Tag Archive for Lynne Goldsmith

Money for bikes in Universal plan, bikeway blocking bus layover to be fixed, 4 new LAPD bike liaisons

Lots of news to catch up today after yesterday’s unplanned day off.

There are days I feel like a rodeo clown, getting up one more time than life can knock me down.

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In an apparent victory for L.A. cyclists, the massive new Universal Studios project is approved by the L.A. Planning Commission after the company promises to find room for bikes along the L.A. River. Universal promises to contribute $3 million for an extension of the L.A. River bike path along the property, as well as $500,000 for bike lane improvements and $375,000 for bike path planning.

Hopefully, that means they get that a bike path along an improved L.A. River could be a tremendous asset for them, as well as the city. And that encouraging people to ride to the studio could provide a low cost bike boost for their business.

Then again, they could just be throwing money at us in hopes we’ll go away.

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I’ve gotten an update from Lynne Goldsmith at Bike Metro about the bus layover on Rinaldi Street in Porter Ranch that we discussed last week.

According to Goldsmith, the layover for Line 243 had existed long before the bike lanes were striped, and were not taken into consideration when the lanes were striped. And no one apparently noticed until Michael Eisenberg brought them to our attention.

As a result, we can expect the segment will be restriped soon.

With luck, they’ll narrow the traffic lanes and stripe around the bus layover to maintain the bike lanes through the layover; more likely, the area around the layover will stay as it is, and the city will simply create a break in the bike lanes.

Hopefully they can come up with a creative solution that works for everyone.

And much thanks to Goldsmith for being so responsive.

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As you may know, LAPD Sgt. David Krumer has been reassigned, and is no longer the department’s bike liaison — much to the regret of anyone who had the pleasure of working with him over the past few years.

With his departure, the department is unveiling a new plan that will place a bike liaison at each of the LAPD’s four traffic divisions. In theory, that should provide greater responsiveness, as you’ll now be able to call someone who knows the local streets and the officers who patrol them.

Whether that works out in practice depends a lot on the officers who will be picking up his load.

And it remains to be seen whether the department will still maintain a central bike liaison at LAPD headquarters to deal with issues that affect the entire city, or riders who have issues that the local liaison can’t or won’t solve.

Or whether the very successful Bike Task Force that has worked to help the LAPD transform itself into one of the nation’s most progressive and bike-friendly departments will continue to exist.

Some of those questions may be answered at 4 pm next Thursday when LAPD invites L.A. cyclists to meet the department’s new bike liaisons in room 374 of the new LAPD headquarters Downtown.

According to the LADOT Bike Blog, the new liaison’s are:

  • Sgt. Thomas Tavares, Central Bureau Traffic Division, 213/972-1864
  • Sgt. Jon Aufdemberg, South Bureau Traffic Division, 323/421-2588
  • Sgt. Emalee Baptiste, Valley Bureau Traffic Division, 818/644-8030
  • Sgt. Chris Kunz, West Bureau Traffic Division, 213/473-0125

You’d be smart to program those four numbers into your phone before your next crosstown ride.

And speaking of the LAPD, they’re partnering with two Downtown bike shops to offer a $5 discount on Kryptonite U-locks.

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Governor Jerry Brown has just four more days to sign or reject SB1464, the recently passed three-foot passing bill, to make up for the one he vetoed last year.

If he does nothing, the bill becomes law by the end of day Sunday, or maybe Monday, depending on your source. And does nothing to redeem the low opinion many cyclists have of him as a result.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Calbike also notes that we’re also waiting for Brown’s signature on a bill to allow Caltrans to experiment on new bikeway designs.

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The Splinster peer-to-peer bike rental program has now gone nationwide, allowing you to rent an unused bike directly from the owner anywhere in the U.S. Or rent yours to someone else if you don’t need it for awhile.

Then again, bike rental seems to be a booming business everywhere.

