Whither the Bike Master Plan?

5_13_09_franz.jpgPhoto from Bike Master Plan outreach meeting courtesy Franz Ellers, 2/2008

You may have noticed that recently I’ve been finding a way to work the oft-delayed Bike Master Plan into just about every post about bicycles.  This being Bike to Work Week, there have been plenty of chances.

Yesterday I had a chance to visit the Los Angeles County Bike Advisory Committee’s Planning Sub-Committee, where the BMP, and when the public is actually going to get to see it, was on the agenda.

It’s been so long since Alta Planning, the Department of Planning and LADOT held public outreach to help design the plan, that I covered it at Street Heat in February of 2008.  At that meeting we were told that they hoped to have the first draft of the plan ready by the end of the year, then in November we were told it would be in early 2009, then in January we were told it would be out in April.  A glimmer of hope arose when Wendy Greuel announced she fully intended to hold hearings on the plan, which since she is termed out of office on July 1, would have to be soon.

Yesterday, it was announced that the draft BMP will be unveiled sometime in July or August.  This series of delays has consternates just about every cyclist that I’ve talked to, who are worried the city is watering down the initial report written by the highly-regarded Alta Planning.  I’m sure those concerned won’t be happy to hear that one of the reasons for the delay is the city government has sent back comments and re-writes a couple of times to Alta, who is doing another round of revisions as I speak.

However, one of the main pieces of the plan, a map featuring the current and proposed bike amenities could be out as soon as June.  The LADOT has asked City Planning, who is in charge of the project, to release the plan piecemeal as the parts come together, but Planning prefers to wait until all the pieces are finnished.  Unfortunately, that includes concluding the debate over whether mountain bikes should be allowed on certain trails in the hills and other parks.  Public meetings on that issue are still going on.

The good news is that once the plan is out, there will be plenty of chances for public comment.  Once the draft plan is released, there will be at least ten public hearings on the plan including five downtown in the form of City Council, Transportation Commission and Planning Commission hearings as well as a handful of public meetings in communities.

Meanwhile, the drumbeat continues to grow from cyclists and activists alike: Where is our Bike Master Plan?  For more on the BMP, check out its official website.

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