In 1897, a wealthy American businessman named Horace Dobbins began construction on a private, for-profit bicycle superhighway that would stretch from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. It may seem like a preposterous notion now—everyone knows Angelenos don’t get out of their cars—but at the time, amidst the height of a pre-automobile worldwide cycling boom, the idea attracted the attention of some hugely powerful players. And it almost got built.
Time to start daydreaming about what a bicycle superhighway would actually be like…
test reblogged from lacmtalibrary
Biking in L.A. - it’s possible! Even for a transplanted Midwesterner like our own Ben Poston, who writes about his experiences learning to maneuver around the city aided by neither car nor public transportation.
It’s not just the lack of traffic that’s enboldened Poston’s faith the viability of biking in L.A.
Riding at a pace between 15 and 20 mph, the city is a slide show instead of a blur.
I mentally catalog the names of the food trucks, carwashes, coffee shops and thrift stores tucked into strip malls that line Sunset. I watch people congregating around the bus stop at the Echo Park Avenue intersection and can even hear snippets of conversations from sidewalk cafes. (“I finally got a TV credit. Everything else is gravy, right?”)
Read Poston’s full perspective here, and maybe begin thinking about dusting off your own bike and helmet.
The program, a Bike Nation investment, aims to start by putting 400 stations around downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach with 4,000 bicycles for people to rent.
Any of you going to Ciclavia today?
Seeing red over green: When L.A. painted a 1.5-mile strip of Spring Street neon green last year, it was hailed as a major step in the city’s effort to have cars and bicycles coexist. But the lane has been criticized by the film industry, which frequently uses the stretch of Spring as a stand-in for other cities and eras.
There’s a great graphic here on how drivers should handle themselves around the bike lane.
My mom emailed me this article about my hometown—Fullerton, CA, a suburb about 40 minutes (driving, obv.) outside of Los Angeles—being the first in Orange County for a bike-share program!
I’m not confident that it’ll start out a resounding success, since it’s in the middle of suburban car country and a lot of Cal State and Fullerton College students commute from somewhat far away. On the other hand, the Fullerton train station is heavily used by Metrolink commuters heading to LA (and parking in that area is a problem), and the OCTA buses are somewhat utilized. Also, the climate is bike-friendly almost year-round, and there are lots of bike trails in the Coyote Hills reserve and along the old train tracks so people are used to cycling. I think that if it’s going to work anywhere in Orange County, Fullerton is a top shot.
Mainly, I’m just happy anyone in the area is trying to rethink and pay any attention to innovative public transportation. I’m proud of my mom for sending me the article. I’m proud of OCTA. I’m proud of Fullerton. I feel like an annoying new mama!
test reblogged from publictransitadventures
Handmade bicycle industry is on a roll: Positive trends are helping bolster a small cadre of crafts people who still build bicycles by hand. That’s why the mood was upbeat at the industry’s annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, which concluded Sunday.
Photo: Brad Quartuccio of Urban Velo photographs a bike built by Don Walker Cycles at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento. Credit: Paul Kitagaki Jr. / Sacramento Bee
Bicyclists tour Watts on a CicLAvia ride: The cyclists take photos and recordings for a crowd-sourced map of their route from Augustus Hawkins Natural Park in South L.A.’s Central-Alameda neighborhood to the Watts Towers.
Photo: Elizabeth Williams, left, owner of Cali Bike Tours in Long Beach, admires a custom bicycle belonging to Cassandra Freeman, right. Credit: Christina House / For The Times
Hector Tobar: Los Angeles’ Spring Street green lane is only 1.5 miles for now, but hopefully it’s leading to a more bike-friendly future.
This is sweet, I thought. And also a little scary. The green lane puts you, seemingly, near the center of the street. That big, wide lane on your right is supposed to be for parking, but buses use it all the time, and for a moment or two I had a bus on my right and a car on my left, without any layers of steel or glass to protect me.
And I was the only self-powered vehicle in the little green lane itself. Then another guy pulled up ahead of me — on a skateboard.
“This is better than being on the sidewalk,” Jed Stoddard, 32, told me. “On the sidewalk, I’m a moving target for all the dogs.”
Photo: With Los Angeles City Hall in the background, a cyclist rides along Spring Street near 2nd Street on the new bright green bike lane that extends from Cesar Chavez Avenue to 9th Street. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
For downtown cyclists, this green also means go: The bright green bicycle lane on Spring Street is aimed at reducing collisions and to help cyclists feel safer navigating downtown Los Angeles.
This is good to know for drivers:
Motorists wanting to turn into a driveway on the bike-lane side of the street should turn from their lane, not the bike or parking lane, after yielding to cyclists, Fremaux said. Those who want to make right turns should stay in the vehicular lane until near the intersection, where there are breaks in the bicycle lane, and use recently implemented right-turn lanes, he said.
Photo: Above, Darryl Strucke, left, and Alvin Pegues of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation help paint a bright green bicycle lane along Spring Street in downtown L.A. The 1.5-mile-long lane will run from Cesar Chavez Avenue to 9th Street. “Thank you, guys, I love you!” yelled cyclist Susanna Schick as she rode past. “You’re making my commute to work a lot safer.” Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times
Spotted this morning: Firing up new bike lanes near The Times building downtown. Cool!
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times Tumblr
Rise in number of bicycle accidents has Burbank concerned: Based on the number of complaints from the public, police are worried that the increase is in part a result of cyclist behavior, such as running red lights.
Photo: Bicyclists pedal across Hollywood Way on the increasingly popular Chandler bike path in Burbank. The city’s police are concerned about the rise in the number of cycling accidents the last two years. Credit: Roger Wilson
Photo: The city of South Pasadena will stripe more than 24 miles of bike pathways throughout the neighborhood. Credit: Cheryl A. Guerrero / Times Community News