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LADOT Releases Annual Report, New Bikeway Mileage Declining

Cover of LADOT Annual Report Fiscal Year 2015-2016 [PDF]

Cover of LADOT Annual Report Fiscal Year 2015-2016 [PDF]

Last week, the L.A. City Department of Transportation (LADOT) released its Annual Report for the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year [PDF]. There are plenty of worthwhile accomplishments detailed in the annual report, but some disappointing news in that LADOT bikeway implementation has slowed.

Among the good news are some features that Streetsblog readers may be familiar with: the Hollywood/Highland scramble crossing, Cesar Chavez Avenue bulb-outspedestrian head-start signals, expansion of Express Park to Westwood, protected bike lanes on Los Angeles Street, and groundwork laid for downtown L.A.’s Metro Bike Share, which launched at the start of the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Only a decade ago, it was difficult to imagine these kinds of projects ever being installed here. Despite advocate pressure for protected lanes and bike-share, these were just not a possibility for LADOT circa 2006.

There are also some excellent accomplishments that flew under SBLA’s radar during the past year:

  • LADOT has implemented 13 new school safety zones where speed limits are reduced to 15 mph.
  • LADOT has fought disabled parking placard abuse by conducting 74 stings, issuing 1,278 citations, confiscating 819 placards, and working to change state law.
  • LADOT has laid the groundwork for reinstituting the city’s speed hump program and for implementing electric vehicle car-share. Both coming soon.

Vision Zero chart of L.A. traffic violence trends. Image via LADOT Annual Report [PDF]

Vision Zero chart of L.A. traffic violence trends. Image via LADOT Annual Report [PDF]

Interwoven with all this is LADOT’s work to take Vision Zero from approved policy to on-the-ground improved safety for all road users. The annual report touts LADOT’s analysis of collision data to inform future safety improvements. Some of this data mapping was presented at recent community meetings, where LADOT previewed maps for its forthcoming Vision Zero action plan, which was due to be released last August.

On the bike facility front, though, implementation has been sparse, even as new research shows that adding bike facilities improves ridership and safety.

It is telling that in her introductory preface LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds credits her department’s accomplishment having “designed 12.43 protected bike lane miles.” (emphasis added) Last year’s report touted bikeway miles implemented. When asked for a comment on the decreasing bikeway mileage, Reynolds emphasized that LADOT is continuing to improve the streets for people biking and walking, though “we have a long way to go, and our interest remains raising the bar to build the safest, most organized infrastructure we can.”

Some bike advocates evaluate LADOT’s performance less generously. Michael MacDonald of Bike the Vote asserts that diminished bikeway implementation points to a lack of leadership:

Despite more and more Angelenos using bikes to get around, we still see little leadership and vision from our politicians to make streets safer. While other major cities such as New York, Chicago, Denver, and Washington D.C. are delivering on promises to build miles and miles of bikeways each year, Los Angeles is clearly falling behind.

Many Los Angeles politicians keep saying they support safer streets, but when it comes time for the paint to hit the road, we’re not seeing the courage to make it happen. Striping bike lanes to improve safety isn’t rocket science, but it does require leadership that we aren’t seeing from Mayor Garcetti and many members of City Council.

L.A. County Bicycle Coalition’s Executive Director Tamika Butler was also critical of L.A.’s elected officials. Butler stated that the LACBC is pushing “to uplift the voices of our communities to push elected officials to be accountable to the many Angelenos who deserve improved access, connectivity, and infrastructure. Investing in people who walk and bike is an investment in a better Los Angeles. Right now, some of those elected to protect us are fighting needed investments and putting our most vulnerable road users at risk.”

In FY2015-16, LADOT implemented 8.8 miles of bike lanes, 1 mile of protected bike lane, 6.5 miles of bike path, and 0.8 miles of sharrowed bike routes. LADOT continues to count mileage using their new “lane miles” metric, which essentially double-counts most facilities, compared to pre-FY2014-15 statistics. Below is the entire list of new bikeways implemented last year, per LADOT:  Read more…


LADOT Upgrading DASH, Commuter Express, Cityride – Asking for Input

LADOT DASH bus - photo via Walk Eagle Rock

LADOT DASH bus – photo via Walk Eagle Rock

The city of Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) is proposing an extensive suite of changes to the way it operates transit. LADOT transit operations include DASH shuttle buses, Commuter Express buses, and Cityride service for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The good news is that services are expanding. Generally, LADOT characterizes the planned citywide modifications as bringing service levels back up to what they were in 2010, when the agency had cut service to respond to budget shortfalls. There are ten new DASH lines planned. Existing DASH lines will run more frequently, and expand to later hours and weekends. Numerous DASH and Commuter Express lines are slated for minor tweaks, and a dozen are slated for major route changes.

Full proposals are available at the LADOT Transit website.

