Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where to Park a Bicycle?

I'm making my first trip to the bike store on Friday.  I need to be shown how to fix a flat tire and get my bike "fitted".  Next year's Aids Life Cycle is 51 weeks away.

One of things I am noticing as I go place to place is "if I had traveled here on bike, where can I safely and legally park it and lock it up?"  It seems one regular parking space could hold 3-4 bicycles.

Every mall, every shopping district, every destination should have safe and secure bicycle racks.  And, as the thousands upon thousands of bicycle riders in Southern California know all to well, they don't.

There is popular support for zip cars in Los Angeles.  How can Los Angeles get these bicycle rental stations I saw when I was in Toronto?  As we expand our Metrorail system, bicycles are a particular effective transportation device between your first/last mile and the rail station.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Adventure with the Bicycle is Just Beginning.

Dear readers,

I went to the closing ceremony for Aids Life Cycle 11 on Saturday and was so moved I signed up to ride in Aids Life Cycle 12.

While learned how to ride a bike when I was younger, and I have all year to train, this is a daunting task for someone who never saw themselves as particularly athletic.  But this cause is one that is really dear to my heart and ALC raised 12.6 million this past year.  Next year is my turn to raise money and help out.

So, expect me to include bicycle coverage as part of public transit.

An essential blog for any bicyclist in Southern California is L.A. Streetsblog.

No doubt I will obtain intimate knowledge with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation Bicycle Services  site, the Metro Los Angeles Bicycle Map and this Westside/Central City Bicycle Map and Bike Metro site.

I've also just checked out the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition.

If you have any experience with bicycling in Los Angeles, from where to get bike gear to tips for the road, please let me know.

If you are behind a wheel, please be kind, because that cyclist you want to run over could be me.

Happy Cycling!

Friday, June 8, 2012

High Speed Rail between Las Vegas & Los Angeles is getting closer

The awesome website Curbed L.A. posted an article yesterday, "Vegas High-Speed Rail Starts Planning Extension to Palmdale", this is very good news.

KCET also covers this story:  "Desert High-Speed Rail Stays On Track: Groundbreaking Could be in a Year"

This Los Angeles to/from Las Vegas project is probably an easier High Speed Rail project to get off the ground than the also needed SoCal to/from NoCal project.

Some people believe the first LA-Vegas HSR route should have gone through the Cajon Pass, but I imagine it is more affordable to go through the high desert than plow through a mountain range.  There is already Metrolink commuter rail service between Los Angeles and Palmdale.  It wouldn't take much to electrify that portion to have a one-seat ride between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Another route can eventually be build between Vegas and the Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego.  Let's get ONE route up and running.

Also, having High Speed Rail to Palmdale, makes it more enticing for Northern California to connect as a San Francisco Bay Area to/from Las Vegas High Speed Rail route can hook in via Palmdale.

When you hear a politician talk about how we cannot "afford" high speed rail in America and other infrastructure improvements, ask them how is America supposed to compete and stay relevant in the global economy in the 21st Century if we don't, especially as the era of cheap oil is forever gone?  What is the cost to our productivity if we can't and are forever dependent on oil to move goods and people?

However, before you do that, ask that politician how much campaign cash he is receiving from the oil lobby, which is desperate to stop ANY high speed rail project from being built in America and also contribute to ideological think tanks that "coincidentally" generate studies to show how we cannot "afford" high speed rail.

I will see you on the high speed train to Vegas!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lobbying for the northern extension of the Crenshaw Line via West Hollywood in 2013

Next year Metro will probably be working on its SRTP (Short Range Transportation Plan).

Metro creates a LRTP (Long Range Transportation Plan) for thirty years, which it revised every five years or so, and a SRTP for the next five years.

At the February 2012 meeting of the Transportation Committee of the Westside Council of Governments the following was expressed and recorded in the Notes of the Feburary 2012 Meeting:

METRO will be updating its Short Range Transportation Plan (SRTP) in 2013 and is currently identifying projects for inclusion in its Strategic Element. This would be the time to support the northern extension of the Crenshaw Line to West Hollywood.  Information on schedule and milestones will be provided the committee. It was noted that our resources include lobbyists, sending letters to the appropriate entities, become more engaged in meeting, and coordination with other COGs.

I certainly agree with this and will do everything I can do as an individual to support this.

By the way, if you want to see Metrorail extended to Hollywood via West Hollywood, it wouldn't hurt to ask candidates for Federal, State, County and City governments to support this as part of their campaign.

Metro Service Adjustments Coming on June 17th

Here are the bus changes affecting the West Hollywood / Hollywood / Beverly Hills area beginning Sunday, June 17th:


Metro Line 30 
West Hollywood-Pico/Rimpau-Downtown LA-Indiana Station via San Vicente, Pico Bl & East 1st St

New route extension to West Hollywood. Select trips operate on San Vicente Bl between Pico/Rimpau Transit Center and West Hollywood. Service east of Downtown LA will serve 1st St in both directions. All trips will operate through the Pico/Rimpau Transit Center.


Metro Line 330
West Hollywood-Pico/Rimpau-Downtown LA-Little Tokyo Station via San Vicente & Pico Bl

New peak hour limited stop service replaces Line 730. This new service makes all stops on Broadway in Downtown LA with new stops at Pico/Arlington and Pico/Crenshaw. Select trips operate on San Vicente Bl between Pico/Rimpau Transit Center and West Hollywood.


Metro Line 217 
Hollywood/Vine Station-Fairfax -Culver City Transit Center via Hollywood Bl, Fairfax Av & La Cienega Bl

All trips extended to the Metro Expo Line La Cienega/Jefferson Station and select trips extended further south along route of former Line 439 to provide new all weekday service to Culver City Transit Center.


Metro Line 220 
Beverly Center-Culver City via Robertson Bl

Route modified to serve Metro Expo Line Culver City Station.


Metro Line 305
Westwood-Leimert Park-South LA-Willowbrook

Route discontinued. Service on San Vicente Bl has been replaced with Lines 30 and 330.


Metro Line 439
Downtown LA-Culver City Transit Center via I-10 Fwy

Line discontinued. See Line 217 description for replacement service.


Metro Line 534
Malibu Express-Washington/Fairfax Transit Hub via Pacific Coast Hwy

All trips exit/enter I-10 Freeway from Robertson Bl to serve the Metro Expo Line Culver City Station at Venice/Robertson for an improved connection to Downtown LA. Service continues to Washington/Fairfax Transit Hub.


Metro Line 550
Exposition Park-Artesia Transit Center -San Pedro via Harbor Transitway

Route modification terminates all weekday rush hour trips at USC/Expo Park. Non-rush hour and all weekend trips will terminate at Artesia Transit Center. Service to West Hollywood has been replaced with Lines 30 and 330.


Metro Line 705
West Hollywood-Vernon via La Cienega Bl & Vernon Av

New stop added at Metro Expo Line La Cienega/Jefferson Station.


Metro Line 730
Downtown LA-Pico/Rimpau via Pico Bl

Service replaced by Line 330.


Metro Line 761
Pacoima-Westwood via Van Nuys Bl & Sepulveda Bl

New stop added at Van Nuys and Plummer.


Many of the bus service changes have to do with the opening of the first-half of the Expo Line between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, and the subsequent need to optimize services accordingly.

For a complete list of all of Metro's coming service changes, check Metro's website or it's blog The Source.