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Taggers shoot a bike rider in North Hollywood; the victim is expected to be okay. A study of the York Blvd road diet and bike lanes shows fears that it would kill business were off base. KNBC-4 says this weekend’s Carmageddon is cause for cyclists to celebrate; Streetsblog notes lots of car-free bike activities over the auto-cataclysmic weekend, or check out ARTmageddon with Flying Pigeon on Saturday. The LACBC’s Tall Bike Bobby is back from his tour of the West Coast. Bike Nation will be offering free bike rentals for next weekend’s CicLAvia. LADOT wants your help to pick a new east-west route through the Valley. Richard Risemberg is shocked to find scofflaws on two wheels — and four. The Elite Track National Championships take place in Carson this weekend. An Oregon cyclist was seriously injured in a hit-from-behind collision on Angeles Crest Highway; or make that two, as another rider is severely injured the same night in La Cañada Flintridge.

Did they really have to do a study to prove Caltrans still doesn’t get bikes and pedestrians? A public service will be held October 6th for Newport Beach bike victim Dr. Catherine Campion Ritz. Newport Beach will sponsor a memorial ride to honor the two cyclists killed there two weeks ago; more importantly, they’re raising funds for bike safety — and the city will match donations on a three-to-one basis. When cyclists are dying, there’s no such thing as a bad idea if it could lead to a good one. A new video looks at salmon cyclists riding into trouble in Newport Beach. San Clemente considers a Dutch-style bike plan. San Diego’s airport goes bike-friendly; thanks to @bikeSD for the heads-up — and for giving the airport a good prod. A bike film fest is coming up in Redlands next month. California college cyclists complain about inconsiderate and inexperienced cyclists. For a change, there’s justice for cyclists in Northern California. A Sacramento writer asks why we tolerate the carnage on our streets; why indeed.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood blames 80% of dead pedestrians for their own deaths. Bicycling offers up 25 upgrades for 25 bucks or less. If you’re going to ride with an open bottle of booze in your hand, don’t crash into a police cruiser. Defusing tensions between cyclists and drivers in Colorado. An Idaho woman is dragged behind a bus when the driver pulls out as she’s removing her bike from a rear rack. A hit-and-run Kansas driver is accused of intentionally running down a cyclist he mistakenly thought was a pedophile. New York City urges taxi passengers to look to prevent dooring bike riders. Despite the city’s vast increase in bike lanes, cyclist and pedestrian fatalities are up in New York; a new study shows most are the fault of lawbreaking drivers. A bike riding Gotham father loses his life on the Boulevard of Death. A Texas father is shocked that GEICO would be despicable enough to deny the claim after a driver hits a student cyclist on a Safe Route to School; clearly, he hasn’t dealt with many insurance companies when it comes to bikes. A teenage Texas driver screams at the cyclist he just killed for coming into his lane; witnesses report he was driving recklessly.

Turns out bike lanes don’t create costs for Vancouver drivers. Riding brakeless is blamed in the death of a young Montreal fixie rider. British stats show drivers were at fault in most collisions last year, while just 1% of bike collisions were due to the cyclists’ failure to stop or yield. Britain sees a 9% increase in bicycling fatalities and serious injuries. UK drug users are almost twice as likely to drive under the influence. A bleeding UK cyclist is saved by a baby diaper. A road raging Brit rider punches out a car’s windshield. In a long-held dream for many riders, some British truck drivers will spend half a day riding bikes. Yom Kippur gives Israeli cyclists a chance to ride car-free, but the nation needs to do more to support increasing ridership levels. A former Aussie cycling champion stabs the coach who sexually abused her.

Finally, Bikeyface considers whether bike marketers really do have women figured out.

Cyclists and planners talk, Metro listens

Maybe they’ve ignored us. Or maybe we’ve just felt ignored.

Either way, today’s Metro Bicycle Roundtable meeting seemed to be a new beginning for both sides.

The meeting was kicked off by Doug Failing, Executive Director of Highway Programs and Interim Chief Planning Officer for Metro, who said the massive agency was focused on cycling as a way to solve the problem of traveling the first and last mile in combination with transit, as well as finding better ways to accommodate bikes on trains.

