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Today’s Headlines

  • Move L.A. Wants Your Input – Fill Out A Transportation Survey
  • Sad Irony In Feds Selling Petroleum Reserves To Fund Transportation (Better Institutions)
  • L.A. Gets $1.6 Million For Low Income Car Sharing (Move L.A., Pasadena Star News)
  • Bellflower Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Pedestrian (LAT)
  • Hoff the Beaten Path Takes Kids On the L.A. Metro Bus
  • A Growing Consensus On What To Build In Santa Monica (Santa Monica Next)
  • Long Beach’s Sidewalking Society Puts One Foot In Front Of Other (LongBeachIze)
  • Metro Approves $30M Blue Line Pedestrian Safety Gates (Progressive Railroading)
  • Bakersfield Has An Awesome Bicycle Kitchen, Too (SBCA)
  • S.F. Cyclists Show Folly Of Wiggle Stop Signs By Actually Stopping At Them (SBSF)
  • Chicago Relaxing Parking Requirements, Promoting Transit-Oriented Development (SBChi)

Get National Headlines At Streetsblog USA
Get State Headlines At Streetsblog CA

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This Week in Livable Streets

sblog_calendarSummer events are in full swing this week: more sidewalk hearings, Clitoral Mass, Bradley Plaza opens, REvisit REseda Blvd, South L.A. Kids Bike Festival, and much more!

  • Tuesday 7/28 - The L.A. City Council will continue to hear from the public on who will pay to repair and maintain sidewalks. Streetsblog previewed the latest sidewalk repair plan here. Tuesday’s hearing [agenda] will take place at 6 p.m. at the Mar Vista Recreation Center, 11430 Woodbine Street in Mar Vista – with later meetings this week in Eagle Rock and Van Nuys. For additional details read this article at Investing in Place.
  • Tuesday 7/28 – Contractors Walsh Shea will update the community on Metro Crenshaw Line construction. The community meeting is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Memorial Congregational Church at 4126 Arlington Ave in South L.A. More details at Facebook Event.
  • Wednesday 7/29 – L.A. City Councilmember Gil Cedillo and the city’s Bureau of Engineering celebrate the completion of the North Main Street Bridge renovation project. Celebration takes place at 2 p.m. at the corner of N. Main and Albion Street in Lincoln Heights. Details at event flier.
  • Wednesday 7/29 – Wednesday’s sidewalk repair council hearing [agenda] will take place at 6 p.m. at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, at 2225 Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock. See Tuesday listing for additional background.
  • This Thursday is the grand opening for Bradley Plaza!

    This Thursday is the grand opening for Bradley Plaza!

    Thursday 7/30 – L.A. City Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, the L.A. City Department of Transportation (LADOT), and Pacoima Beautiful are hosting a grand opening celebration for the opening of People St’s Bradley Plaza. The festivities take place at 10 a.m. at Bradley Plaza, at the corner of Van Nuys Blvd and Bradley Avenue in Pacoima. More details at Facebook event.