LADOT is requesting comments at a series of public meetings underway:

  • Tuesday 8/23Tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. at Glassell Park Senior Center at 3750 Verdugo Road in Glassell Park
  • Wednesday 8/24 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center at 11338 Santa Monica Boulevard in West L.A.
  • Monday 8/29 – 6 to 7 p.m. at San Pedro Library, Community Room at 931 South Gaffey Street in San Pedro
  • Tuesday 8/30 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Hollywood Recreation Center at 1122 Cole Avenue in Hollywood
  • Wednesday 8/31 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center, Rm. 1A at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys

Comments can be given in person at meetings, via an online survey, by calling 213.995.4545, or via email to ideas[at] and hearingofficer[at]

Streetsblog attended LADOT’s midday meeting yesterday in downtown L.A. The meeting included a review of planned changes, focused mostly on the extensive DASH network in downtown Los Angeles.   Read more…


Eyes on the Street: Motor Avenue’s New Parklets, Celebrate This Thursday

Motor Avenue celebrates two new parklets this week. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Motor Avenue celebrates two new parklets this week. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

This week, the Motor Avenue Improvement Association will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating two great new parklets on Motor Avenue. The festivities will take place on Thursday August 11 at 1 p.m. at 3376 Motor Avenue in Palms. The parklets are part of the city of L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) innovative People St program, where communities can request plazas, parklets, and/or bike corrals.

The southern Parklet on Motor, located in front of the Motor Avenue Community Garden

The southern parklet on Motor, located in front of the Motor Avenue Community Garden

There are two parklets a block apart. There is a smaller parklet on Motor north of National Boulevard, and a larger one just south of National, in front of the Motor Avenue Community Garden. Both parklets have taken on garden themes, with fresh herbs and vegetables growing in parklet planters.

More photos after the jump.  Read more…


New Bike Lanes Striped On Wilshire Boulevard In Westwood Condo Canyon

New bike lanes on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

New bike lanes on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The city of L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) is putting the finishing touches on new bike lanes on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood. The new bike lanes run 0.7 miles from Selby Avenue to Beverly Glen Boulevard. They extend the existing Wilshire bike lanes that currently run 0.2 miles from Beverly Glen to Comstock Avenue.

Buffered bike lane preliminary markings on Wilshire in Westwood

Buffered bike lane preliminary markings on Wilshire in Westwood

The new bike lanes were added without removing any travel lane capacity. Most of the new Wilshire lanes are buffered bike lanes, though the street width varies, so in some areas the buffer is omitted. The new bike lanes are part of a street resurfacing project that extends from Beverly Glen to Westwood Boulevard. As of yesterday, the new lane markings were mostly complete, with bike lane symbols and some striping on the buffers still to come.

This neighborhood has resisted bicycle and transit facilities in the past. Residents opposed the planned Wilshire Boulevard peak-hour bus-only lane project. They also fought against bike lanes approved for nearby Westwood Boulevard.


LADOT Quietly Hosting Vision Zero Community Engagement Meetings

MIG staff taking community input at last night's Vision Zero meeting. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

MIG staff taking community input at last night’s Vision Zero meeting. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Streetsblog L.A. attended the city of L.A. Transportation Department (LADOT) Vision Zero meeting last night in Hollywood.

The meeting was the fourth second in a series of ten Vision Zero community engagement meetings hosted by LADOT and their consultant, MIG. The meetings resume tonight in Echo Park, and continue through August 10 in various L.A. neighborhoods in the Valley, South L.A., West L.A. and San Pedro. None appear to be scheduled for Boyle Heights or North East L.A. See full schedule after the jump. (Correction: some meetings have been rescheduled – see corrected schedule below.)

Oddly, these appear to be public meetings, but as of this morning they do not appear on the LADOT Vision Zero website, nor any mention of them on LADOT’s Vision Zero Twitter. Apparently someone did not get the memo and posted the full meeting schedule online at the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council website. 

That San Pedro post made the rounds among L.A.’s well-wired bicyclist communities yesterday afternoon, which was the first notice that Streetsblog L.A. received. Last night, LADOT Vision Zero lead Nat Gale mentioned that meeting attendees had been “nominated” to attend. It is unclear how the nominating, outreach, and engagement were supposed to work. Perhaps the best way to get a lot of bicyclists to attend a Vision Zero meeting is to not invite them, so they become suspicious and rush to attend.

Vision Zero is the international campaign to reduce traffic deaths. Vision Zero principles hold that all traffic deaths are preventable and that human life takes priority over other transportation system objectives. The city of Los Angeles Vision Zero goals include reducing traffic deaths by 20 percent by 2017 and reducing deaths to zero by 2025.

