Off the Chain With Tamika: Celebrating Black History Month

Dear LACBC fam,

Happy February! This is one of my favorite times of year when we’re finally settled into the year and getting used to writing ‘17 instead of ‘16. Love is in the air. And it’s Black History Month (if you’re my friend on Facebook, you know it’s one of my favorite times of year to share and educate).

Growing up, Black History Month was always a time where my family talked about justice and speaking up for what’s right. As we’ve seen the national political landscape changing this month, we’ve tried to stay committed to speaking up and doing what’s right here in L.A.

As many of you know, I’ve worked hard to center racial justice and social justice in much of the work we do. This past month, we’ve continued to do that as we’ve critiqued L.A.’s Vision Zero Action Plan and opposed Measure S in the March 7th election. And we're still having conversations about biking and walking while black, like we did in this recent #MoveEquity Tweetchat.

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LACBC Urges You to Vote No on Measure S on March 7th

On March 7th, voters in the City of Los Angeles will have the opportunity to vote on Measure S. If passed, Measure S would immediately freeze the construction of new developments that require zoning amendments for two years, and limit other projects for decades to come. Such drastic changes would ultimately result in a shortage of affordable housing in Los Angeles. LACBC urges Angelenos to Vote No on Measure S.

As a bicycle coalition, LACBC is concerned with what Measure S would mean for making Los Angeles a more livable and bikeable city.

This measure stands in opposition to density, a key component to making an area more easily bikeable. It’s really simple: the closer people live to where they work, the easier it is for people to bike and walk to work. Banning construction in L.A. will lead to higher rent, speed up gentrification, and lead to displacement of lower-income residents and residents of color. Many of these low-income residents are more likely to depend on walking, biking, or taking transit to meet their daily needs. In fact, rhetoric supporting Measure S is often laced with a not so subtle veil of neighborhood integrity racism that is reminiscent of calls to make L.A. great...again. L.A. is great, but L.A. could be more livable. L.A. could do a better job centering low-income people of color who live in high density neighborhoods and need affordable housing options. Measure S does the opposite.

People traveling from farther away to get to work will have fewer transportation options, forcing them to drive, which increases congestion across the L.A. region. As more people drive, streets become less safe to bike and walk on. People who lack resources to own cars are often pushed to areas without reliable and affordable transit options. Getting to services and jobs requires more time and money. Measure S increases the burdens on L.A. families who are trying to make it and creates barriers that fail to account for the day-to-day struggles many Angelenos face.

Measure S is also based on false assumptions. It is based on an assumption that somehow keeping people and resources out makes neighborhoods better. It is based on the assumption that more people moving in means more cars. It ignores that in many high density, low-income communities and communities of color, people have no other options and rely on biking, walking, and taking transit.

Measure S would solidify automobile parking requirements for new developments that would undo the benefits of the Bicycle Parking Ordinance.We’ll once again be left with too many car parking spaces and not enough bike parking and not enough focus on how people outside of cars move about their communities. Not only do these outdated parking requirements increase the prices of housing, but study after study shows that as the supply of parking increases, people drive more. Again: as more people drive, streets become less safe for people who walk and bike.

Further, the City of Los Angeles depends on fees from developers to build new sidewalks, new bike lanes, and parks. These ‘‘Development Impact Fees" are used to fund all types of projects, like the upcoming 7th Street protected bike lanes in Downtown Los Angeles. If Measure S passes, these funds will dry up--and many street improvement projects will be put on hold.

While Measure S proponents claim that more development will overwhelm L.A.’s infrastructure, the opposite is true. The passage of Measure S would continue L.A.’s housing shortage, increase homelessness, eliminate thousands of construction jobs, and dry up revenue for infrastructure investment. Measure S will force L.A.’s future to be low-density, move people even farther away from L.A.’s urban core, and increase parking requirements. This will ultimately lead to even more traffic congestion, overwhelmed infrastructure, and streets that are less safe for its most vulnerable users.

For all these reasons, LACBC is urging you to vote for L.A.’s future and Vote No on Measure S on March 7th.

Here's how you can help oppose Measure S:

  1. Make sure you are registered to vote in the City of Los Angeles for the March 7th election. The deadline to register to vote or make residence changes is Monday, February 20th. Vote No on Measure S. You can register or change your address online instantly at registertovote.ca.gov!

  2. Join the campaign efforts: LACBC is a proud member of the Alliance for Community Transit (ACT-LA), and we’re joining their efforts to oppose Measure S. If you’re interested in making phone calls (starting TODAY, February 9th, at 5:30 p.m.: No On S - Phone Banking with Mayor Garcetti at the LA County Federation of Labor located at 2130 James M Wood Blvd, Los Angeles, 90006) or doing precinct walks to get the word out on Vote No on Measure S, let us know at info@la-bike.org.