  • Thursday 7/30 – Thursday’s sidewalk repair council hearing [agenda] will take place at 6 p.m. at Van Nuys City Hall, at 6262 Van Nuys Blvd, three blocks north of the Metro Orange Line busway and bikeway. See Tuesday listing for additional background.
  • Thursday 7/30 – Explore L.A. City’s first parking-protected bike lanes on Reseda Boulevard in Northridge at “REvisit REseda Blvd” an art walk and scavenger hunt taking place from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this Thursday. Event details here. L.A. County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) hosts a feeder bike ride departing 5 p.m. from Sepulveda Orange Line Station. Ride details here.
  • Thursday 7/30 – East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice hosts a community forum against destructive South 710 Freeway widening. The meeting will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the South Gate Municipal Auditorium at 4900 Southern Avenue in South Gate. Details at Facebook event.
  • Friday 7/31 – Free bike-in movie night screening Big Hero 6 in Vermont Square Park at 1201 W. 48th Street in South L.A. Ride with the East Side Riders to get the outdoor screening taking place 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Details at Facebook event.
  • Saturday 8/1 – The Ovarian Psyco Cycles 4th Annual Clitoral Mass bike tour takes to the streets. The free ride, for womxn-identified, two-spirited, and gender non-conforming folx, departs from the Plaza at El Pueblo/Olvera Street (across from Union Station) at 11 a.m. Details at Facebook event.
  • Saturday 8/1 – Eastside Sol is a free solar food truck and solar festival featuring live mural and screen-printing demonstrations by local artists and youth, solar-powered music stage, free fruit and aguas frescas, local vendors, free fruit trees, free face painting, and information booths from local environmental justice and clean energy organizations. Lots of free stuff; check it out from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m at Mariachi Plaza. Details at Facebook event. The mural painting there even has its own Facebook event.
  • Sunday 8/2 – The LACBC hosts its monthly Sunday Funday ride in Lakewood. Gather 9:30 a.m. at Lakewood Del Valle Park at 4658 Woodruff. Details at Facebook event.
  • Sunday 8/2 – The East Side Riders are hosting a bike-safety themed kids’ fun day from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee at 10950 S. Central Avenue. The South L.A. Kids Bike Festival will feature free kids safety skills tips and a bike safety festival featuring an obstacle course/skills station, group ride, helmet give-away, gift bags, bike tune-ups, and skateboarding safety demos. Details at Facebook event.
  • It’s not too early to get your tickets next week’s Saturday 8/8 Streetsblog Party and Fundraiser at L.A. Eco-Village!

Did we miss anything? Is there something we should list on future calendars? Email joe@streetsblog.org.

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Opinion: Climate Change Leaves No Room for Phonies: The Westwood Bike Lane Represents the Future–or Failure–of Los Angeles

Recently, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz joined Mayor Eric Garcetti and others at a preview of the Expo Line Phase II, which extends that light rail line from its current terminus in Culver City, all the way to downtown Santa Monica. Afterwards, a press conference for this long-overdue project was held at the nearly-completed Palms Station, where they gave speeches and celebrated this milestone toward providing better mobility and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposed floating bike lane for Westwood between National and Santa Monica Boulevards. Image by LACBC via Rancho Park Online

The proposed floating bike lane for Westwood between National and Santa Monica Boulevards created by LACBC. Proposal would not cost any parking or rush hour Level of Service. Study of the proposal was squashed by Councilmember Koretz before it could be completed by LADOT.

But behind the scenes, Mr. Koretz is sabotaging Expo by killing the bike lane that will connect it to UCLA and Westwood Village. The Westwood Boulevard bike lanes are opposed by his not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) constituents near Westwood, who fear it will aggravate traffic. In an email from his office obtained via a California Public Records Act request, he told them: “I can’t see any way that I wind up supporting the bike lane on Westwood […] I am going to just kill it now, rather than waiting for a study.”

Los Angeles is a dense and clustered city. But in any city, it is rare that someone can take transit from their doorstep all the way to exactly where they want to go. Transit planners call it the “last mile” problem: figuring out how to get people from the train stations to destinations that are sometimes too far to walk.

Shuttles and taxis are part of the solution, but so are bikes. This is clear in the case of the Westwood Boulevard stop, which is a 10-to-15 minute bike ride from UCLA. However, it is perilous: according to a July 21 article in the L.A. Times, there have been 52 bike crashes on the route since 2002. Imagine how high that number will go when the Exposition Line opens and UCLA students start biking to the train. It’s a no-brainer: we simply must build safe, protected bike lanes directly between UCLA and the station.

As the Times pointed out, there’s an 11-foot and an 18-foot car lane in each direction on Westwood. That leaves more than enough room for bike lanes, preferably with a curb or buffer to keep cars from crashing into cyclist. This benefits motorists too: on those rare occasions when traffic is light enough for cars to go faster than bicycle speed, cyclists are out of the way. Read more…

Streetsblog.net
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Take a Ride on St. Louis’s First Protected Bike Lane


Here’s a nice milestone: Downtown St. Louis has its first protected bike lane.

