Better bike data, bike ramps at the beach and an increasingly crowded calendar

It looks like we may finally get some solid data on bike usage in the L.A. area. Metro CEO Art Leahy announced that Metro and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) have received a Caltrans grant to develop a Bicycle Data Clearinghouse to measure and report bike usage in Los Angeles County.

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After 4th District Council Member Tom LaBonge called on the city to investigate bike friendly staircases, George Wolfberg reminds us that bike ramps were installed in the walkway under PCH at West Channel Road a few years ago, after a request was made to LADOT Bikeways Coordinator Michelle Mowery.

I should have remembered that, since I use that walkway on a semi-regular basis, though I usually carry my bike.

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LADOT Bike Blog offers detailed coverage of last week’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, and promises to report on future meetings to make up for the dearth of information about the BAC. And he makes a great point about the BAC’s lack of any significant online presence.

I couldn’t agree more that the BAC needs to do a better job of communicating to the public, as well as creating some way for people who can’t make it to the meetings to weigh in on the issues under consideration. And I look forward to his ongoing, and much needed, coverage of the BAC.

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A crowded calendar of upcoming events:

This Saturday, LACBC invites you to hear cellist/singer/songwriter Ben Sollee at the Fold in Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles; Sollee is touring the U.S. by bicycle in his Ditch the Van Tour 2010, sponsored by Adventure Cycling and the League of American Bicyclists.

Chinatown Summer Nights continues in Downtown’s Chinatown District from 5 pm to midnight every Saturday in August, with DJs, food trucks, and cultural and cooking demonstrations, among other activities; free bike valet courtesy of LACBC.

Bikeside Speaks is scheduled for Saturday, August 21st in conjunction with Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles, Specialized and the Disposable Film Festival; speakers include Mike Bower, Gary Kavanagh and CD 4 candidate Stephen Box.

The Santa Monica Museum of Art hosts the Cause for Creativity: Tour da Arts, vol. 2, on August 22; the bike tour is full, but other activities include spoke card workshop and a closing party.

This Tuesday at 10 am, LACBC and Midnight Ridazz join L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for a press conference to unveil the new Bike Awareness and Safety Campaign, at 1st and Main Downtown across from the new LAPD building. Cyclists are invited to attend and stay afterwards to help film a new bike safety PSA; email to RSVP, and bring your helmet.

Living Streets invites you to learn about creative pilot projects and share your ideas to transform L.A. streets into people-friendly places, at the RailLA Exhibit at Downtown’s Jewel Box/City National Plaza, 525 S. Flower Street, from 6 to 8:30 pm on Tuesday, August 24.

Streetsblog LA resumes regular publication on Thursday, August 26. The night before, Damien will be hosting a re-launch party and fundraiser starting at 7 pm on Wednesday the 25th at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 11555 National Blvd.

Sunday, August 29th, LACBC hosts a breakfast and brainstorming session for River Ride volunteers; RSVP by email for more information and location.

Make your plans for Parking Day LA on Sept. 17th.

Celebrate the third anniversary of C.R.A.N.K. MOB at C.R.A.N.K.MAS III, 9 pm on Saturday, September 18th and 7 am Sunday, September 19th; costumes mandatory.

Explore the effects of bicycles on art and culture at the Grand Opening of Re:Cycle — Bike Culture in Southern California, October 7th – 9th, at U.C. Riverside’s newly relocated Sweeney Art Gallery at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts, 3834 Main Street in downtown Riverside. A reception will be held from 6 – 10 pm Thursday, October 7th; the exhibition continues through December 31st.

New Belgium Brewery’s Tour de Fat makes its first L.A. stop on Saturday, October 23rd. The following day, Sony sponsors their bikeless Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

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As promised, Metro installs a video camera on their underground bike parking at Union Station. City Watch’s provides the full text of BAC Chair Glenn Bailey’s eloquent statement from the Mayor’s Bike Summit. A cyclist files suite against Santa Barbara County after breaking a hip on an algae-slicked roadway. Mr. and Mrs. Cyclelicious walk into a gang fight, but at least they didn’t ride into a gunfight. The alleged drunk driver who killed a German cyclist in San Francisco pleads not guilty, not surprisingly. Seattle Transit users are about to get nearly 300 new bike parking spaces. PubliCola calls for a vulnerable users law, ASAP. An architectural look at the first Bicycle City currently being built in Columbia, SC. Ex-president George W. Bush and Peloton One sample a Niner 29-incher. John McCain continues to campaign against bike projects, while supporting federal government interference with local transit decisions — isn’t that the opposite of what he says he believes? Levi Leipheimer holds the lead in the Tour of Utah. Lance Armstrong agrees to speak at next year’s High Point College commencement; exactly what message will he send if he’s under indictment like Roger Clemens? A Savannah cyclist says always be ready to yell a warning. CommuteOrlando Blog asks, if you don’t stand up for Reed Bates, who will stand up for you? The New York Times takes a rational look at the city’s recent anti-bike hysteria. A South Dakota cyclist is memorialized with a ghost bike after a head-on collision; the driver was on prescription medication with over 4.5 times the legal blood alcohol level. A driver hits a bike rider and flees the scene; for a change, so does the cyclist. How to master the Bunny Hop. Copenhagenize says where there’s a will, there’s a cycle way. Taking your bike on a plane is easier said than done. The race to design a better urban bike.

Finally, L.A. may have a crooked sharrow, but at least our bike lanes don’t look like they were painted by drunks; maybe they were using a PedalPub.

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