The current series of meetings are part of the community engagement process for creating the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan, which is due out in August. The plan will guide the city’s multi-departmental Vision Zero efforts, to be implemented by multiple city departments including LADOT, Public Works, LAPD, LAFD, City Planning, and others.

At last night’s meeting, Gale presented an overview of the city’s efforts on Vision Zero so, highlighting the 2015 mayoral directive, the scramble crossing at Hollywood and Highland, and a new finer-grain priority intersections corridor categorization within the city’s High Injury Network. To identify the priority areas, LADOT and MIG used data from kill and severe injury (KSI) crashes, combined with factors to prioritize equity, children, and seniors. LADOT and MIG have drilled down into 2009 through 2013 KSI data to thoroughly characterize collision profiles based on various factors, from turning behavior to hit-and-run to drunk driving.  Read more…


Downtown L.A. Celebrates New Protected Bike Lanes On Los Angeles Street

Deputy Mayor Barbara Romero and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds take a celebratory ride in the Los Angeles Street protected bikeway. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Deputy Mayor Barbara Romero and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds take a celebratory ride in the Los Angeles Street protected bikeway. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Downtown L.A. now has protected bike lanes! Woooot! Wooooot!

Not just a block-long tunnel, but full-on grown-up Euro-style protected bike lanes. The newly opened half-mile-long Los Angeles Street protected bike lanes feature bicycle signals, floating bus stop islands, neon-green merge zones and two-phase left turn markings, not to mention freshly resurfaced pavement. All just in time for the launch of Metro bike-share on July 7.

Councilmember Jose Huizar and other city leaders officially opened the new facility yesterday afternoon. Huizar connected the low-stress bikeway with his DTLA Forward campaign, which will include additional protected lanes on Spring and Main Streets. Department of Transportation (LADOT) General Manager Seleta Reynolds spoke of the symbolic importance of these lanes connecting with early Los Angeles’s focal plaza, plus Union Station, City Hall, and even Caltrans’ Southern California headquarters. The ribbon-cutting event even featured a small fleet of Metro bike-share bikes available to test ride.


L.A. City Councilmember Jose Huizar addressing the crowd assembled at El Pueblo

Read more…


Los Angeles Street Protected Bike Lanes Ribbon-Cutting This Thursday

New full-featured protected bike lanes on Los Angeles Street. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

New full-featured protected bike lanes on Los Angeles Street. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The city of Los Angeles has a brand new full-featured protected bike lane. It is on downtown L.A.’s Los Angeles Street, connecting Union Station with First Street, running literally in the shadow of Los Angeles City Hall.

Construction began in April and was recently completed.

Celebrate the newly completed lanes with Councilmember Jose Huizar and the L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this Thursday June 16 at 1:30 p.m. at the plaza at El Pueblo (also known as Olvera Street.) The address is 125 Paseo de la Plaza, though the festivities take place on the Los Angeles Street side of the plaza, immediately west of Union Station.

Though the city of L.A. already has protected bike lanes in the Second Street tunnel and on Reseda Boulevard (and more on the way soon for Venice Boulevard, Van Nuys Boulevard, and Figueroa Street) the Los Angeles Street bike lanes include features that represent some important firsts for L.A. protected bikeways.

Bicycle traffic signal to allow cyclists a separate phase from turning cars

Bicycle traffic signal allows cyclists a separate phase from turning cars

L.A.’s First Bike Traffic Signals

Bike signals are not required for protected bike lane intersections; Long Beach uses them, Temple City’s Rosemead Boulevard and L.A.’s Reseda Boulevard do not.

Bike traffic signals are used to give cyclists that are headed straight ahead a signal phase separate from right-turning cars. The signals contribute to a relatively stress-free ride; cyclists ride to the right of parked and moving cars the entire ride, and do not need to merge into traffic at the approach to intersections.

Similar to car traffic signals, the bike signals are triggered by sensors embedded in the street (see photos below). Waiting bicyclists receive the green light first, followed by turning cars.

One drawback of the bike signals is that they drive up construction and maintenance costs.

L.A.’s First Protected Bikeway Transit Islands

Passengers board a DASH bus at a Los Angeles Street's transit island

Passengers board a DASH bus at a Los Angeles Street transit island

In order to minimize pedestrian-cyclist conflict, the project includes transit islands. Instead of transit riders waiting at the curb, they walk across the bike lane and wait in the transit island. Bicyclists ride between the transit island and the sidewalk.

This speeds up transit, allowing buses to stop in the travel lane while passengers are boarding. It also makes for a more stress-free bike ride, as conflicts between buses and bicycles are minimized.

L.A.’s First Two-Phase Left Turn Markings 

The Los Angeles Street project also features green boxes that support cyclists’ two-phase left turns. Instead of stressful merging through car traffic to make a vehicular left turn, cyclists make a low-stress left turn similar to the way a pedestrian would.

