Saturday, September 7, 2013

Still Riding Strong

First Fridays, that's when UCLA Bicycle Academy meets. Lu Valle Cafeteria, at 12 noon. Past meetings were pretty virtual, but September 2013 marks a new beginning.

Tiffany, Jenny, Donald, Michael (2x), Mark and Jean-Francois were at the table, we had a few more expressions of interest, up to a great start.

The topics raised were:

"The Glen" UCLA Faculty Housing up Beverly Glen. How to improve options for those who do not want to use a car between UCLA campus and UCLA housing.

Public Bike Repair Stand: We noticed this new feature just nearby: A stand with tools and pump for minor repairs "on the go." Great feature for a bicycle friendly campus. How to improve access to this location?

Except Cyclists:
Use of "Except Cyclists" signage (eg "No Entry Except Cyclists") signage on campus. "Except Cyclists" signage has been proven to be very effective to encourage cycling. (See recent Safe Routes California document, page 30)

Need for better wayfinding signage on campus and around campus.

Westwood Bike Lane:
This relates to the Exposition Line and its connection to UCLA. Westwood is a nasty piece of work, a good example how cars have the ability to ruin a street. Improvements could also benefit cyclists. Is there the political will to make Westwood Blvd into a better place for all users? During our discussion the view developed that Kelton, properly developed as a Bike Boulevard with forced right turns for cars every second block, may be a useful alternative (Major issues crossing Pico, Santa Monica Blvd and Exposition). There is already signage restricting cut-through traffic on Kelton. Kelton Bike Boulevard would need proper wayfinding signage and should allow cyclists right of way at intersections. In addition, on Westwood Boulevard on every block a single car parking space should be converted into a Bike Corrall (alternating sides). This is important to address the needs of cyclists who visit destinations on Westwood. The full proposal for a "floating bike lane" (changing sides during a.m. and p.m. rush hour) between Pico and Santa Monica Blvd is here.

Bike Share:
Bike Rental (for the duration of the term) was welcome. Concerns were raised regarding the high cost of a proper Bike Share program. If demand is too uniform and leads to each bike being used only once or twice a day,  then a proper cost benefit analysis could reveal that each bike trip cost more than a taxi ride. If we want to remove barriers to cycling, then this kind of public money could probably be spent more effectively.

Bruin Commuter Club:
Interesting incentives, especially the "discounted parking when you need it." Members receive one year LACBC membership. Apart from the public transit pass program, vanpool, carpool, Emergency Ride Home, Zipcar (coming 2013-2014)

Academic Conference:
The idea was raised to facilitate a small academic meeting bringing together the various aspects of research into active modes (Urban planning, sociology, gender studies, history, technology, public health, GSM applications, bici cultures, etc) What kind of bicycle research is happening currently on campus?

We have been invited by Jonathan Weiss, chair of the Advocacy and Education (A&E) subcommittee of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, to attend the next meeting which takes place in Palms at the IMAN Cultural Center, 3376 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034, on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, from 7-9 p.m. Facebook link here. The City of Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee is to advise the “Mayor, City Council Members, and the various agencies of the government of the City of Los Angeles in the encouragement and facilitation of the use of the bicycle as regular means of transportation and recreation.”

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