On On July 17th the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) recognized BikeSGV with the Jack Phillips Award for innovation in the SGV. Program Director Javier Hernandez and Development Director Wes Reutimann - pictured right with Duarte Council Member and 21 year Metro Board Director John Fasana (recipient of the Consensus Building Award) and South Pasadena Council Member Michael Cacciotti - graciously accepted the honor on behalf of the organization. Many thanks to the SGVCOG for the recognition, and more importantly, its recent, major strides to support Active Transportation in the San Gabriel Valley.
The City of Pasadena has released a formal report on the potential cost and impact of implementing the City's first protected bike lanes. Developed by the same firm that assisted the cities of Long Beach and Temple City construct their first Class I, on-street bike lanes - KOA Corporation - the study examines 7 potential major thoroughfares to receive the gold standard in safety: Washington, Orange Grove, Villa, Colorado, Union, Green, and Del Mar.
The report is in part the result of a process set off by local residents galvanized by the death of Phillip O'Neill, who was struck and killed by a motorist while bicycling west on Del Mar Blvd. in June 2013. Phillip's tragic death was the third fatal collision in the City in three years, following the deaths of Alan Deane who was killed by a driver that failed to yield while making a left turn on Colorado Blvd and Jocelyn Young, the victim of a fatal DUI hit-and-run on Los Robles Ave.
Collision data from the CA Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) indicates that such incidents are far too common in Pasadena. In fact, the most recent safety data reveals that the City has one of the worst safety records insofar as pedestrians and bicyclists are concerned in the entire state of California. Pasadena had the 4th highest number of collisions involving pedestrians and automobiles, and 5th highest involving bicyclists and automobiles, among 55 similarly sized California cities.
A Protected East-West Passage
In August 2013 this realization and a draft bicycle plan that relied heavily on Class III bicycle routes on high-speed arterials prompted the City's Municipal Services Committee to direct Department of Transportation staff to identify an east-west corridor that would be well-suited for a protected bike lane. KOA subsequently studied 7 potential east-west streets, from north to south, Washington, Orange Grove, Villa, Union, Colorado, Green, and Del Mar.
The resulting report includes data on existing traffic volumes, parking spaces, traffic lanes, and street widths, and then estimated the cost and impact to automobile vehicular capacity of different types of bicycle infrastructure (e.g., buffered bike lane, protected bike lane - aka "cycle track"). However, it is largely informational, with no specific recommendations being made insofar as which roadway would be best suited for a protected bikeway.
An area of approximately 374 square miles that serves as the eastern gateway to Los Angeles County, the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) is home to more than 2 million residents living in 31 incorporated cities and unincorporated communities. Most SGV communities are geographically small, suburban in nature, and offer little in the way of bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Few have dedicated bicycle lanes, and many do not have bicycle, pedestrian, and/or Safe Routes to School (SRTS) plans. Residents that wish to walk or bike as a means of healthy, active transportation must therefore navigate streets that have not been designed to accommodate them.
Over the past several years BikeSGV and close partners such as Day One have been working hard to close the bicycle planning gaps evident in the map above. The SGV Bike Master Plan Project, launched in July 2012, was the first major phase of this effort. Funded by the LA County Department of Public Health in 2013, the project has allowed 5 SGV Cities among those highlighted in yellow above -- Monterey Park, Baldwin Park, San Gabriel, El Monte and South El Monte -- to draft their first bike master plans. BikeSGV is excited to report that phase 1 is almost complete -- final plans should be considered for adoption in the 5 partner cities in September 2014 -- and even more excited to report that concrete steps have already been taken to launch phase 2.
SGV Regional Active Transportation Planning Initiative
On May 20th, 2014 BikeSGV organizers mailed away 6 copies of an ambitious proposal -- the San Gabriel Valley Regional Active Transportation Planning Initiative -- that would build upon and accelerate ongoing efforts to realize a more bike-friendly region. Developed by BikeSGV in partnership with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (lead applicant) and the Cities of Duarte, Irwindale, Glendora, La Puente, Monrovia, and Montebello, the proposed multi-jurisdictional initiative is composed of the following elements, selected based on their ability to positively impact some of the region’s most pressing safety, public health, and environmental problems:
BikeSGV hosted the largest bike valet the SGV's seen to date at our partner Day One's downtown Pasadena headquarters for the Amgen Tour of California and Kaiser Permanente Ride, Roll and Stroll open streets event. The success of the event showcased the great potential to encourage more members of the public to bike to major events in town.
