Tag Archive for Adventure Cycling Association

Guest post: Los Angeles finally moves forward to support two national bike routes

A few years ago, longtime SoCal bike advocate Bill Sellin started copying me on emails in his fight to get various local leaders to support a pair of US Bicycle Routes across the region. 

It was, clearly, a hard battle. 

First one city, then another came on board. Santa Monica was no surprise; Beverly Hills was. 

But the holdout, for reasons that never really became clear, was the 800 pound gorilla in the process, the City of Los Angeles. 

Apparently, that’s changed. 

Let’s let Bill tell the story. 

………

Some time ago you asked about getting an update on the USBR progress and I had nothing — the City of LA was holding out and DOT staff made it clear they were being told to not designate any more streets for any kind of route designation.

But…

I want to let you know that after years of effort, the City of LA is being prodded to move forward on supporting the USBR (US Bicycle Route) designation of 2 national bike routes across the City.

Adventure Cycling Volunteers have been getting local jurisdictions to simply send a letter of support to CalTrans, so that CalTrans can apply to AASHTO for route designation.

I have been working on portions of USBR 66 from Needles to Santa Monica. Bike friendly cities like Santa Monica, West Hollywood, South Pasadena and Pasadena jumped right in. Even hold outs like Beverly Hills and Alhambra signed on support. The County has given support to USBR 95 around Marina del Rey and USBR 66 across East Pasadena.

The City of Los Angeles, facing law suits from cyclists crashing on our city streets, as well as political backlash for improving cycling infrastructure, has been resistant to doing anything toward the USBR support for fear of being blamed for designating a street as part of a route, if the pavement is in disrepair, until every street is cataloged for hazards.

Even though CalTrans previously established the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route along the older Bicentennial Route, along our coast from Oregon to Mexico across the City.

That existing route is proposed for National designation as USBR 95 across Washington, Oregon and California. To get it supported by the City of Los Angeles and a few other ‘hold outs’ is required to complete the process.

Segments of proposed USBR 95 in Los Angeles connect Malibu & Santa Monica, Santa Monica to Marina del Rey, Marina del Rey to El Segundo, Torrance to Carson and Carson to Long Beach. I have been working with the County, Santa Monica and El Segundo along with the City for those segments of USBR 95 as well as USBR 66.

The Proposed USBR 66 rolls west from the San Gabriel Valley on its way from Needles. It drops out of South Pasadena / Alhambra on Mission, then crosses LA on Historic Route 66 along Cesar Chavez / Sunset to Fountain and enters West Hollywood on Willoughby. It resumes on Santa Monica Blvd (historic Rt 66) from Beverly Hills across West LA to Ohio into Santa Monica on Broadway.

Every day cyclists ride these segments of roadways, and all are on the City of Los Angeles’ Neighborhood enhanced route plan from 2016.

Many adventure cyclists continue touring these epic routes by bicycle, the best way to be a tourist in Los Angeles for cyclists from all over the world.

Both of these routes are proposed and adjusted with local agency input prior to support, based on the existing Adventure Cycling route system. These maps and guides have helped cyclo-tourists find their way across our country since the 1970’s when it started as BikeCentennial.

These routes include everything from Freeway shoulders, un-improved streets, Class III on-street Bike Routes & bike boulevards — some with narrow lanes marked with sharrows and BMUFL (Bikes May Use Full Lane) signs, Class II on-street Bike Lanes, off-street Class I Bike Paths and shared use paths, and separated Class IV Cyclotracks where they exist (I don’t call them protected bike lanes because they are not lanes in California law!).

Now we have some strong political movement to resume talks stalled since 1916 to secure support from the City DOT.

Mike Bonin, Councilmember from District 11, submitted a motion on January 17th to direct the DOT to support both routes to CalTrans, install sharrows & BMUFL signs on streets not already designated or with bike lanes or cycle tracks, install USBR wayfinding signs and report back with options to further enhance bicycle tourism along the designated routes.

This Tuesday night, at the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, attended by Laura Crawford, U.S. Bicycle Route System Coordinator for the Adventure Cycling Association, there was unanimous support of a motion to City Staff —

Whereas, the segments of US Bike Routes (USBR) numbers 66 and 95 that pass through the City of Los Angeles are critical to completing these two important national bike routes, and

Whereas hundreds of touring cyclists need to navigate the city each year and have difficulty finding safe, convenient routes, exactly the guidance that the USBR network is intended to provide, and

Whereas the proposed USBR alignments make maximum use of existing approved bikeways in the city, and

Whereas if the USBRs are designated, the city will always have the opportunity to change and update the route with CalTans if better cycling infrastructure is added or better alignments present themselves over time, and

Whereas, despite years of engagement with the city, little progress has been made to approve alignments for the proposed US Bike Routes,

Therefore, the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee encourages the city to move forward with providing a letter of support to CalTrans for the proposed USBR 66 and 95 alignments in Los Angeles, identifying alternative alignments if needed, to achieve submission for approval of these USBRs as soon as possible.

Given these powerful motions to support, we trust the LA City staff will promptly resume discussions to identify the best available alignment of the proposed route and support them to CalTrans, completing a missing link of these statewide projects to connect out the national network of bikeways.

Once Adventure Cycling volunteers get every city along the routes to support the route to CalTrans, CalTrans will submit it to AASHTO and, if approved, the designation will go into effect and we will see new USBR signs go up!

Interested cyclists can keep up-to-date on the USBRS by subscribing to Adventure Cycling’s quarterly eNews.