  3. Talk to your friends and family about voting no on Measure S, and spread the word!


NELA Meeting Notes

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On Tuesday, members of the Northeast L.A. community and staff from LACBC headquarters came together for a follow-up to December’s meeting.

Based on feedback from the group after the last gathering, we really wanted to get together and hear from the community on what they wanted. We started the meeting with a brief recap of the last conversation then really opened the floor and did something we haven’t always been good at: we listened.

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3 Things We Learned from the Ask an Officer Discussion

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On Monday night, law enforcement officers, bicycle attorney Jim Pocrass, and audience members gathered for Ask an Officer, a panel discussion on biking, walking, and traffic laws. The event was sponsored by Pocrass & De Los Reyes, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), Los Angeles Walks, and the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance.

The night started with pizza and drinks provided by Pocrass & De Los Reyes. Emilia Crotty of Los Angeles Walks kicked off the night by welcoming everyone to the space, which was intended to be one of respect where everyone involved learned from one another and about one another. Colin Bogart of LACBC introduced the panel.

The panel included:

  • Bicycle Attorney Jim Pocrass of Pocrass & De Los Reyes
  • Officer Andrew Cullen of the LAPD Traffic Division
  • Officer Leland Tang of the California Highway Patrol (CHP)
  • Officer Carl Lurvey of the LAPD Emergency Operations Division
  • Sergeant Robert Hill of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department

Questions from the panel included those from the organizers and those from the crowd in attendance. Here are three key takeaways we learned from the event and what they mean for Vision Zero.

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LACBC Statement on Los Angeles Vision Zero Action Plan

On Thursday, January 26th, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) released the Vision Zero Action Plan. The plan outlines the city’s strategy to reduce traffic fatalities by 20 percent by the end of 2017, with the ultimate goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. In 2015, Mayor Garcetti signed an executive order making Los Angeles a Vision Zero city with safety as L.A. streets’ highest priority.

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Intern Profile: Bryony van Velzen

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LACBC has had a number of interns contribute to the world of cycling, but none has done it faster than Bryony van Velzen.

Coming to us from the Netherlands, last summer Bryony was signed by the Lares-Waowdeals UCI World Tour Team, which competes at the highest level of competitive cycling, after winning two races. While she is just starting her pro cycling career, she is also studying International Business at Zuyd University.
During her time here at LACBC, Bryony has helped us on a variety of fronts, including marketing plans, social media, and managing data among other things. Unfortunately for us, she'll be departing the US in February for training camp in Spain, but this may not be the last we see of her. Bryony is hoping not only to return to Los Angeles next fall, but she's wishing to be back sooner as a participant in this year's Amgen Tour of California.
We asked Bryony a few questions about her experiences as she completes her internship here at LACBC:
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Tips for Biking to Women's March Los Angeles

Tomorrow, January 21st, thousands of people will be descending on Downtown Los Angles to participate in the Women's March Los Angeles, which starts at Pershing Square and ends with a rally at City Hall. The march to City Hall begins at 10:00 a.m., but speakers will be kicking off the day as early at 8:20 a.m. at Pershing Square. Traffic into Downtown L.A. is expected to be heavy, and we highly recommend biking to the march or taking public transportation early in the day.

General map of the Women's March route.

Here are some general tips:

  • Remember to bring a bike lock with you so that you can securely lock your bike to a bike rack (or, if none are available, use a sign post that is secure in the ground). Do not lock your bike to a tree or another bike, and try not to block the sidewalk. Here is some guidance on locking your bike.
  • Do not expect to ride or roll your bike with you in the March, as it will be very crowded.
  • Try parking away from the general march route, which will be mainly on Hill and Broadway streets, and walk to Pershing Square from there. You can use the LADOT Bike map layers feature at bike.lacity.org to search for a bike rack beforehand.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to find parking and walk to the start.
  • If you plan on doing a multimodal bike/transit combo, be aware that buses and transit towards Downtown L.A. might be more full than usual or be on detour. Bus bike racks might be full, which is why you'll want to start your journey early.
  • After the rally at City Hall, consider using Metro Bike Share to get back to where you parked your bike.

 

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Use the layers tab for the map at bike.lacity.org to search for sidewalk bike parking, bike corrals, and art bike racks.

Here are more tips on the Women's March from LAist and knowing your cellphone rights from Slate.

Have any other biking tips? Leave them in the comments section.