Alex Ihnen at nextSTL posted video of a ride along the one-way lane from end to end, along Chestnut Street. The protected segment is separated from motor vehicle traffic by a parking lane, painted buffer, and flex posts. The remainder is a painted buffered lane with parking on the right and thru lanes on the left.

Ihnen says it’s a good first step toward a protected bike lane network.

A few thoughts from the ride:

  • The protected bike lane is fantastic, making a huge difference in the feeling of safety when riding downtown
  • A west bound protected lane is needed next (Pine, Olive?)
  • Bike lanes aren’t much use if they’re littered with glass and debris (Olive, Jefferson)
  • A protected bike lane on Chouteau (LOTS of extra room there) would provide a great connection to/from The Arch, Soulard, Lafayette Square, The Gate District, Shaw, The Grove, Forest Park, and connected neighborhoods
  • Jefferson Avenue bike lane badly needs repainting – a protected lane would be amazing

Check out more coverage of the Chestnut Street lane from St. Louis native Tom Fucoloro at Seattle Bike Blog. “If you had said a few weeks ago that kids would be biking comfortably on a downtown St. Louis street, people would have thought you were crazy,” writes Fucoloro. “That’s the power of protected bike lanes, and the change can happen overnight.”

Elsewhere on the Network: ATL Urbanist reports that high-rises are replacing parking lots near a MARTA station, Seattle Transit Blog says circuitous alignment of a future light rail route has more to do with politics than sound planning, and Second Avenue Sagas reminds us that Chris Christie is a liar.

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Today’s Headlines

  • KPCC Enjoys An Eastside Bicycle Club Taco Ride
  • Disabled Access Has Come A Long Way, Thanks To Activists (LAT)
  • Orange 20 Encourages Bicyclists To Sue To Get Approved Facilities Implemented
  • Renderings of Regional Connector Station Near Disney Hall (The Source)
  • Massing Renderings for Big TOD at La Cienega Expo Line Station (Urbanize)
  • Danger D Youtube Tours Reseda Blvd Great Streets Protected Bike Lane
  • Purple Line Construction To Demolish Popular All-Comer Wedding Chapel (LAW)
  • Burbank Airport Plans Better Metrolink, Gold and Red Line Connections (LAT)
  • NYC Bike-Share Expanding (SBNYC)

Get National Headlines At Streetsblog USA
Get State Headlines At Streetsblog CA

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Video: La Grange Bike Club Founder Honored at “Raymond Fouquet Square”


As SBLA reported two weeks ago, the City of Los Angeles recognized one of the earlier leaders of the bicycling movement by naming the intersection of  Westwood Boulevard and La Grange Avenue as “Raymond Fouquet Square.” Streetsblog volunteer Jack Weiss was there to capture the event on video, which is embedded above. To read more on Raymond Fouquet, read Linton’s article from July 12.

Streetsblog USA
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Senate Transpo Bill Sinks Under the Weight of Its Own Chicanery

Last night, the Senate voted to proceed with the consideration of the transportation bill Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Barbara Boxer had worked out. It was just a day after the body had voted to block progress, objecting that they hadn’t had time to even look at the bill.

The policy elements of the bill are largely untouched from what we’ve already seen: the Environment and Public Works Committee’s DRIVE Act and the Commerce Committee’s section on rail and safety. Much of that was largely untouched from MAP-21.

A threat to eliminate TIGER was eliminated. A new formula-based multi-modal freight program is included. Some good language on Complete Streets appears to be gone. Advocates will feel better when the transit section gets fleshed out, and the Banking Committee is still MIA. This bill just doesn’t include earth-shaking policy changes.

But truly, the uproar over it has never been about policy. It’s all about funding. You know this because you haven’t been living under a rock for the last five years.

