East Hollywood to Boyle Heights Concept

November 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm 37 comments

Since we have more momentum going forward, I though this would be a good time to start thinking about actual routes. I know that we have strong support in East Hollywood, and we have some support in Boyle Heights, so I put together a route concept that connects these neighborhoods through MacArthur Park and downtown. This route comes to 12.6 miles total, which is a respectable length. This route provides very good connectivity with the Red, Blue, and Gold lines, so it would be very easy to get to and from the cicLAvia route.
This is just my idea (Bobby’s) of a route, and nothing official, so this is just something to think about. What do you guys think of this route? Anything that you would change?

Another more general question is how long should the first cicLAvia be? Bogota’s Ciclovia is 80 miles, but many of the pilot ciclovia projects in the US have been much shorter. I am of the opinion it should be at least 10 miles to be a “real” ciclovia, but some think we should start with a shorter one that is more logistically feasible and build from there. What do you think?

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37 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dudeonabike  |  November 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Seems my prior comment should have gone here:

    Love the work and the press being devoted to this. Big thanks for moving this forward. I liked the comments Joe Linton and others provided recently over at Streetsblog about the length of a proposed cicLAvia–too short and it’s doomed to be not as rousing success as it could be and too long may present too many city planning obstacles. I’m clearly in the as-long-as-humanly-possible camp–and in favor of the Silverlake/Los Feliz/East Hollywood kick off.

    Curious though–perhaps a loop-type pattern would be the best option, i.e., close off the two lanes closest to and around Echo Park Lake, or MacArthur Park, etc. A loop would “feel” endless and accomplish the distance thing that would make many people feel that they really had the opportunity to either spend the time or cover some distance (i.e,. many loops). There aren’t many local businesses around the two above-mentioned options, so that is a downside. Just thought I’d chime in with this thought in case it hasn’t been given much consideration. Thanks for all you are doing.

    Reply
    • 2. Joe Linton  |  November 20, 2009 at 10:38 am

      This is a really good idea – a loop could make a lot of sense. It could even be a loop with a tail or two or three… like the letter “b” (which is a loop with one tail.) Still the loop itself should be a few miles – I’d say at least 4-5 miles?

      To reiterate some of my LA Streetsblog comments here (glad that someone, Ross, is reading them!): If the event is too small, it risks not attracting many folks, then folks (such as city staff) can say “oh we tried that and it doesn’t work in L.A.” Also, there’s an economy of scale – if we’re closing off a mile, there are lots of permit processes, etc. so that the incremental costs of closing off 5-10 more miles are cheaper on a per-mile basis.

      Reply
  • 3. bronwyn  |  November 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I think there’s an opportunity for it to be a little more extensive, either in east hollywood, or in downtown, and to include a few more blocks vs. just one street. It would be great to see an area opened up vs. just a straight route.

    Reply
  • 4. ramonchu  |  November 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Very exciting! Bobby, how long is this route you’ve got marked out above? I agree, go as big as possible, though In San Fran our first SundayStreets was only 4 miles, and it was plenty long. It might be a good idea to run the thing along local businesses but again in San Fran the idea was very much to let people use the space however they want, not to over program it or try to make it all about shopping or any one thing. In fact, it might be smart to go ahead with the easiest route, have a big ol sucess, and then have all these businesses clamoring to have the next one done on their route (a la the Eagle Rock Music Festival where for the first few years, no streets were shut down, but because businesses realized they made way more money when more pedestrians were around, they opened the entire street to pedestrians, and now businesses make CRAZY dough that night). anyhow, good luck

    Reply
    • 5. bgadda  |  November 19, 2009 at 9:16 pm

      Hey Ramon,

      This route is 12.6 miles, and I updated the post to include that info too. The city is advocating to start with a smaller route, but I don’t think we should go too small…

      Reply
  • 6. patrick  |  November 19, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I would:
    a) start further west than Los Feliz
    b) not cut down to Mac Park but use Sunset Blvd to reach downtown. It is more bike friendly and offers Silverlake, Echo Park and Angelino Heights as attractions.
    c) add downtown milage.

    Reply
  • 7. James Rojas  |  November 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    We should at the length of other cities. In other for the event to work it has to be used by the local community. In Latino America you see all types of people from children to seniors. What part of the city will have the most use??

