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Bicycles

Amtrak Coast Starlight train in San JoseSouthern 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.

Action Items

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 the Metro's 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 of transportation.

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!"

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City Councilman Bill Rosendahl submitted a motion endorsing the Cyclists' 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.

News

  • "The Bicycling Community Is Becoming a Political Force to Be Reckoned With -- And That's Great News" - Article by Jay Walljasper, Alternet.com, Monday, April 2, 2012
  • "Bicyclists angry about city dragging their feet on plan" - Article by Rick Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News, June 17, 2009
  • "Bicycle alerts painted on streets" - Article by Kitty Dill, Ventura County Star, Wednesday, July 30, 2008
  • "Cities Looking for Solutions to Accommodate Increase of Cyclists" - Smart Growth News, 2008
  • "Cyclists versus motorists: showdown in Colorado" - Article by DeeDee Correll, Los Angeles Times, Sunday, July 27, 2008
  • "Los Angeles cyclists demand new road rights" - Article by Catherine Elsworth, UK Telegraph, Saturday, July 19, 2008
  • "Deadly tension on the roads — cars vs. bikes" - Article by Alex Johnson, MSNBC News, Friday, July 18, 2008

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