Interested in offering bicycle valet services for an upcoming event? Let us know! BikeSGV has a committed and mobile valet team that would be happy to make your event greener and healthier! :)
May is National Bike Month, which means lots of cool, free and fun bike-related events and activities will be taking place across the region. In other words, now is an awesome time to get out your calendar, dust off that bike, get out of the house and ride!
BikeSGV Open House Social - Fri May 9th
BikeSGV will formally kick off festivities in the San Gabriel Valley on Friday May 9th with an Open House Social in El Monte. The fun-filled evening will feature food, drink, project updates, and plenty of time to socialize with people who like to bike from across the SGV. Check out our Facebook page for more information.
Car-Free Colorado, Pro Racing + BikeSGV Member Zone in Pasadena - 5/17
A week later two exciting events are coming to the City of Pasadena, the Kaiser Permanente Ride, Roll and Stroll open streets event and the Amgen Tour of California. The former will be the City's first official "Open Streets" event, similar to cicLAvia, but on a smaller scale. The latter is the biggest professional bike race in the United States, and will feature top athletes from around the world.
BikeSGV will be hosting a FREE bicycle valet for both events adjacent to route/race course across the street from Pasadena City Hall at our partner organization Day One's fenced in headquarters. Ride over, drop off your bike, and if you're a BikeSGV member, enjoy an array of light, healthy snacks and fruit-flavored waters from 12-2pm!
More Bike Month Events in and around the SGV
Here are a few other local Bike Month highlights:
Exciting times for Active Transportation in the SGV! Phase 1 of the SGV Regional Bicycle Master Plan Initiative, which includes the Cities of Monterey Park, Baldwin Park, El Monte, South El Monte and San Gabriel, is well underway with a first draft set to be released end of this month, and final version by September 2014.
With funding for the first phase of the project set to sunset prematurely at the same time, BikeSGV organizers have been hard at work identifying potential sources to continue and expand regional active transportation planning and implementation efforts in the SGV. To that end, the BikeSGV Board identified the SGV Regional Waterways Project and Phase 2 Regional Bike Plan as organization priorities for 2014.
Imagine our region had long stretches of unused right-of-way that could with relative ease be transformed into separated, protected bicycle and pedestrian ways. Imagine that these rights-of-ways spread across the valley, and linked to an existing network of protected bicycle paths. Imagine that over 100 miles of such corridors existed in the San Gabriel Valley. Fortunately for residents of the SGV, this is our reality, our opportunity, and our vision for a safe active transportation superhighway by 2025!
Regional Collaboration: SGVCOG, BikeSGV and more!
On Wednesday, April 9, BikeSGV Program Director Javier Hernandez joined Marisa Creter and Caitlin Sims of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG), and Claremont Council Member and SGVCOG Transportation Vice-Chair Sam Pedroza to present the SGV Waterways Project and Regional Bike Plan proposal to LA N’ Sync.
A broad-based coalition that brings together LA's diverse academic, civic, nonprofit, business and philanthropic sectors to pursue and win major funding opportunities, LA N' Sync solicited presentations from 8 active transportation projects from around LA County to consider for technical and funding assistance.
On Thursday afternoon LA N'Sync representatives informed SGVCOG officials that the regional proposal had been selected for funding! The award will allow project organizers to hire a professional consultant to write the formal application to the CA Active Transportation Planning (ATP) program by May 21st, as well as provide supplementary funding down the road. Although all the specifics of the ambitious regional proposal have yet to be finalized, key components include the development of Pedestrian and Bike Master Plans for SGV Cities that currently do not have them (SGV Regional Plan Phase 2), design planning for SGV waterway paths, and funding for selected infrastructure projects such as a multi-use path along the San Jose Creek in the City of Pomona.
The regional scope of this proposal drew the attention of LA N’ Sync representatives, who noted that the SGVCOG's partnership with BikeSGV on the proposal was a model for Council of Governments in the realm of regional active transportation efforts.
Stay tuned for updates!
Could donning a costume before heading out on two wheels improve the chances you reach your destination safe and sound? According to researchers at the Karl-Franzens Universtitaet Department of Transportation Safety in Austria, the answer is a resounding YES (depending on the costume).
Published in the European journal Transportzeit, Der Einfluss des Kostuems auf Sicherheit beim Radfahren (Influence of Costumes on Safety while Cycling) examines the impact various costumes have on the relative safety of persons riding bicycles on public roadways.
The overall results are unequivocal, stated Principal Investigator Dr. Klaus Meier. "Costumed riders were noticed by motorists at greater distances, resulted in slower passing speed differentials and wider passing distances, all key safety indicators for people on bicycles."
