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

LA Bike Plan Open House/Public Hearing

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Date: Saturday, September 25 Time: 10am-1pm Location:  Hollywood Municipal Building 6501 Fountain Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90028 Date: Wednesday, September 29 Time: 5pm-8pm Location:  Felicia Mahood Senior Center 11338 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025 Date: Thursday, September 30 Time: 5pm-8pm Location:   Constituent Service Center 8475 S. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90044 Webinar Public Hearing […]

Looking into Los Angeles Draft Bike Plan Implementation Strategy

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The city of Los Angeles is in the process of releasing the components of its 2010 draft Bicycle Plan, available at the city’s website. The plan’s chapters and most of its maps were released in early June 2010. On Thursday July 22nd, the city released its "Five Year Implementation Strategy." Still remaining unreleased is the actual […]

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 […]

Expo Phase II Environmental Documents Now Online

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At long last, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Phase II of the Expo Line is now online and even though I got the announcement in my inbox just under two hours ago, I have yet to get any emails from proponents or opponents of the line commenting on it.  I’m going to wade into […]