Standard rule of thumb — the longer the title, the less power an executive actually has. We’ll hope that’s not the case here, because he comes highly recommended and has a reputation for working well with cyclists.

But he also made the point that he, and the other members of Metro in the room, were there to listen. And he meant clearly meant it, as he later interrupted a Metro staffer who attempted to defend — or maybe just explain — one of their programs.

So after a brief presentation by Lynne Goldsmith, Bike Planning Manager with the Westside Area team, the floor was turned over to the concerns of the 70+ cyclists, bike planners and other assorted transit and planning professionals from various governmental groups and cities around Southern California.

Common comments called for larger bike racks on buses, and the need to allow more bikes on trains, including calls for a separate bike car. Another common complaint covered the need to better train bus drivers to respect cyclists on the roads — which we were told Metro is currently working on.

A number of people urged a greater focus on livable streets over massive transportation projects, as well as more bike-focused staffing at Metro; that’s in addition to the two — yes, 2 — who currently work there. And putting Metro’s budget to work to fund more bike-oriented infrastructure projects, and using their creative staff to create ads to encourage cycling and safe sharing of the roads.

In fact, those in the room overwhelming encouraged Metro to use its size, funding and influence to support cycling — with the single exception of a gentleman representing the Cheviot Hills homeowners group, who insisted that the planned Expo Line bike path should not go through their neighborhood in order to reduce crime and protect their privacy.

To which someone in the back of the room replied, “Did he just say, not in my backyard?”

However, the best comment of the day came from recently elected LACBC board member Greg Laemmle, who noted the historic opportunity to build out the Expo Line, along with the associated bikeway — and at the same time, summed up the issues currently facing the city.

“Great cities,” he said, “solve problems.”

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Hey, guess who I passed heading north along the beach on a five-person bike the other day. On their way to Alaska, maybe?

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Those who weren’t invited inside to meet with Sen. Barbara Boxer and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood make their case outside. Speaking of Metro, they have funding available for a feasible new bike path along the lower Arroyo Seco. C.I.C.L.E. is working with LACBC and the Bicycle Kitchen to bring the celebrated Tour de Fat bike and beer fest — sponsored by the maker of my favorite American beer — to L.A. State Historic Park. Is it really being bike friendly to ticket high school students for riding on the sidewalk when the street is too dangerous? Riding PCH — carefully — and Latigo Canyon. L.A. compares favorably in the small percentage of people who bike to work or work at home, like me. Why the Backbone Bikeway Network isn’t a freeway for bikes, and how to find your way along it. Pasadena’s new $1.7 million bike plan goes before the public, while Glendale needs to update theirs or continue to get left out.

Reno sees two cyclists injured in crashes in two hours. An Oklahoma FedEx driver faces a whopping $100 to $1000 fine for falling asleep and killing a cyclist; see, if you’re napping behind the wheel, it’s just an accident. University of Arizona police go after salmon riders, not stop sign runners. Is it just a coincidence that all the drivers who yell “Get on the sidewalk!” look alike? Snow piled on road shoulder may be partially at fault in a N.J. cyclist’s death. A Texas town bans cyclists from a key roadway for their own good. International computer hacking suspect Floyd Landis appears on Larry King. The three foot passing law moves forward in Georgia and comes up for a hearing in Missouri. Your next bike might have a double bottom bracket and no spokes. And maybe your next helmet will protect your head from devastating injuries.

Evidently, Toronto cyclists don’t want to declare war on cars after all. An Irish driver is convicted of killing Commonwealth Games medalist David McCall. London’s mayor encourages cycling to work, yet the new the London Bridge Tower offers just 250 bike parking spaces for 6,500 occupants. UK riders plan to improve safety with mass Bike Train rides departing every 15 minutes during rush hour; no, they aren’t riding the train, they are the train. The BBC plans an upcoming show claiming 1 in 5 cyclists ride roughshod over the law. Anti-social drivers blamed for a spate of anti-bike behavior.

Finally, not only is Oregon bike friendly, so is their porn. Or maybe you’d rather have your own ghost bike; you know, without the inconvenience of actually dying.

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