    James

    Reply
  • 8. Marino  |  November 19, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I’m surprised that the proposed route is zigzaggy like a Midnight Ridazz bike ride or the Marathon.

    To be honest, I don’t know how they really do it in other places but I envisioned it more as a car free street where people join at any point and ride as much or as little as they feel like. Not as a route with a start and an end.

    Having that in mind I thought it would be easier to communicate the idea if it was just one street. Pick one, Figueroa, Colorado, Sunset, Wilshire, 6th for a length of about 5 miles.

    The target users would not be “cyclists” but people who normally don’t ride bikes on public streets. The kind of people you see on the Venice beach bike path. All ages 3-103 and all abilities.

    In any case whatever you do I’m sure it’s going to be great and thanks for pushing for it.

    At this point I don’t quite understand the mechanics of how this would work. ie Would the designated streets be completely car free or only some lanes? And how would cross traffic be handled.

    One thing I love about the Eagle Rock Music Festival someone mentioned above is that most of the intersections are “manned” by teenager volunteers.

    Reply
    • 9. Joe Linton  |  November 20, 2009 at 10:42 am

      It seems like a good idea to make it stick to a long street or two or three… that way the publicity can just say something like “Bike and Walk on 6th and on Vermont”. It could zig-zag a little… but probably the simpler the better.

      Reply
  • 10. Matt  |  November 19, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I like the idea of a loop as well. Would be more community oriented and local-feeling than the destination-feeling of a point to point.
    Does that make any sense?

    Reply
  • 11. Ulises  |  November 19, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I just want to ride my bike with you all of you!!!

    Reply
  • 12. Ron  |  November 19, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t see how a loop is possible. Wouldn’t that create and inaccessible ‘island’ surrounded by closed roads? I’d like to see the route touching a little more to the West as well.

    Reply
    • 13. Joe Linton  |  November 20, 2009 at 10:46 am

      It wouldn’t create an island if it’s done well. Generally ciclovias follow the light at large intersections. Imagine the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. When the pedestrians have the light they cross; when the cars have the light they cross.

      Imagine a loop of say: Wilshire-Vermont-Melrose-Western. Cars could still cross the Ciclovia at large streets between those – for example: Normandie, Third, Beverly. Smaller streets would be closed – for example First, Berendo, Serrano, etc.

      Reply
  • 14. Claude  |  November 19, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I’m really fired up about what you folks are trying to do. Thank you!
    I like the distance (so if you go up and back that is 25 miles), but I’m concerned about two things
    1. The number of complaints and disruptions to cross traffic a route like that could create.
    2. Where will all the participants park? You have already have press in the Times and Channel 7 before the event, this could be HUGE!! Tens of thousands of people will show if those two media giants run a bit again right before the event!!!!!
    I bet their are several venues that would love to open their lots for a chance to charge $7 a car, and to be a rallying point.
    I don’t think Barnsdall Art Park will meet your needs.

    This is very pertinent.
    I recall seeing in the LA Times a few months ago an article about Lance Armstrong, Twitter and Griffith Park. As I recall the story, Lance sent one “tweet” of like two sentences on a Tuesday night, and then 10,000 cyclists showed up the next morning on Wednesday at 7am!!! Imagine if it was a Sunday!!!
    So, I think the best routes could include along the route a large safe place to park, like the Griffith Park/Greek Theater, LA Zoo, Dodger Stadium, Rose Bowl, Santa Monica Beach Parking lots, the Forum, Staples Center, Colliseum, etc… Most of the participants will drive in, this could become a traffic nightmare and hurt the future.
    What route could minimize both issues? One that includes the LA Zoo might be a real winner, heck Lance pulled it off already.
    How about use your route but end it at City Hall and at the LA Zoo? Perhaps cut through Silverlake to leave Los Feliz mostly open?

    Reply
    • 15. Marino  |  November 19, 2009 at 10:37 pm

      The Lance Griffith Park ride did not attract 10,000 it was a few hundred.
      http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/09/lance-armstrong-griffith-park.html

      There is no need for parking provisions. It’s not the marathon. There is no “starting point” or “starting time”. It’s turning a street into a park. Anyone can enter at any point at any time.