A few notes of appreciation to Mike Bonin and the Los Angeles BAC from the cycling community will also reinforce their good will.

Morning Links: 75-year old cyclist cuffed and ticketed for riding legally on I-15; Specialized says they’re sorry

03-15-2016 Jerry ticket from CHPMaybe the cop didn’t get the memo.

Or maybe he was confused after losing an hour of sleep two Sunday’s ago when the nation switched to Daylight Savings Time.

Either way, Jerry Counts was well within his rights on March 13th to ride his bicycle along a section of I-15 north of San Bernardino, where bikes are legally allowed on the roadway.

Yet he was handcuffed and ticketed by a CHP officer for violating CVC 21960(a), using a non-motorized vehicle on the freeway.

Yes, they handcuffed a 75-year old man to write a traffic ticket.

An invalid one, at that.

When was the last time you heard of a 75-year old man being pulled from his car and cuffed for a simple traffic violation?

As Ginny Sullivan of the Adventure Cycling Association points out in an email, this section of the freeway is part of the ACA’s Bicycle Route 66, running south of Oak Hill Road between exits 138 and 129, where no viable alternate route exists.

The DMV puts it this way,

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

Exit 129 going North

Exit 129 going North

As the photos she pulled from Google Earth show, there are no signs at either entrance prohibiting pedal-powered bicycles from riding on the freeway.

I’d like to write this off as a simple mistake.

However, it fits a long pattern of CHP officers being unaware of the rights of cyclists, whether it’s riding on the freeway, or ticketing cyclists for riding two abreast or in the traffic lane. Which points to officers receiving inadequate training both at the academy and in the field.

Exit 138 going South

Exit 138 going South

Although the bigger question is why the officer felt the need to handcuff a man well past retirement age, for the simple crime of riding a bicycle.

Advocating on his behalf, Sullivan has contacted both the CHP and Caltrans District 8 asking that the ticket be dismissed, and that Caltrans provide the CHP with a letter stating that bicyclists are allowed on that section of the freeway. And that the CHP train its officers accordingly.

I’d take it a step further, and request a formal apology to Mr. Counts.

I’d also ask that the notoriously auto-centric CHP follow Caltrans lead, and accept that bikes are legally a part of the California traffic system, and we’re here to stay.

Because we shouldn’t have to know the laws regarding bicycling better than they do just to defend our right to the road.

………

Specialized apologizes for last week’s Playboy Bunny fiasco, claiming the models were hired by their German affiliate, without knowledge of its global marketing staff.

Which is kind of hard to believe, since they were hired to promote Specialized’s new Playboy-branded e-bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Glendale Mayor and Metro Boardmember Ara Najarian and Bike SGV Executive Director Wes Reutimann about Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure. And reminds us about Thursday’s celebration to benefit Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next.

Once again, Santa Monica police will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk this Saturday, regardless of who commits them. So straighten up and ride right, for one day at least.

The WeHo Bike Coalition announces that the West Hollywood city council has approved bike lanes on Fairfax Ave; when completed, they’ll join existing lanes in LA to create a continuous bike lane from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose.

The World Cycling League debuted in Carson over the weekend as teams from Pennsylvania and Mexico battled it out for the inaugural victory.

Bike Long Beach offers photos of last weekend’s successful Beach Streets Downtown.

 

State

Santa Barbara bike riders compete to see who can ride the slowest down a 50-foot course without putting a foot down or swerving out of their lane. Meanwhile, promise to ride slow yourself and you could win a new bike from People for Bikes.

A Salinas man is riding 40 miles a day for 40 days to raise funds for the homeless.

 

National

Yes, it is possible to ride cross­-country sans chamois or other bike gear.

BuzzFeed offers 19 things every cyclist needs. Most of which most cyclists could probably do without.

Former pro Alex Candelario is offering bike tours through usually off-limits back country on Hawaii’s Big Island.

A bighearted firefighter replaces a bike that was stolen recently from a 10-year old Spokane boy.

A teenage driver in my hometown will be sentenced to 100 hours of community service at a bike nonprofit, and a $1,500 donation to a nonprofit bicycle organization, as part of a new diversion program for killing a cyclist after falling asleep at the wheel.

CNN looks at Chicago’s Heritage Bicycles, which has made bikes for everyone from Beyonce and Jay Z to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Washington’s popular bike-riding running back departs for the hated Cowboys.

Once again, someone used a DC bike rack to jump the fence at the White House. Considering how often that keeps happening, wouldn’t it be prudent to move that rack just a little?

An Orlando doctor says yes, riding a bike really can help with Parkinson’s.

 

International

Despite numerous studies showing bikes are good for business, Vancouver business owners oppose a bike lane on a busy shopping and dining street, which the city says is needed for safety.

Saskatoon’s mayor questions the cost of clearing snow from a protected bike lane; then again, he opposed building it in the first place.

Toronto’s notorious crack-smoking, anti-bike former mayor Rob Ford has died at 46.

A Belgian bike race is expected to go on despite Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.

Indian police crack down on bicyclists riding without a helmet.

An Australian program is working with kids as young as 10 years old to develop the first aboriginal cycling star.

A road raging Aussie driver is fined a whopping $100 plus $169.10 in court costs after smashing a cyclist’s helmet cam in a fit of anger.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be grown and printed. Now you really can be replaced by a robot, even on your bike. But does it still have to wear a helmet if it’s under 18?

And any t-shirt that combines Corgis and bicycles can’t be all bad. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

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