Sunday, June 15, 2008

Los Angeles: Make bicycling a priority

Image of Orange Line Bike Path in Los Angeles
From the Los Angeles Times, 06.15.08:

Another run at biking in L.A.
With traffic congestion worsening and gasoline prices continuing to rise, it's no longer necessary to stage an event to show that the bicycle is a serious transit option. Dozens of newspaper articles and blogs report that an increasing number of commuters across the country are leaving their cars in the garage and using other forms of transportation, especially bicycles, to get to the store, school, bus or rail stop, even to work...

Unfortunately, the increased interest in the bicycle as a commuting option exceeds the city's capacity to handle it. L.A.'s bike-riding infrastructure--bike lanes and dedicated bike boulevards--is abysmal and compares poorly with those in cities such as Portland, according to a recent Urban and Environmental Policy Institute study, a research and advocacy organization based at Occidental College. For instance, about 6% of Portland's 3,949 miles of street lanes are for bikes, compared with just 0.6% of L.A.'s 28,000 miles of street lanes.

For a bicycle to become a viable mode of travel in L.A., we need to do a number of things. First, we need to build more bikeways, create more bike lanes on surface streets and install more bike racks near transit stops. Transportation planners need to more fully integrate biking with public transit. (Read more.)
Important op-ed by Robert Gottlieb, author of Reinventing Los Angeles: Nature and Community in the Global City. LA has been making slow progress to encourage bicycling in recent years. A significant shift in bicycling mode share in LA would be a huge sign of a tipping point away from cars in the U.S.

Image: Web capture. Orange Line Bike Path in Los Angeles
Visit: L.A. measures aimed at aiding bicycle=riding commuters, Los Angeles Daily News
Visit: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Visit: C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange)
Visit: Bikes in the city: Cycle safe with C.I.C.L.E., Los Angeles Times
Visit: Bicycling "arrives" in car-crazy Los Angeles, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: LA: Bikeway, not highway, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Bicycling hazardous in Los Angeles, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


Anonymous said...

Great article, Paul.
I totally agree with you.
By the way, during my recent visit to Amsterdam, I realized how great and how livable a city can become when bicycle-friendly conditions are provided. I wish Los Angeles would have at least a fraction of those bicycle routes that Amsterdam has...

Safes said...

I agree. I think people forget about biking in LA. I will admit that smaller denser cities like Santa Monica have encouraged it, but LA itself is so spread out.