      Reply
      • 16. Joe Linton  |  November 20, 2009 at 10:49 am

        A lot of participants would be local residents, who wouldn’t need to park.

        The car parking for non-locals should end up diffuse and decentralized. It could impact some neighborhood streets, but it shouldn’t be a huge crush anywhere.

        The route should be close to Metro rail stations, and folks could be encouraged to arrive to the ciclovia on transit – or by bike.

    • 17. bgadda  |  November 20, 2009 at 10:49 am

      In my mind, driving to the cicLAvia misses the point entirely. The cicLAvia is “for” the people that live in the neighborhoods it goes through, and people who can access it through public transportation or walk or bike from other parts of the city. That’s why one of our route criteria is transit access, and this route goes along many metro stops. Anyone who lives near a metro line will easily be able to reach this cicLAvia route, which catches a lot of people especially now that the new Gold Line extension is open. Perhaps this will be part of the advertising message when cicLAvia goes live: there is no parking! Don’t drive to the cicLAvia!!!

      Reply
      • 18. bgadda  |  November 20, 2009 at 10:53 am

        …Although the irony of thousands of people stuck in car traffic on the way to a car-free event would be pretty sweet.

      • 19. Joe Linton  |  November 20, 2009 at 11:00 am

        I’m going to I think it’s fine to drive to the ciclovia… it’s not what I would do… and it’s not something I would want everyone to do… and we should definitely promote/encourage folks to bike, walk, metro… but if someone from San Pedro or Compton or Santa Ana wants to pack up her daughter and a couple of bikes and drive up to an East Hollywood-Boyle-Heights ciclovia, I think that’s great too. I would welcome them.

        Today’s reality (something ciclovia may help change) is that a popular event in L.A. needs to assume some folks will arrive by car. We should take steps to minimize driving and parking… but we shouldn’t exclude anyone.

      • 20. bgadda  |  November 20, 2009 at 11:07 am

        Yes, Joe, you are often the voice of reason on these blogs. It’s hard to reign in my dogmatic anti-car feelings when talking about a ciclovia, but you’re totally right that we shouldn’t exclude car drivers. I guess we should just be careful to not give the impression of there being one starting point that would attract a lot of car-parkers to one place, and definitely encourage walking, biking, training or busing to the route.

      • 21. bgadda  |  November 20, 2009 at 11:10 am

        Maybe it would be a good idea to have info about park-and-ride locations on the metro lines for people that feel they need to drive. This way we can accomodate drivers but not have them take up parking spaces and cause congestion near the route itself.

      • 22. Claude  |  November 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm

        What’s with the car or parking strategy phobia?
        I guess my years at LA City Dept of Rec & Parks managing up to 20 people running Beach Parking operations has given me some unique insite and experience to the situation at hand. Well at least it was enough then to get me a Commendation from the City for it.
        It’s been 20 years and an MBA since I worked there, but I could help, if you like. Feel free to let me know if you want me to contact the Parking Management companies that run lots on the prosped route to get them on board. With my oldest son at Loyola High we are in the area often.

        Anyone bringing kids to the event will greatly appreciate any effort here, as it will make the event safer for their family.
        If this is promoted as a new style of Family Park event for Angelenos, then parking must be addressed.

        One youth’s injury, traffic snarl, or crime due to ignoring the parking issue is unacceptable in my opinion. I’m willing to work this angle for you all if you want me to.

      • 23. Joe Linton  |  November 22, 2009 at 12:06 am

        @Claude – Thanks for volunteering to help work out the parking details. It’s certainly not something I would emphasize (my opinion on what I would emphasize is getting the word out to people who live within walking/bicycling distance), but parking is something we should give some attention to. Who knows? Maybe we can help fund the ciclovia events by charging for parking…

      • 24. Claude  |  November 22, 2009 at 12:32 am

        Sounds great. My team did generate 7 figures annually from parking. It’s possible. But, lots of variables starting with what lots we can or should use. Any City owned lots on the route?
        I would prefer to use private lots (at no expense to cicLAvia or the City, likely little return to cicLAvia or City), like the kind that flourish in downtown for the first few events so we can get a feel for parking demand and volumes. Then if it makes dollars and sense, and the city could donate a few lots, heck, maybe my old LA City Rec and Parks – could be engaged to manage it.
        The City might be interested, since the funds would go back to the City via City employees, and generated from cicLAvia on City property. And help reimburse the city for the costs of each cicLAvia.