The green paint features were striped after SBLA took photos last week; they are visible in the video embedded above.

More images after the jump.  Read more…


West Hollywood and L.A. Celebrate New Fairfax Avenue Bike Lanes


West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister cuts the ribbon on Fairfax Avenue’s new bike lanes. All photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The cities of West Hollywood and Los Angeles celebrated the grand opening of a collaborative project yesterday: 1.2 miles of bike lanes on Fairfax Avenue. The new bike lanes extend from Melrose Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard. The northern end of the lanes were striped by the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) in 2014. That facility was extended southward this year, through the cities of both L.A. and West Hollywood.

The lanes were championed by the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, which lead a celebratory lap after yesterday’s ribbon-cutting.


West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, a self proclaimed “car-free millennial,” rides a West Hollywood bike-share bike on the celebratory tour of the new Fairfax Avenue bike lanes.

Read more…


L.A. City Faces Devil’s Bargain: Increase Limits To Allow Speed Enforcement

LAPD's Troy Williams speaks to Transportation Committee yesterday. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

LAPD’s Troy Williams speaks to Transportation Committee yesterday. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Over the course of the next two years, the city of Los Angeles plans to increase speed limits on many of its major streets. Why? According to the Police (LAPD) and Transportation (LADOT) Departments and due to pernicious state laws, cities are required to frequently study and increase speed limits to be able to actually ticket drivers who speed.

At the root of the problem is state “speed trap” law, which prevents cities from setting “arbitrarily low” speed limits. This law is defended by the California Highway Patrol and AAA. California requires local municipalities to periodically conduct speed studies and then to set speed limits based on how fast most drivers are already going. Cities are required to make the speed limit match the 85th percentile of prevailing traffic. Changes worsened the law in 2009 by taking away a modicum of local discretion to set slightly lower speed limits.

Combined with traffic engineering standards that favor auto speeds, this law results in a vicious cycle that favors faster and faster speeds. Speeders speed. City studies count speeders. Studies result in increases speed limits. This enables speeders to speed even more.

The state requires Los Angeles to conduct a speed study every seven to ten years. If speed surveys are not done, or if they expire, then LAPD cannot use state of the art laser speed enforcement devices.

At yesterday’s Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee, LAPD officer Troy Williams bemoaned the state of speed enforcement in Los Angeles. Per Williams, as of late last year, 75 percent of L.A. streets had expired speed surveys, meaning that LAPD’s “hands are tied” and speed limits are not enforced. The figure is over 80 percent on the city’s targeted Vision Zero High Injury Network: 6 percent of L.A. streets where 65 percent of all deaths and severe injuries take place. In short, L.A.’s deadliest streets are largely places where LAPD cannot enforce speed laws.

Williams stated that in 2010, LAPD issued 99,000 speeding tickets and, in 2015, that number had dropped to 16,000. According to Williams, a great deal of LAPD laser speed enforcement equipment sits on LAPD shelves as officers have turned them in due to lack of use.  Read more…

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Pacoima’s Van Nuys Blvd To Receive Upgrade, Protected Bike Lane This Summer


Before and after cross-sections for Van Nuys Boulevard. Source: Great Streets concept proposal [PDF]

A stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard in Pacoima will receive an extensive safety upgrade this summer. Under the leadership of Los Angeles City Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative, and the L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT), the 0.8-miles of Van Nuys Blvd. between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and San Fernando Road will receive a road diet. Traffic will be reduced by one lane; bike lanes will be added, including a southbound parking-protected bike lane.

Councilmember Fuentes expects that the project “not only help address safety concerns for all users of the corridor but will hopefully bring new energy to the boulevard where people can come together to enjoy the food, art and culture that Van Nuys Blvd has to offer.”

The Van Nuys Blvd Safety Improvement Project concept proposal [PDF] was presented at a mid-April community forum. The proposal makes the case for safety improvements on Van Nuys Blvd, which is on the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network: 6 percent of L.A. streets where 65 percent of all deaths and severe injuries take place.

According to statistics cited in the proposal, a city speed survey found 19 percent of drivers speeding. This contributes to higher rates of vehicle crashes resulting in death and severe injury to drivers and others. Since 2011, this stretch of Van Nuys Blvd. has experienced 57 crashes that injured pedestrians and/or cyclists, which is four times the citywide average.


Van Nuys Boulevard experiences unsafe levels of car collisions leading to deaths and injuries to drivers. Source: Great Streets concept proposal [PDF]

Max Podemski, Planning Director for Pacoima Beautiful, expects that the project “will go a long way in humanizing Van Nuys Boulevard.” Podemski echoes the safety issues highlighted by the city, stating “Many residents have been hit by cars trying to cross the street or know people who have. Most residents walk and wait for the bus along it. The changes proposed by the city will make the street more responsive to the ways people are currently using it.”
Read more…