The study focused on 10 different types of costumes, including a chicken suit, panda outfit, traditional Austrian Krampus garb, Waldo costume and video game character Mario getup.
Of the costumes tested, Austrian researchers found that the brightest, largest and/or most popular characters had the greatest positive influence on safety, with the chicken coming out on top, followed closely by Mario and Waldo. Researchers surmise that the latter was particularly effective among motorists who grew up keeping an eye out for the candy striped and blue-jeaned Waldo. However, Dr. Meier stressed that more research needs to be done to prove this and other potential safety benefits, as well as to determine what costumes are most effective in different parts of the world.
According to BikeSGV Safety and Education Director Bob Campbell, the implications of this new research are tremendous, especially in the San Gabriel Valley where safe bicycle infrastructure is limited. "Rather than wait years for protected bike lanes and paths to be implemented, local bicyclists can use this information to improve their safety on any street, at any time, now. This is a low-cost, common-sense and fun response to roadways that were not designed to accommodate bicyclists."
Costume Tips: Dr. Meier and his team recommend utilizing costumes that:
Construction photos of the Rosemead Blvd Complete Streets Project as of March 22, 2014. Pictures taken facing and heading north from the Rosemead/Temple City border.
The project's on-street protected bike lane, the San Gabriel Valley's first (and one of the first in southern California), is almost complete. A formal opening celebration has been scheduled for Saturday May 10th (9am-1pm), and BikeSGV will be on hand with trailer to distribute information and materials.
For more information about the project, grand opening event details and more, visit www.rosemeadblvd.com
Editor's note: both proposals were formally selected for funding in June 2014!
In February 2013 the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) launched the highly anticipated "Open Streets" Program, which sets aside $2 million in competitive funding for Cities in LA County to host Open Streets events. The goals of the program are to encourage sustainable modes of transportation (biking, walking and transit), provide an opportunity to take transit for the first time and foster civic engagement.
In anticipation of this opportunity, BikeSGV released a vision for CicloSGVia, a 50-mile, multi-jurisdiction "Open Streets" event that would connect the many attractive destinations and diverse communities in the San Gabriel Valley. The project was presented to stakeholders, City Councils, and various resident groups throughout the region in hopes of garnering local support. Although many regarded the idea as wildly ambitious, it was successful in creating a buzz and provoking conversation about the possibility of hosting Open Streets events in the SGV.
As soon as the application became available for agencies to review, BikeSGV organizers followed up with City staff, decision-makers and stakeholders in over a dozen SGV cities to strongly encourage their participation and partnership with neighboring communities to develop competitive, and more importantly, significant events. In the City of South Pasadena, Council Member Michael Cacciotti immediately recognized the new funding as an opportunity to host a major event in conjunction with the opening of the Gold Line Foothill extension.
The outcome of this process: TWO (2) compelling and very attractive proposals - 1) SGV Golden Streets and 2) SGV Earth Day Festival - were formally submitted for Metro funding thanks to the efforts BikeSGV organizers, volunteers and local leaders such as Council Member Cacciotti of South Pasadena.
Support These Efforts, Become a Member Today.
Becoming a member of BikeSGV is the best way to support these efforts. All proceeds are reinvested into the organization to continue advancing issues that you care about.
Consider joining/renewing and/or making a tax-deductible donation today to support our work to realize awesome infrastructure projects and innovative bike events to the SGV! Sign up today!
With a fine dinner, wine for some, and relaxing Latin-based music flowing through the air, the 2013 BikeSGV Awards dinner was a wonderful evening that brought together over 150 supporters of a more bicycle-friendly San Gabriel Valley. The venue at the historic San Gabriel Mission Grapevine Arbor made the event more enjoyable with the warm view of sun shining down on the mission building.
With over 150 participants consisting of local government officials, bike enthusiasts, and supporters alike, the dinner reached its full force hosting those from around the San Gabriel Valley. Spending my evening with dozens of bike lovers over a nice meal is an opportunity I am glad I did not miss.
More importantly, however, was the recognition of those who have dedicated so much time and effort to the betterment of our community as a whole through supporting the bike legislation. I would like to take the time to say thank you to all participating cities and individuals who helped make the dinner, awards, and silent auction possible.
As a junior member in the cycling community, it was especially satisfying to see so many like-minded individuals and others who actively commit time to enrich our local area. Hopefully, I will see even more supporters next time!
Written by Kahui Lim, BikeSGV Youth Advocate