    • 25. Claude  |  November 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm

      Silly Me!!! I just reread the press on it and ABC news was calling it “Several Hundred” riders with Lance, I must have been thinking about the 10,000+ cyclist that used to attend the Acura LA Bike Tour, that USED to be before the LA Marathon and was recently canceled in 2010.
      Seems like you will get a bunch of those riders to participate.

      Would be a shame to greatly underestimate the parking needs the first time out.
      Better safe then sorry!

      The blocked streets will crush traffic already, would be great if participants that drive in could enter the Zoo lot from the freeway and stay off the already impacted streets.

      We live In Westchester, near LAX. Yes, I would like to bring my kids, and I would like to drive my Natural Gas van to the event. Not sure about those areas along the proposed route and what would be a good place to park and unload bikes and kids. The route could very easily include designated and secure parking and staging areas like Griffith Park. This would allow easy and safe access to the event for families with young kids on bikes and/or people that would drive in.

      I still feel you could get 2,000 cars to drive in for this first event.
      Since the LA Bike Tour was canceled for 2010. You have 10,000 cyclists looking for a new “LA Street Ride”.

      Can the blocked streets handle that extra traffic, even given that it would be randomly dispersed? No one can say for certain, right?

      If nothing else, then please consider providing Parking recommendations along the route. Maybe something in Downtown across the street from Dorothy Chandler Pavillion?

      OK I’ll get off my soap box. Hope this feedback is helpful.

      Reply
      • 26. Joe Linton  |  November 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm

        Thanks for the feedback!

        It’s great that you’d want to drive from the LAX area. Maybe consider riding bikes to (or parking at) a Metro Green Line Station and taking the train in.

        I don’t really agree that it “would be a shame to underestimate the parking needs”. With a 10+ mile long route, there would be plenty of parking scattered throughout adjacent neighborhoods. With your estimate numbers: 2000 cars, assuming a 10 mile route, that’s 200 cars per mile… it doesn’t seem like it would difficult if that’s dispersed through the route.

        Perhaps we could highlight a few pay parking lots that would be open… but I think that angelenos who drive are pretty good about figuring out where to park, already, without ciclovia planners worrying about it too much. The more we accomodate (or subsidize) parking, the more we promote driving to the event… so, if we highlight parking options, then we should highlight other options, too.

      • 27. Claude  |  November 20, 2009 at 11:22 pm

        Thanks Joe. You make some good points.
        Except for the Green Line thing. I can drive to downtown in 15-20 minutes. We do this daily, my son goes to Loyola High.
        Why would I spend an hour to take the green line through SOUTH CENTRAL and at a greater expense, and less convenience with my kids and our bikes.
        If we go it would be driving.

        So…I’m still trying to do my best to answer the question posed “what do I think about the proposed route?”

        For my family and I to participate, I would like to see at least one, in fact several, defined parking areas ON the route. They would not have to be subsidized. They would be self funded, and in effect provide security over the parked cars. They should be for a fee like $7 or whatever (that’s what we often pay at the beach). The parking lots that I would like to see would just need to be two things.
        1. Empty and unused every Sunday AM. I’m sure the Parking Mgt. company that runs those lots would love to man it for a few hours for free if they new they could sell 15 spaces or more. (How about the lots next to Staples Center/Convention Center.
        2. The parking lotslots need to be on the Route, yet accessible from a side or back road.

        Also, might be nice to have Restrooms access at the Convention Center as well. Another reason to have the route go down one of those streets.
        Parks have restrooms like the beach bike trails. Does the route maximize access to large public or semi-public restroom facilities? Like parks or convention center or city hall.

        That is what I’m lobbying for. And that is what I think the route might be missing at first glance.

      • 28. Joe Linton  |  November 22, 2009 at 12:17 am

        @Claude – it’s probably best if you drive. I am sure that plenty of people will drive to the ciclovia event.

        One tiny item where I think we disagree: I don’t think that riding the Green Line would be a “greater expense” than taking one’s car. At least fiscally, it seems to me that the train would probably be cheaper (though for many trips it can take longer.)

