I Want to Ride My Bicycle. I Want to Ride My Bike.

Photo from flickr

Boston bikers show us a world without cars

Curbed points us to an article in USA Today about cities that want to make it easier to commute by bicycle. More bike racks. More bike lanes. Less cars.

Are you listening, Los Angeles?

Boston has a Director of Bike Planning.
New York is adding 200 miles of bike lanes.
Chicago wants 5% of all trips shorter than 5 miles to be taken by bicycle.
San Francisco wants 10% of all trips in the city within three years to be made by bicycle.

Los Angeles? It’s trying to figure out how to widen its freeways.

Where is our 10-year bike plan? Where is our bike-share program? Where is our Director of Bike Planning?

If I’m the mayor, I get Lance Armstrong on the phone. Put him in a room with a map of the city and a box of crayons.

14 thoughts on “I Want to Ride My Bicycle. I Want to Ride My Bike.”

  1. Just remember that in London where there are many commuters on bicycles, cabbies and bus drivers refer to them as “organ donors”.

    Bike lanes are only a bit of a solution, enforcing traffic safety is the bigger part. I used to ride on the Chandler bike path and can tell you, no one gives a shit if you are there or not. Better option is to set aside some alley’s or similar that can run along major routes that could be set aside bikes only and that would eliminate half the risk to those on bikes.

  2. Um, bike plans in LA present a special challenge not faced by more traditional cities. (I should say “traditional” cities.)

    Most East Coast cities and places like San Francisco have a recognizeable urban core around which it makes more sense to travel by bike.

    In LA, we’d need interregional planning to create bike areas of concentration, right? Some may use bikes to get from SaMo to downtown or from San Pedro to the Valley, but then again, probably not.

  3. Gee, there’s a lot happening in Los Angeles, it’s just on a grassroots level. The Militant will give a chance for these people to speak for themselves as he knows a lot of them read this blog. As far as on a governmental level, it’s going to happen soon.

    And would people please stop blindly writing Frisco off as a bike-friendly city? Hello? The place has a lot of nasty hills.

    As for Lance Armstrong, he’s an athlete, not a planner. You wouldn’t trust A-Rod to decide where to put a recreation center, would you?

  4. I try to ride as much as I can within the area I live. But LA is so huge that it would be impossible to get around everywhere by bike. Nonetheless, it would be nice if the city were more biker-friendly, starting w/ more bike lanes.

  5. In downtown Copenhagen, you can rent well-maintained City Bikes for 20DKr (about $3.50), which you get back when you return the bike (to any City Bike rack, not necessarily the one you got the bike from). Wonderful bike culture there. Of course, it’s a much smaller city, and commuters (READ: the people in general) there are a lot more courteous and considerate of each other (and drivers actually obey the speed limit), so it’s much easier to accomplish.

  6. there is quite a lot of effort here in LA to make bicycle infrastructure improvements!

    one day, perhaps, when magical unicorns snort fairy dust from their horns, we shall all see the improvements…

    currently, the LADOT is working on updating the LA Bicycle Master Plan.

    I gave ’em a pretty big push for “bicycle boulevards” to be included in the new plan…

    there has been quite a lot of discussion on this very blog about this issue….given the bike-tastic-ness of the creator and many contributing bloggers.

    live the dream!!!

  7. Los Angeles County HAS a Bicycle Master Plan. Yet, it may be hard to find evidence of such. It is administered through the MTA, and they have a projected goal of having 5% of trips be made via bicycle by 2025. (Not very ambitious, but an improvement from the dismal 2.4% currently.) The MTA also claims to spend $32 million on NEW bikeways and bridge widening.

  8. Haha, Ingrid and I are posting at the same time. Ingrid points out LADOT, which is the City of Los Angeles planning department for transportation issues, is responsible for creating bike corridors in the city of Los Angeles.

    Many other cities have their own bicycle master plan. Local cities, such as Santa Monica, and Pasadena come to mind as having very progressive master plans.

    As Ingrid says: “Live the dream!

  9. Alice, I think you will find, the more you ride in your “area” the larger that area will become. LA is in fact pretty rideable. It’s only 10 miles from downtown to the beach, not really all that far, and as the MTA (as well as Foothill Transit and other services) equips all of its busses with bike racks, it is quite possible to get around this city (or even the county) without using a car, and doing so primarily by bicycle.

  10. Fuzzbeast, what do you do when the bike rack is full? There are places I could go by bus/bike, but they depend on bus routes that sometimes only come every 30 or 60 minutes, and that often already have full bike racks when they pass by.

    If the racks are full, do you have to wait for the next bus?

  11. L.A. is a largely flat city with warm dry weather year round. It has great potential to be a bike city.

    The solution is cheap, really. We’re not asking for no stinkin’ Marshall Plan:

    1. First, just put a sharrow on the right lanes of big streets. Almost free.

    2. Then, make a few small residential streets go through but slow them down with a few speed bumps and maybe some — bicycle boulevards! Maybe repave some of them. Relatively cheap to do.

    3. Finally, make the cops enforce laws already on the books and give people tickets and a driver’s handbook to nimrods who honk at cyclists. Almost free.

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