Neighborhood Focused Bicycle Plans

Thanks to hard-working bicycle activists like Joe Linton and Stephen Box
who’ve read through the L.A. draft Bike Plan, Angelenos who care about
bikes can get the skinny on the 212-page draft without wading through
the typo and error-riddled document themselves. That said, I’d love it
if this draft were not so big and intimidating so that more people
would be encouraged the actual document — which is why David Byrne’s latest blog post got me thinking.

In his post about “An Evening With David Byrne
— an L.A. event that happened earlier this month — Byrne opines that
“LA, like Austin in a way, is so spread out that it has more obstacles
to overcome” — and presents some ideas:

I suggested to the city rep that one might try adding
bike lanes, etc. in specific neighborhoods, little by little, and not
try to instigate a whole citywide program. Downtown, Santa Monica and
Venice would be obvious candidates. Her response seemed to imply that
the state of LA politics and bureaucracy makes that impossible — if one
hood gets something, they all want it.

Byrne’s suggestion got me thinking: Would it be possible to get
multiple bike plans going in various L.A. neighborhoods — with shorter
drafts of the plans that cyclists in that area could get through more
easily? Might that get cyclists more engaged and active in the areas
that they live or work in?

I think we still need an overall master bicycle plan to weave those
neighborhood plans together — and thus the city’s bike infrastructure
together — into a more comprehensive system. But considering the fact
that at the moment, neighborhood councils seem to lack the time even to
comment on the master plan, as Alex Thompson at Westside Bikeside’s pointed out, perhaps having a greater focus on neighborhood based bike plans — headed up by individual neighborhood councils — could work.

Certainly, neighborhood councils have been more receptive to adopting the Cyclists Bill or Rights, as Stephen Box points out. And efforts like the LA County Bicycle Coaliton’s 4th St. Bike Blvd. already seem to be along this neighborhood-focused vein. Plus, bike plans that focus on smaller areas — like the Burbank Bike Master Plan — seem to be creating more optimism and less angst.

That said, I live in Santa Monica, not the City of L.A., and thus
don’t have a neighborhood council. For those of you who do: Do you
think we could look to neighborhood councils to push through smaller
bike plans in their communities? The pedestrian and cyclist-friendly work of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council certainly seems like a step in that direction –

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

More on the Bike Plan: Strength and Weaknesses

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(As you may have noticed, Streetsblog is running a series gathering different people’s opinions on the Bike Master Plan.  You can read statements by a group of different bike activists from Monday,  Dan Koepel on Tuesday, Kent Strumpell in the comments section yesterday and now LACBC Founder and Green L.A. Transportation Working Group Chair Joe […]

How Does LA City’s Mobility Plan Modify Its 3-Year-Old Bike Plan?

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Streetsblog readers are probably aware that the city of Los Angeles Department of City Planning (DCP) is currently updating the Transportation Element of the city’s General Plan. The Transportation Element has a great deal of influence over what L.A.’s streets look like, and which uses they prioritize. The new Transportation Element, called Mobility Plan 2035, […]

South L.A. Neighborhood Bike Ambassadors Confer with Planners on Bike and Mobility Plans

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Last night, between 15 and 20 members of the South L.A. Neighborhood Bike Ambassador (NBA) group gathered in the (amazing!) Civil Rights Museum at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee to talk with Jane Choi (Dept. of City Planning’s LA/2B), David Somers (Dept. of City Planning’s Bicycle Planner), and Nate Baird (Dept. of Transportation’s Project Coordinator […]

Looking into Los Angeles’ 2010 Draft Bike Plan

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The new draft 2010 City of Los Angeles Bike Plan was released on Friday June 18th 2010. The draft is available online at labikeplan.org. That website is also where interested parties can sign-up for bike plan webinars tonight at 6pm and 7:30pm. At tonight’s webinars, the city will explain the already-released 2010 draft and will release a new piece: its 5-year implementation […]