Will We See the New Bike Master Plan in April?

3_11_09_franz.jpgMarked up map from Bike Master Plan Meeting in February 2008. The circle is around where Lincoln Blvd. and I-90 meet. Photo: Franz via Westside BikeSIDE

Over the weekend, at the Bike Summit, one question I was asked over and over again why we haven’t seen the newest draft of the city’s Bike Master Plan, which was originally promised for August of 2008 then delayed until January of this year, still hasn’t been released.  A quick e-mail to LADOT senior bike coordinator Michelle Mowery helped me find out the new timeline from City Planning: the BMP is now on-track for a release to the public next month and should be voted on by the City Council in June.  In the meantime, a compilation of comments and suggested routes can be found at the BMP’s official website.

However, the long process of creating the BMP has somewhat dampened enthusiasm for the plan which many of the city’s bike activists were cynical about in the first place.  I would say that every cyclist who asked me about the BMP’s delay had some sort of conspiracy theory or sarcastic comment about its delay.

Before the first public meeting, some activsts were complaining about the location of the outreach meetings and the lack of promotion for the meetings.  One activist wondered why there was no meeting near the core of the Midnight Ridazz and L.A.’s thriving "group ride scene" and there was one scheduled in San Pedro.  Another noted that there were no meetings planned for all of East L.A.

From there, the one meeting I attended on the BMP was more of a primal yell against what is going on in the city’s streets from the Bike Writer’s Collective and their supporters than it was a meeting to gather information.  Mia Burke, the head of the team from Alta Planning that is doing the outreach and construction of the plan, went out of her way to assure attendees that cyclists need to be involved because the process of turning L.A. into a better place for bikes should be inclusive and fun, but many in attendance didn’t want to hear it.  However, cyclists were promised update meetings on the plan in the fall of 2008 and a pair of meetings about mountain trails.  Neither of those meetings were ever scheduled.

Instead, street cyclists are still waiting to view the BMP and instead of public meetings trail cyclists’ meetings are being replaced by one-on-one interviews with leaders of membership groups that represent various stakeholders.  An outline of that process can be found at this article at LA Observed.

But for now, there is little for urban cyclists to do but wait and hope.  The Bike Master Plan should be available for public to view and review next month and let’s be ready to either review it as it is written or, if there’s another delay, demand to know where it is.