An alert from the LA County Bike Coalition:
We need your help to get legislation to allow triple bike racks on buses!
Friday, February 24th, is the deadline for legislators to introduce new bills for this year.
Please call Assemblymembers Cameron Smyth (Santa Clarita) and Bonnie Lowenthal (Long Beach) and ask them to introduce into their committees the bill to authorize triple bike racks on buses.
Background: Bike racks on buses are filling up, but current state law prohibits objects that extend too far from the front of a bus. Although several bus agencies already have triple bike racks, these are technically in violation of the law. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the California Highway Patrol have come up with a legislative solution that would maintain safety while allowing triple bike racks on buses. Now is the time our elected representatives need to step up and introduce Metro’s bill so that stakeholders can discuss it, perhaps tweak it, and enable it to get passed.
Assemblymember Cameron Smyth (Santa Clarita), Local Government Committee Chair
Capitol Office: (916) 319-2038
Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (Long Beach), Transportation Committee Chair
Capitol Office: (916) 319-2054
Please make sure to be very nice and express to them how much of an improvement it would be for bike-transit connectivity, how it can minimize the number of times riders would get passed by buses, and how much you would appreciate it if they introduce Metro’s triple bike rack bill.
Last night the WeHo City Council nearly stopped the impending bike lanes on San Vicente. Fortunately, Abbe Land, John Heilman, and John Duran recognized the importance of getting this work done.
San Vicente is a crucial connector, and making it safe for cyclists is a winning proposition. Research shows that cyclists are willing to add 20 minutes to a trip if it means taking bike lanes, and each mile of new bike lanes is associated with a 1% increase in share of bike-to-work trips. In Columbus, OH, bike lanes reduced crashes 34%, and 73% of residents said it improved the street.
Here’s a report from Victor Omelczenko:
The Master Plan approved back in 2004 for the new WEHO Park/Library across from the Pacific Design Center called for the removal of auto parking spaces along San Vicente Blvd. between Santa Monica and Melrose. Because so much time had passed since that approval, city staff wanted to reaffirm details of the plan and submitted it as a consent item.
Councilman Prang pulled the item because he had been hearing concerns about the lack of parking in the area (even with the new parking lots!), and Councilman D’Amico said income would be lost from not having metered parking along San Vicente. Yet at the last Council meeting, the Council had unanimously passed (as a consent item) the group of five or so bicycle improvements which we all wanted, including the dedicated bike lanes on San Vicente.
That’s when Councilwoman Land chimed in to remind her fellow members that they had just approved the bike lane on the east side of San Vicente (which could only be put in if there were no parking spaces). City staff said that the west side of the street could accommodate a bike lane as well as parking spaces once reconstruction of the area was finished. Land then adroitly moved the motion, with Heilman and Duran voting yes. Prang and D’Amico were opposed. Thank goodness for the 3 votes!
The two public commenters — Public Safety Commissioner Marci Norton and community advocate Jeanne Dobrin — both wanted the parking to remain because the new parking lots for the library/council chambers don’t seem to be enough. There appear to be issues with the hours of the library parking lot which will be further explored.
San Vicente isn’t just important to West Hollywood residents. The Westside Council of Governments recently identified it as a crucial gap in local bikeways that urgently needs to be filled in.
Image: Conceptual before-and-after.
Everything you ever wanted to know about why bikes rule, but didn’t even know how to ask! We’ve just posted a huge, data-rich page full of facts about bikes.
Want to know how bikes affect your health? We’ve got that. Want to know how bikes relieve congestion? We’ve got that, too. We’ve got info about why bikes are good for business and for neighborhoods, why cars are crazy-expensive compared to bikes, and about the serious safety risks that West Hollywood needs to fix.
We’re posting this so that other bike advocates can make use of our research. Go check it out, and then go make the case for better bike infrastructure in your neck of the woods!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a continuous, safe, uninterrupted bike network throughout the west side? (Yes, yes it would.)
That’s precisely what the Westside Council of Governments (WCOG) is proposing for Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles. But they can’t do it without your help.
For more than a year, WCOG has been studying some delightful upgrades for major routes throughout these municipalities, closing gaps between the currently all-too-sporadic lanes. They’ve finally selected five routes on which to focus, and now they need public input. (Read more and see the full map here.)
Time is short — the deadline for public comment is March 4. Contact them at Bikeinput.firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell them that we need these bike route upgrades ASAP. Particularly crucial are fixes for San Vicente and Santa Monica, which could become ideal North/South and East/West routes. They just need a little work: physical separation from traffic, wayfinding signs, bike boxes and secure racks for parking.
Then once you’ve contacted WCOG, tell all of your friends to do the same. Together, we can make the west side an even more delightful place to get around.