Tag Archive for LA Bike Working Group

Build your own DIY bike plan next Saturday, and today’s missing links

The official comment period may be over, but work on the city’s new bike plan isn’t.

Next Saturday, November 28, you can escape all those mounds of leftover Turkey — or Tofurkey, depending on your inclinations — while you help build a better a better bike plan at the Bike Working Group III at the Hollywood Adventist Church, 1711 N. Van Ness Ave:

The LA Bike Plan is in shambles. Point to a page and there’s a flaw, something missing, or just a careless error.

That’s why we’re creating our own bike plan. LA’s Best Bike Plan – for cyclists, by cyclists!

Join us Saturday, November 28th, at 1pm to continue that quest. The lonely souls who didn’t travel for Thanksgiving will be crafting the future of Los Angeles!

We’ll start with maps and markers – we’ll mark off a “Backbone Bikeway Network” that can get a cyclist from one region of LA to another, quickly and safely. We’ll persuade, share, and cajole until we’ve got a consensus, or nearly so, on what we need to connect all parts of LA by bike.

Then we’ll move on to look at some chapter introductions for the Best Bike Plan.

Come out and get involved in shaping LA’s future!

And along those lines, the petition I linked to on Wednesday urging UCLA’s Chancellor to implement the university’s 2006 Bike Master Plan is limited to staff, faculty and graduates. Thanks to commenter Herbie Huff for pointing out there’s a petition the rest of us can sign calling for better bike access to the UCLA campus in the city’s new bike plan. You’ll find my name at #179.

So what are you waiting for?


After running two teenage cyclists off the road, an Escondido driver stops — then drives off after learning they were  injured. Bakersfield says the bike path belongs to everyone. San Jose plans to reduce car lanes to add another 200 miles of bike lanes. Austin, TX is about to get its first 16-block bike boulevard. A day in the life of Chicago bike lanes. A firefighter in North Carolina gets 120 days for shooting at a cyclist, and barely missing. A Massachusetts driver hits a cyclist and drags him and his bike under her car for another 300 yards. Are you really shocked to learn cyclists inhale twice as much dirty air as drivers? Google may soon add biking directions on their route to world domination. Yes, this sign means you have to stop, too. England swings like a pendulum do, bobbies — once again — on bicycles two by two (with apologies to England, bobbies and Roger Miller). Also from the UK, the Guardian puts the dangers of anti-social cycling in perspective. Kazakhstan pledges $22 million to rescue the now Lance and Bruyneel-less Astana cycling team. Finally, from the department of superfluous redundancy, in a clear attempt to target fixed-gear bikes, a Philadelphia councilman proposes a $1000 fine or immediate confiscation of any bike without brakes — yet fails to comprehend that a fixie is a brake.

The Department of DIY takes on the bike plan

Maybe the problem isn’t the bike plan. Maybe it’s trying to create a single plan that encompasses the entire city of Los Angeles.

Recently, I came across a Chicago Tribune story about a study by the League of Illinois Bicyclists. In it, they looked at 46 roads in the Chicago area that had recently been reconstructed, to evaluate them for pedestrian and bicycle travel.

What they found was the projects that rated highest were the ones that had been planned on the local level; the projects that rated lowest were managed by the state Department of Transportation. The clear conclusion was that people on the local level had a better understanding of the needs of local users than those at the state level, where the focus tended to be strictly on vehicular traffic.

Sound familiar?

Shortly after reading that, I came across this article written for Streetsblog by Siel of Green LA Girl, which seemed to dovetail neatly with the Tribune story.

In it, she suggests that cyclists could consider the bike plan on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis, rather than trying to tackle the entire 212 page document at once:

Byrne’s suggestion got me thinking: Would it be possible to get multiple bike plans going in various L.A. neighborhoods — with shorter drafts of the plans that cyclists in that area could get through more easily? Might that get cyclists more engaged and active in the areas that they live or work in?

It makes perfect sense.

I know Westwood, Century City and surrounding areas like the back of my hand. I can tell you what street would make a great bike boulevard, and where a minor change in signage would make a big improvement in ridability.

But I don’t know a damn thing about riding through Hollywood, the Eastside or the Valley.

So maybe the solution is to follow Siel’s suggestion. Let’s take the proposed bike plan apart, and look at it one neighborhood at a time, by the people who live and work along and ride on those streets. And then make our own map, using the proposed plan as a starting point — because there are some good ideas in there, watered-down and obscured though they may be.

Then we can put it back together, adding one neighborhood to the next, until we’ve built our own plan for the city from the streets up, rather than LADOT down.

And it starts this Saturday.

The LA Bike Working Group is inviting cyclists to meet at the Hollywood Adventist Church, 1711 N. Van Ness Ave., in Hollywood, starting at 2p — note the new time and location, which has changed from the ones shown in the link.

It’s your opportunity to break into groups and tackle a specific section of the plan, page by page, by cyclists for cyclists. And try to come up with something that will work for riders, rather than pushing us aside in favor of moving more motor vehicles.

I’ll let Matt from No Whip take it from here, since he’s written a better call to arms than I ever could:

Come to the LA Bike Working Group meeting this Saturday at (2pm at the Hollywood Adventist Church) as we work to improve the plan. 1000 come to a social ride, but we’re lucky to get 10 to a meeting. You can do both and you can influence how policy is written in our city. More info here and facebook is here.

Write a comment about the 2009 Bike Plan here: Los Angeles 2009 Bicycle Plan. Yes, they do read and note them. Imagine if we generated 10,000 responses demanding more bicycle infrastructure and actual implementation! You should review it and form your own opinions, but the most popular arguments are: lack of vision, no real plan for implementation and cyclists’ concerns are secondary. If you only read one article, read L.A.’s Draft Bikeway Plan: Non-Committal, Sloppy and Perhaps Illegal by Joe Linton.

Get involved with a campaign. There’s C.I.C.L.E, the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, and even Midnight Ridazz has some advocacy plans. And don’t forget that the Department of DIY always has open positions (DIY bike lanes, DIY park).

Read. Seriously. We need substance beyond rhetoric and need to be educated on the case for bicycles.

Speak with cyclists, friends, activists. These ideas and events need to be given life. No one is going to do it for us. Tell others about what is going on.

Donate money. My least favorite of the actions. We need money for all that we do, but we’d prefer you and your energy. Donating money creates the mentality that others will do it for you, but those most invested in this have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars of their own money because of their passion. Buy an activist a burrito!

Learn more and offer comments at labikeplan.com.


Riverside decides to let local cyclists develop their bike plan; what a novel concept. The latest assault by young Hollywood on the people of L.A.: a TV star is accused of a drunken collision with a 17 year old cyclist. L.A. drivers are enough to make a grown woman cry. The hit-and-run plague hits our neighbor to the south. A truck driver in San Mateo had no idea he ran over and killed a cyclist. My friends at West Seattle Blog ask why put a bike lane on a crappy bumpy road? A Columbus, OH rider asks why don’t cyclists follow the law? A Chicago bike lawyer offers tips on what to do after a cycling accident. Portland cyclists reach an agreement with local police for fairer enforcement. Finally, the ultimate Halloween decoration — a man commits suicide on his balcony in the Marina, then lies in plan sight for four days because the neighbors assume he’s a Halloween display.

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