California's climate and LA Counties hospitable topography make
for a great bike riding environment. If you're a mass transit fan,
the bike will fill the gaps. If you're a cyclists, mass transit
will help you jump the hills. Either way one works
better because of the other. The Transit Coalition stays
active in local Bicycling issues.
In July 2010, Metro proposed a new
bikes-on-rail policy. This policy would eliminate the current
rush-hour ban on bicycles, but unfortunately would also impose
a 2-bicycle limit for each rail car. This proposal will drastically
reduce the usefulness of Metro Rail to the cycling public. Below
is a video and report on the subject from the July 2009 Transit
Coalition dinner meeting, courtesy of Stephen Box.
"At last night's monthly Transit Coalition meeting, I presented
proposed "Bikes-on-Rail" policy which lifts the
rush hour ban on cyclists but imposes a universal limit of two
cyclists per rail car. I asked them to oppose the proposal and
to support a robust and comprehensive appraisal of the Metro's
capacity woes and to join me in pursuing a solution that benefited
all passengers including cyclists.
The ensuing conversation was the discourse that we deserve to
hear at a Metro Board meeting. In fact, as I looked around the
room at a Metro insider, an Amtrak insider, a couple of local
municipal system insiders, a couple of political insiders and
an array of transportation advocates representing several modes
including cycling; I realized that the Transit Coalition was probably
better qualified to run the Metro
than their Board.
Bart Reed went around the room, polling each participant on the
Metro's proposal to limit cyclists.
The responses went from wonky to simple common sense, but they
were consistent in opposing the proposal and in pursuing a solution
that would support the Metro's commitment to supporting all modes
Starting off with a review of the capacity projections that predated
the Red Line to the length of the stations to platooning to headway
limitations to rail car configurations, the experts quickly took
us through many considerations that effect how and where people
board the train, all of which simply confirmed that the Metro's
current proposal was nothing if not hasty and ill-conceived.
Participants reviewed other systems ranging from Moscow's subway
to the Metrolink. Capacity calculations, bike rack configurations,
bike cars, bike lockers at both ends, increased service, better
connectivity and simply applying common sense to specific situations
were all tossed out as solutions to the current capacity issues
that Metro apparently hopes to solve by limiting cyclists to two
per rail car.
At the end of the great discussion Bart Reed polled the group
and with no objections, positioned the Transit Coalition in favor
of a policy that recognizes cyclists as customers and challenged
the Metro to get in the business of moving people instead of simply
moving buses and rail cars.
It's evenings such as this that give me hope!"
City Councilman Bill Rosendahl submitted a motion endorsing the
Bill of Rights (by the Bike
Writers Collective.) The motion, which was co-presented by
Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, and seconded by
Councilmembers Ed Reyes and Bernard Parks, was referred to the
council's Transportation Committee. The date of the committee
hearing on the item is to be announced.