Bike to Work Wrap – Thanks to Metro and LAPD…But Where’s Our Bike Plan?

5_24_10_metro_smile.jpgLast week gave us something to smile about for mroe than one week. Photo: Laura Almeda/Metro

It's one thing to make the "Goofus and Gallant" comparison with LADOT on the losing end when discussing some of the more progressive transportation agencies in the country.  It's another thing when Gallant is Metro and the LAPD and the poor LADOT has to reprise its role as Goofus.

Playing the part of Gallant is the LAPD.  At Soap Box, Stephen Box outlines several important policy changes announced last week by the LAPD/Cyclist Task Force.  The LAPD  committed to filing reports when Metro buses are involved in crashes and enforcing parking policy when cars or trucks are clogging bike lanes.  They debuted training materials that lay down the rights of cyclists so that there is no confusion.  And, they clarified once and for all that crosswalks are an extension of a sidewalk.  Thus, cyclists can bike in a crosswalk any place they can bike on the sidewalk.  I'm sure the CaliforniA HighwAy PAtrol is ready to file a complaint on that last one.  These are some pretty big changes, and if they filter down to the street it would be a sea change in the relationship between cyclists and the police in Los Angeles.

Less dramatically, Metro announced that an end is coming to its rush hour restriction (read:ban) of bikes on peak hour trains.  While the ban is rarely enforced, it's always good to see policy change so that it won't be a problem in the future.  After all, the LAPD went decades without "enforcing" a bike licensing requirement before suddenly over-enforcing it in 2008.  In addition to the end of the restrictions, the transit agency is removing more seats to make room for the bikes and even setting aside an area in the stations so cyclists know where to board.

Then there's Goofus.  When a timeline was announced last year for the Final Bike Plan, LADOT and City Planning promised we'd see a final draft this January.  Later, on the plan's website, the date was changed to February.  February came and went, and at the Bike Summit they announced it would be released in April.  April also went by the books, and speculation was rampant the city would debut the plan during Bike Week.  It's now almost the end of May and there's no Bike Plan in site.  When's Goofus ever going to learn?