Because of the unreasonable and unyielding refusal on the part of just about everyone in the Washington political machinery to raise the gas tax, they’re left with a grab-bag of gimmicky pay-fors, or offsets, taken from other pieces of government programs. Here is the sad summary:

Image: ##http://crfb.org/blogs/senate-transportation-bill-finds-offsets-three-years-funding##CFRB##

Table: CFRB

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Talking Headways Podcast: The Freeway That Never Was

This week we’re talking with Brendan Wittstruck about St. Louis’s never built freeway, I-755, which he recently wrote about at Streetsblog member NextSTL.

podcast icon logo

Brendan discusses the history of the project and how drawing lines on maps can be seductive to planners, who always have to be careful about trying to “fix” cities. He also talks about the racial politics of freeway construction in St. Louis, and how that legacy still shapes the city today. Finally, we chat about what the I-755 story means for freeway teardown movements today in terms of data collection and why this freeway never saw the light of day.

Join us and hear about the teardown that never had to happen, and the freeway that was never built.

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Today’s Headlines

  • LAT Profiles California’s Influential Air Resources Board
  • Walking and Bicycling Help Fend Off Dementia (LAT)
  • Beverly Hills Won’t Do Bike Lanes On Santa Monica Blvd (Better Bike)
  • Editorial: USA’s Fair Housing Backlash (LAT)
  • Helmet Hair Among Challenges and Rewards Of Bike Commuting, Bike Trains (KPCC)
  • Can’t A Multi-Billion Dollar Subway Extension Get A Better Explainer Vid? (The Source)
  • 300-Unit Mixed Used Building Planned For NoHo 3 Blocks From Orange/Red Line (Urbanize)
  • Rough Roads Cost L.A. Car-Owners $1000/Year (KPCC, Curbed)
  • Recap of Yesterday’s Metro Board Meeting (The Source)
  • Metro Could Be Angels Flight’s Savior (KPCCLAT)
  • DTLA Bank of America Plaza Parking Garage Among Most Ridiculous (Systemic Failure)

Get National Headlines At Streetsblog USA
Get State Headlines At Streetsblog CA

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Metro Board July Updates: Joint Development, Bike-Share, and More

Today’s monthly Metro Board of Directors meeting saw the chair transition from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Incoming Chair Ridley-Thomas expounded on his priorities for the current fiscal year. The July board meeting did not feature any major controversies, but there are a number of items likely to be of interest to SBLA readers.

Expo phase 2 test train. Photo via Santa Monica Next

Expo phase 2 test train. Photo via Santa Monica Next

Rail Lines Opening 2016: Metro CEO Phil Washington gave a brief update on the status of the extensions of the Gold and Expo Lines. Both of these projects are nearing completion. They are both being built by Construction Authorities, who will finish their work, then turn the project over to Metro for testing and, then, operation. Washington reported that Gold Line Foothill Extension construction is expected to be complete in September, while Expo Phase 2 construction is expected to be complete in mid- to late-October.

Bike-Share: With bike-share opening in Santa Monica, downtown L.A. and Long Beach this fiscal year, and other places interested, Metro is still working out if and how the agency needs to enforce or incentivize interoperability. Differences were evident in the debate at last month’s board meeting.

County Supervisor Don Knabe strung together multiple apt cliches urging Metro not enforce bike-share vendor conformity in a “my way or the highway” approach because “one size does not fit all.” Garcetti, on the other hand, asserted that a single countywide system “funds well,” meaning that it could attract lucrative countywide advertising sponsorship. Duarte City Councilmember John Fasana expressed “misgivings” over the current two-vendor implementation underway, suggesting that he thought it might be better for Metro to “buy out” systems being implemented by Long Beach and Santa Monica.

Glendale City Councilmember Ara Najarian pointedly asked Metro staff how cities like his should approach implementing bike-share, asking if Glendale should “refrain from an RFP (Request for Proposals)?” Staff recommended cities contact Metro, pursue funding together, and work things out on a case-by-case basis.  Read more…