        I think that the train is a nice way to see “SOUTH CENTRAL”… but it’s not for everyone. To each his/her own.

      • 29. Claude  |  November 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm

        Thanks Joe,
        Sorry about beating a dead horse, but I feel that I am not unique. And sorry if I was too dramatic with the “at greater expense” comment. I guess I meant it would cost me much less to drive. Not to mention save me hours that day that could be spent at cicLAvia instead.
        I apologize for bashing South Central, which sits about 3 miles from my house. My concern is only that I can’t see my family or friends switching trains from Green line to Blue line with all of our bike gear and cameras in South Central.

        There are 5 people in my immediate family that would attend.

        Here’s my math, $5 Metro day pass x 5 is $25.

        If I drive my Natural Gas van holds 5 people and bikes within. At $2 per gallon that is a cost of $4-5 round trip, plus parking let’s say $10. Total is $15.
        Driving will cost me less, plus save me time and be safer. Plus I can bring Jackets, or extra water or snacks and leave it in the car. Kinda of like when the 5 of us go to a park or a hike in the local hills, or a bike ride at the beach. Sometimes will put the bikes away in the van, and go out for a meal or a walk, too.

        I do agree that the route should inlclude a Metro station or two or three. That could provide more restrooms as well.

        I’ll wait to hear from you all on how I can help. Is the time and or place that you all meet to assign volunteers. I of course would like to help with Parking.

  • 30. Holly  |  November 19, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    I vote 50…because if the Ciclavia is 50 miles long, I can ride ANY 2 or 3 or 15 or 50 miles of it that I choose.

    Seriously, 50 might be too long and there are killer routes that are so much shorter than that. A good friend suggested Western–’cause you could ride Griffith Park to the sea.

    Reply
  • 31. Joe Linton  |  November 20, 2009 at 11:04 am

    The other question (perhaps the next poll) is how often? Bogota does theirs every Sunday. It seems like most US cities have been doing series of 3-5 events over the course of their summers. Doing just one might be nice (a la ArroyoFest)… but a series of 3 to 30+ (ok I can dream) could serve to build interest up over time.

    Reply
    • 32. Claude  |  November 20, 2009 at 12:59 pm

      How about the first Sunday of every month except December and January?

      Reply
  • 33. Pedro Wibi  |  November 20, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I think part of the goal is to get people out on their bicycles so folks can realize riding from one place to another is fun and doable and also provide a safe environment as well with street closures.

    I like focusing on linking destinations together with the cicLAvia street closures. and exploring business along the way is an added bonus.

    Reply
  • 34. Ron  |  November 21, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for working on this. I’m really excited to ride in LA’s 1st Ciclavia!

    Reply
  • 35. Eva  |  November 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I think 12.6 is a perfect amount, but when you don’t make it a loop, then it becomes 25, and that might be a little too much for me unless I join in at a different spot, which is a-ok. I know I am upsetting the anti-car folks here, but I live on the Westside, and the route you suggested, which I like, would require me to drive to it. I know that is not the point, I might also not be your target here. One tip, I would end it at a place that would be fun to hang out at after the ride, that way people associate the fact that they can bike themselves there in the future. Once I did a bike ride to the beach, for example, and I realized how easy it was, so now I just bike to the beach instead of drive.

    Reply
    • 36. Joe Linton  |  November 21, 2009 at 8:48 pm

      It’s ok if you drive to it, Eva! You are our target – any angeleno who wants to bike/walk/skate/hang out at ciclovia is our target!

      What sort of place were you thinking of to hang out after ciclovia? a park? a restaurant? the beach?

      One thing I would clarify is that it’s not eactly a “ride” – it’s a street – so anyone who goes can ride as much or as little as she/he sees fit. In that way, it’s sort of like the beach bike path – it’s there to ride on, there’s plenty of people riding and walking and skating and hanging out… but there’s no actual formal organized “ride” event – just people out enjoying themselves at their own pace.

      Reply
  • […] and Los Feliz, but have not received any final endorsement there. If you’re along the proposed roughly 7.5-mile route (Boyle Heights to Downtown to MacArthur Park to East Hollywood) and you have a group that would […]

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