Reviewing LADOT’s New Website

ladot_website_resizr.jpg

The LADOT finished renovations to its new website last Friday, and as far as attractiveness and ease of navigation go, the new site is a big upgrade over the old one. I spent part of the weekend experiencing the new site. While I have some nitpicks and suggestions, I find the new site to be a big improvement on the old one.

LADOT is proudest of its new vehicle parking website, where according to an LADOT press release

…anyone can easily find off-street City parking lots, hours of operations, rates, even the number of spaces…with a map service on how to drive there. In addition, the site’s home page features direct connection to "Real-time Traffic" information, updated every 60 seconds, indicating where traffic congestion is occurring and areas to avoid.

LA Streetsblog’s first suggestion? Upgrade the parking website to include where bike racks and other public bike parking facilities are available.

Speaking of alternative transportation, it’s great that the Bike Advisory Committee and Pedestrian Advisory Committee have their own webpages, but some of the information desperately needs updating. For example, the most recent agenda for the PAC is from January…of 2007.

The new site features a page housing forms for people that want to do business with LADOT. The forms cover everything from reporting a broken parking meter to requesting an LADOT representative do a presentation. While its helpful for advocates and community leaders to have forms such as this for lobbying the organization, but this part of the site should be expanded to both have license applications and especially the forms needed to apply for a bicycle license.

There is also a section for LADOT studies and reports, providing a one stop place to access the studies behind the projects. Currently, there are 11 reports. LADOT archivists should work to provide more historical reports and background documents on the site. For example, wouldn’t it be interesting to read the reports that led to the creation of the DASH program, or even to have easy access to the earlier studies that led to the Pico-Olympic plan?

There’s plenty more to say about the site, and I hope that streetsblog readers fill the comments section with discussion, but there’s one other glaring absence from the website. In the links section, there’s no link to LA Streetsblog. For the LADOT web programmers, the correct link is la.streetsblog.org.

  • I agree with you about the studies and reports, Damien.

    I found all of those studies and reports (and more) by doing a bunch of intensive googling over the past two years.

    It would be nice if the LADOT would show a breakdown of where it’s money comes from and how it gets appropriated among its various Offices and Divisions.

    And where, exactly, are the crash and injury statistics?

    The site is a hell of an improvement from its prior state – but considering the control this department exercises in L.A. (they have authority over most of the public land in the City), they ought to have a much better internet presence.

  • one thing we advocates should be doing is telling these municipal governments what software they should use to run their websites.

    the first link i clicked on was broken, and i’m not surprised. it looks like a home-grown system. outrageous.

    right now, every time some city/muni decides it’s time for a makeover, they go into some year-long process to pick a CMS and a provider and all this nonsense. forget that. we need to be able to provide them, at a minimum, with a set of guidelines on software they should run, on capabilities their sites should provide, etc. it’s not rocket science.

    ideally there are providers out there already who specialize in this type of thing – folks like TOPP??

    Palo Alto recently launched a website and got crushed for it, because it sucked, was expensive, etc. I say we start providing full SaaS implementations to munis all over the country, and we do it right, and we do it for much less money than they could otherwise do it. We’re the experts, after all, aren’t we? Let’s use 37Signals as a model for development, and we might even use WordPress or Drupal as a base for our service, and just deliver custom modules that will handle integration.

  • Paul S.

    Peter, I decided to take a look at the site based on your comments and to my surprise…it is actually not a bad site.

    There must be a thousand links in there and you are whining about one broken link. C’mon, give me a break.

    How about if you post the broken link and maybe they might fix it.

  • Matt

    Well, its is way better than the old one – the one that used to charge you $5.00 plus $0.75 a minute via a BBS system to get traffic counts, using a porn industry style 1-900 number. I hope whoever thought that was a good idea is now long retired. You can finally get some traffic counts online here http://www.ladot.lacity.org/tf_hist_auto_counts.htm BUT ITS STILL A FAR CRY from what the County’s site provides, just enter street names and the info is yours, see http://ladpw.org/tnl/trafficCounts/ Hope LADOT catches up someday.

  • Kymberleigh Richards

    I don’t suppose anyone but me noticed that the transit services bureau part of LADOT’s website (for DASH and Commuter Express) went unchanged.

    Good thing, too, because that is the most easily navigated site in the whole City of L.A. system.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Welcome to the Blogroll: LADOT Bikeways?

|
Intrigued? Click here. I have to admit.  When I was told last week that LADOT had opened the "LADOT Bike Blog" I assumed it was a joke.  After the creation of the Michelle Meowery twitter feed at the end of last year, and knowing how easy it is to open a wordpress blog; I assumed […]

A Look at LADOT’s Annual Report and Bike Lane Implementation

|
The city of Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) released its fiscal year 2014-2015 Annual Report [PDF] last week. From the LADOT General Manager’s message introducing the report: This year alone, we responded to 18,381 citizen requests, installed 38.2 miles of bikeways, helped Angelenos get to 300 special events, and kept Metro on track to deliver 26 new […]

L.A.’s Bike Lanes, Not Just for Bikes!

|
Bike Lanes are one of the most misunderstood elements of bikeways engineering, responsible for much confusion as they lie nestled peacefully between the noisy travel lane to the left and the quiet but dangerous door zone to the right. Some folks see that empty real estate and, in spite of the fact that they lack […]

ABC Highlights Some Self-Inflicted Bikelash in Sun Valley

|
Last week, ABC ran another part of its ongoing “What’s Bugging You” series, and for the second time the focus was on bicycling.  This time, it’s “unexpected bike lanes” that are “bugging you.”  Last time, it seemed that the mere existence of bicyclists was “bugging you.” ABC 7 has a pretty lousy reputation with many […]