Good News: Better Bike Lanes Approved for West Side! Now what?



Remember a few weeks ago, when the Westside Council of Governments (WSCOG) was collecting public input on closing gaps in bike routes? Well, your input paid off: the recommendations were approved!

But that doesn’t mean those lanes are going to get built. Now, it’s up to individual jurisdictions to create those lanes in accordance with the recommendations (or to come up with their own plan — the WSCOG recommendations are non-binding).

That means that the WeHo Bike Coalition will continue to press city officials to implement bike routes on the recommended streets — Santa Monica and San Vicente — in addition to other roads around town. And you can help! Come to our next meeting, April 17th at 6pm in the Plummer Park community building. See you there!


Watch How This Amazing Bad-Ass Grandma Parks Her Bike



Next time you’re endlessly circling a parking garage, cruising up and down the street for a space, or spending $2.6 million on a robot car-lifter at City Hall, just think about how easy it is for this woman to lock up her bike alongside the 10,000 (!) others at this Netherlands train station.

(Skip to 1:43 for the good part.)


Help Make the PCH Better for Bikes



Some good news in Malibu: the city is holding workshops to improve PCH bike routes. And they need your input!

They’re holding two workshops. Here’s the details:

When:
Saturday, March 31st, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 4th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m

Where:
Malibu City Hall
Multi-Purpose Room
23825 Stuart Ranch Road
Malibu, CA 90265

Here’s a flyer with all the details: Malibu PCH_Wkshp_1_Flyer


Help Bring a Parklet to Spring Street



A message from our friends at the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council:

Parklets are coming to Los Angeles!
The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) is seeking volunteers to help conduct the Spring Street Parklet Impact Study. Using techniques adapted from Gehl, LACBC, Whyte, Appleyard and others, you will survey public life to create a snapshot of a typical day in Los Angeles’ famed Historic Core.
Volunteers will count pedestrians and cyclists, conduct interviews and map stationary activities.  We are looking for volunteers that can commit to one or twoof the following shifts:
Wednesday, March 8:  8-10 am12-2 pm5-7 pm
Saturday, March 10:  8-10 am12-2 pm
Additionally we ask that you attend one training session on either of the following dates:
Tuesday, March 6:  3- 4 pm
Signing up is easy! Just click HERE. Tell your friends!
For questions or more info on the Study, emailparklet.studies@gmail.com
For more information on the Spring Street Parklet initative, visithttp://dlanc.com/completestreets/parklets.php

Action Alert: Push for Triple Bike Racks on Buses



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.


A Close Call for Bike Lanes on San Vicente



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.


Holy Cow, Look at all These Facts!



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!


Closing the bike gaps? Yes please! Your input needed NOW.



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.wsccog@gmail.com, 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.


Congrats Abbe Land!



A big congratulations to Councilwoman Abbe Land on her new position as CEO of The Trevor Project! Abbe has been a steadfast supporter of better bike infrastructure, due in large part to her background in expanding healthcare access, particularly for under-served communities.

At the WeHo Bike Coalition, we recognize that public health, economic justice, and bicycling go hand-in-hand! (And hand-on-handlebar.)

For example, a recent study by the University of Wisconsin showed that if people did half of their short errands by bike, the upper midwest would save 1,100 lives and $7 billion in healthcare.

Between 1966 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children rose 276%.

In Copenhagen, every mile of cycling yields $1.30 in health benefits; and closer to home, CycLAvia’s health benefits have been shown to outweigh program costs. And of course, it’s no surprise that SoCal studies show that children living near freeways have underdeveloped lungs, leading to respiratory disease for the rest of their lives.

WeHo owes a big debt of gratitude to Abbe Land for pressing for the formation of the Bike Task force, and The Trevor Project could not have asked for a more committed, caring leader. Three cheers!