Green on the Ground: Santa Monica

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It's Green on the Ground Week, and we're featuring green bike lanes and infrastructure across L.A. County. Today Cynthia Rose, Director of our Santa Monica Spoke local chapter and an LACBC board member, writes about the green and protected bike lanes around Santa Monica High School.

 

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Green on the Ground: Long Beach's Broadway & 3rd

 

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(Photo by Allan Crawford)

It's Green on the Ground Week, and we're featuring green bike lanes and infrastructure across L.A. County. Today our volunteer and ride marshal Karl Eggers writes about the protected bike lanes on Broadway and 3rd Street in Downtown Long Beach, which include green paint in conflict zones.

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Green on the Ground: Spring Street

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It's Green on the Ground Week, and we're featuring green bike lanes and infrastructure across L.A. County. Today our volunteer Dale Zapata highlights the green bike lane on South Spring Street in Downtown L.A. and all the life around it.

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L.A.'s Streets Are No La La Land

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In fall 2011, leaders and community members celebrated the new green bike lanes on Spring Street in Downtown L.A. (left, photo by Andrew Wong, WYTe Studios). After a compromise with the film industry in 2013, the Spring Street bike lane was re-painted a more muted emerald green only along the edges of the lane and in conflict zones (right).

On Christmas Day, an L.A. Times article entitled “'La La Land' looks beautiful, but gentrification makes it harder for old Hollywood to play itself” was posted. In the article, film location managers share how it has become more difficult to film in places like Downtown L.A. or Hollywood because they need to take more steps to get the shots they want. Because more people now live, work, and play in the places often used for filming, the permitting process requires more permissions to obtain, and the addition of new buildings and new infrastructure means that these modern signifiers must be filmed around or digitally altered in post-production now.

What's irresponsible in this article is how the reporter and some film location managers blame “gentrification” as the cause. Gentrification is not a vague concept that is simply important because it’s a thorn in Hollywood’s side. Rather, it is a serious reality for many L.A. County residents as increasing income disparities, soaring housing prices, and lack of available housing results in displacement, often of the lowest income residents and residents of color. While there are characteristics associated with gentrification, the article does not address the displacement that defines it. Instead what the article actually refers to is new development, or in more simple terms: changes.

Well, Los Angeles is not a static city, and it is changing. As populations rise, the economy shifts, and new concerns arise, cities constantly integrate the new with the old or else they’ll only stagnate. This means more than just changing buildings themselves, but also the spaces in between. The article states: "Film crews also have chafed at the proliferation in downtown of Metro Bike Share stands and green bike lanes, which they say spoil the distinct look of the area."

Newer infrastructure, such as bike share and green bike lanes, exist to help people get around more easily, encourage people to ride bikes, and keep people safer. In the case of green bike lanes, a compromise was already made back in 2013 on Spring Street in Downtown L.A. when concerns about filming near the highly visible bright green lanes led the City to re-paint them with more muted emerald green paint along only the edges of the lane and in conflict zones.

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LACBC Statement on Measure S Defeat and Measure H Passage

5936.jpegToday as people in Los Angeles wake up, they have once again affirmed that locally, we care about our neighbors, we care about our future, and we are willing to invest in the things we care about. Yesterday, Angelenos voted No on Measure S, a measure which would have frozen construction of most new developments for two years and further worsened L.A.’s housing shortage. In Los Angeles County, Measure H, which will begin to provide more comprehensive resources that will be aimed at fiercely fighting homelessness, is holding on to victory in initial poll results. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), as a proud member of Alliance for Community Transit - Los Angeles (ACT-LA), worked to oppose Measure S with a broad group of organizations and individuals and also supported Measure H.

With the defeat of Measure S, Angelenos embraced a vision of Los Angeles as an innovative city where active transportation is welcomed. Beyond that, Los Angeles embraced a vision where all of our residents are welcome and deserve to have access to services and affordable housing options. With this result, Angelenos chose a Los Angeles that addresses our severe housing shortage in a sensible and sustainable way by allowing increased housing density and encouraging transit-oriented development, leading to a more affordable and more bike friendly city, less displacement of low-income people and people of color, and more support for people who have been impacted by the many barriers to affordable living in this city and who are currently homeless.

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Provide Input on Metro's Budget

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Do you want better bike connections with Metro transit? How about more reliable bus service? Let Metro know what matters to you by providing input on how you would like Metro to prioritize its budget.

Metro’s annual budget sets transportation priorities across L.A. County for the coming year. As Metro begins to put together its budget for the 2018 fiscal year (July 2017 through June 2018), Metro wants to hear from you!

Comment online or attend a service council meeting in person to provide input.

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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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