update 2: The Inland News Today confirms Adams attempted to ride around the crossing arm. Never a smart thing to do.

My prayers and sympathy for Brendan Adams and his loved ones.

……..

This has been a horrible week for bike riders Northern and Central California as well, as a woman cyclist became collateral damage when two trucks collided in San Jose, and one fell on her — the 6th bicycling death in just the last eight days, following fatalities in Sacramento, Dublin, Elk Grove, San Jose and the Modesto area.

Clearly, something is going on up there.

And it’s not good.

……..

One other quick note.

The City Council vote on restoring Downtown’s Spring Street green bike lanes in the face of film industry lies opposition has been postponed until Tuesday’s council session.

Mark your calendar and be there if you can. Because it will take all of us to convince the council to values the lives and safety of bicyclists over the simple convenience of filmmakers.

And you can hear the LACBC’s Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, LADOT’S Nate Baird and others discuss the bikelash over L.A. bike lanes with Warren Olney on KCRW’s Which Way, L.A.?

A relatively light post-holiday list of links, including an odd news focus ignoring 90% of traffic fatalities

We’ve got a relatively light load of bike news over the 4th of July holiday.

Which, given that Independence Day is the deadliest day of the year on American roads, suggests that no news really could be good news.

But before we move on, let’s consider the odd perspective of the above link, which appears to have been driven by a nationwide AAA press release, and notes with horror that 10% of those holiday fatalities are teen drivers.

Which means that 90% aren’t.

So let’s be clear.

There is no acceptable level of traffic fatalities, no matter what the age of the victim. Even one death is one to many.

And teenage drivers do seem to over represented in traffic fatalities, as Colorado records show they account for 12% of the state’s deaths despite representing just 6% of the state’s drivers.

But doesn’t it make more sense to reduce the over whelming majority of traffic fatalities — or better yet, all traffic deaths — rather than just focusing on the relatively small percentage represented by teen drivers?

………

Andre Greipel wins stage four of the Tour after Cav goes down in a mass crash; it’s Greipel’s second stage win in just his first two tours. The Washington Post compares Peter Sagan to a young Lance Armstrong, but without all the doping accusations.

………

LACBC promises to keep an eye on the city’s environmental impact report process for 43.3 miles of bike lane projects. Richard Risemberg realizes he’s not so special any more, and likes it. In the biking black hole of Beverly Hills, it’s a little more talk and a lot less action, and more dollars than sense. The Bike League urges your support of the first ever National Women’s Bicycling Summit this September in Long Beach.

A San Diego pedicab driver wins the right to sue the SDPD for allegedly harassing him by stealing his license and then charging him for operating without one, among other escalating offenses. A Mission Beach couple battles cyclists after they’re enveloped by Critical Mass riders while walking on the boardwalk. A new video promotes San Diego cycling as a fun, safe and sensible activity. Why do so many drivers insist that cyclists must obey traffic laws too, yet fail to note that most drivers don’t, either. A local writer says the High Desert won’t ever become a bike community. Turns out police ticket cyclists after all. In an amazing — and amazingly brief — story, a Chico driver loses control while allegedly driving under the influence, and flips his car over a cyclist riding in a bike lane; the rider remarkably escapes with just scratches. An Oakland cyclist is chased by two vehicles, then robbed of his bike and jewelry at gunpoint. A Merced County cyclist is mauled by a pack of dogs, 20 minutes after they’d bitten another rider; thanks to Meghan Lynch for the heads-up.

The otherwise disastrous new federal transportation bill could mean less red tape for local transportation projects — including bikeways. Helmet laws could be on the way out due to a lack of enforcement and increased local liability. Denver tries to keep up with a growing number of cyclists. A Chicago writer says the bike lane is not your parking spot; it’s not the place to fix a broken down bus, either. Time magazine discovers the New York bikelash about two years after everyone else. After a Gotham cyclist and driver exchange words and spit, the driver flashes an NYPD courtesy badge and tells the rider and a traffic cop that his badge number is his apparently minuscule sexual appendage. A New York cyclist is making a slow recovery from nearly crippling injuries. A DC-area driver is convicted of intentionally running down a rider, then beating the crap out of him afterwards.

After a cyclist is let off with a slap on the wrist for severely injuring a pedestrian, a rocket scientist writer for the London Mail says cyclists should be held to the same standard as drivers — not realizing that was exactly what happened, as most UK drivers are held to the same incredibly low standards. Can China go from the world’s leading bicycle nation to one billion cars and back to one billion bicycles?

Finally, if this doesn’t bring a post-Independence Day smile to your face, nothing will. Especially with appropriate holiday musical accompaniment from the Eastside’s own Dave Alvin.

………

Best wishes to departing Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition Planning and Policy Director Alexis Lantz, with thanks for the amazing progress the LACBC — and L.A. cycling — has made during her all too short tenure. And congratulations to the Los Angeles County Department of Health on landing a great new employee.

Best wishes, as well, to incoming Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, who has very big pumps to fill.

And the skills to do it.

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