Off the Chain With Tamika: What's in Store for 2017

A message from Tamika Butler, LACBC's Executive Director:

Dear LACBC fam,

Happy new year! I’m excited to be back at HQ and getting back into the swing of things in the new year. This year marks LACBC’s 19th birthday! That means we’re going to be leaving our teens behind and entering our tenacious 20s. We’re excited about all that’s on our plate for the year ahead, but we also want you to keep your ears open. We’re planning something big for our 20th year. We’re heading into the planning process now and we’re going to be coming back to our member to launch us into our next chapter.

So what does this year have in store for all of us? So much! Last week we had our staff retreat (photo to the right) and we planned out the year ahead. Here’s what is on deck:

  • We’re doing a new strategic plan! It’s the right time and as we go into our 20th year, we are refining our vision and our brand and getting ready for the new challenges ahead. We’re going to be looking to interview stakeholders, so look out for more communication from us.
  • We had another successful fundraising year, raising the most money in LACBC's history. We’ve grown from a small organization to an organization with a $800,000 budget when I started, to hitting a $1.2-million budget last year. With Erik, our new Development Director in place, we’re poised to raise more money than ever this year. You want to help? Your first opportunity is already here. Join Team LACBC on Climate Ride and help fight climate change and raise money for LACBC.
  • We’re going to invest more time and energy into our local chapter program and Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program. Want to know how to be informed for the March elections or how to engage locally or at Metro? We’ll make sure you’re ready as one of our local leading advocates.
  • We’re not just investing in you, we’re investing in our team at HQ so they can better serve you. We’re going to be looking at our structure as part of the strategic plan, hiring, reorganizing, and getting ourselves the training and resources we need to do our best work.
  • When it comes to campaigns, we’re keeping our eyes on the prize and continuing our work at LACBC and as part of different coalitions to work on the campaigns that matter most to you:
    • Keeping you up-to-date on the issues that matter like adding protected bike lanes, theL.A. River, Bike Month, and Active Streets LA.
    • Staying on top of Measure M implementation, participating in the policy guideline process, ensuring spending transparency, and continuing the fight for biking and walk investments. We’ll do this in conjunction with our advocacy around Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan.
    • Holding the City of Los Angeles to its promise to achieve Vision Zero by 2025 and getting other cities in the county to take the pledge.
  • We’ll continue to be a leader at the national level in incorporating equity and the dismantling of systematic racism and oppression into all that we do at LACBC.

And finally, we’ll keep having FUN! We have a great year ahead, we hope you are as excited as we are. Join LACBC or renew your membershipsign up to volunteer, and get engaged. We’re out to make L.A. a better place to live and bike and we can’t do it without you!

Tamika Butler
LACBC Executive Director
tamika@la-bike.org


Submit Comments on Ventura Blvd. Bike Lanes by Friday

Action Alert! Submit your public comments on Ventura Blvd. project to csuh@katherinepadilla.com & cc: hyeran@la-bike.org by Friday, January 20.

C2BJWSGUcAAY-DD.jpgLast Thursday, January 12th, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s office and LADOT hosted a community meeting on the future of the western edge of Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills between Sale Ave. and Royer St. Following last December’s brainstorming meeting with community members, this recent meeting allowed people to discuss more concrete ideas and concepts. The room was full of residents, business owners, and other stakeholders. There were interactive tables where people could place different street elements on a blank canvas to try out their ideas and discuss how they would work. Consultants from Sam Schwartz Engineering photographed the configurations that people came up with and later shared them with the larger group to discuss. 

This stretch of the Ventura Blvd. is a neighborhood commercial corridor with a number of neighborhood-serving businesses. Currently the 90-foot-wide street has three travel lanes on each side, 5-foot bike lanes on each side, and parallel parking on the curb. Through traffic travels at a high speed so that people do not feel safe walking and biking on the street. Crossing distances are too long, or crossings do not exist for a long distance, which means that people cannot safely cross where they need to.

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Sunday Funday: Old San Fernando Recap

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To kick off our monthly Sunday Funday series for 2017, LACBC headed out to the Northeast San Fernando Valley to ride and learn about the area's early history.

The fifteen-mile ride went by such historical sites as the Pico Adobe, Mission San Fernando, Lopez Adobe, San Fernando Middle School, Morningside Elementary, Old Pacoima, and Brand Boulevard, the site of the old Pacific Electric Railway. We also got to see more recent additions like the Nethercutt Museum and Rudy Ortega Park.

As part of the route, cyclists got to experience the new protected bike lane on Van Nuys Blvd as part of L.A. City's Great Streets Initiative.

Afterwards, a number of riders grabbed some food and headed over to the San Fernando Brewing Company where we were able to relax and mingle around.

Thanks to all who participated and we're glad we had such a strong showing for our first ride in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

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