City Bike Committee Votes to Support Ciclovia
At its Tuesday, December 1st meeting, the city of Los Angeles’ Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting passed a motion in support of adding ciclovia to the city bike plan. More details after the jump on who the BAC is, what the bike plan is, and how you can take action to help support ciclovia by commenting on the bike plan.
The BAC is an advisory group appointed by the Mayor and the members of the City Council. There’s a good explanation of the BAC at this Streetsblog article by Biking in LA‘s Ted Rogers. The commitee meets bi-monthly and reviews the city’s bike plans, policies, etc.
The BAC was reviewing the city’s 2009 bike plan update draft and making recommendations on how city departments can improve the draft. The city of Los Angeles approved its current Bicycle Master Plan in 1996 (then re-affirmed the same version a couple times to meet state requirements of updating its plan every 5 years.) That 1996 plan doesn’t mention ciclovia; the closest it comes to it is in its Bicycle Safety Education / Promotion section of the Implementation Programs chapter which calls for the city to:
Organize promotional events, such as bicycle commute days and mass bicycle rides.
This time around, the city hired a consultant and has been doing an extensive update to its plan. It released its 2009 draft plan in September, which has received a great deal of criticism. The 2009 draft doesn’t mention ciclovia either… the closest it gets to it is this section found in Chapter 2:
Policy 5.2: Promote bicycling through City-sponsored events.
5.2.2 Continue to coordinate bicycling marketing efforts with special events held in the City. <…> Post marketing materials on Bicycle Program website and work with City Council offices to disseminate materials to event participants.
5.2.3 Coordinate and promote recreational rides in conjunction with City Council and the Office of the Mayor. <…> Explore utilizing county fairs, rideshare week, job fairs, etc. for promotion of rides.
5.2.4 Provide support and assist with coordination of city-wide public bicycle rides. <…> Report on type of support and assistance for public bicycle rides
(Proofreaders Note: It sounds like 5.2 is telling cyclists to bike through city-sponsored events, no? Perhaps 5.2.4’s “city-wide public bike rides” refers to an event even bigger than ciclovia …more likely, they meant something like “public bike rides throughout the city”? The bike plan draft is unfortunately filled with lots of sloppy errors like these.)
Last Tuesday, the BAC voted to request that the city Planning and Transportation departments specifically include city support for ciclovia when they revise the bike plan. C.I.C.L.E., and likely other groups, are also planning to make this request in official comments on the draft plan. Beginning in mid-January 2010, the city will be revising its draft, and releasing a new version. The draft plan will then need go through a series of public hearings and approvals by commissions, committees and council before it takes effect.
Note that the city can host ciclovias without including them in the plan… but it would help give ciclovia some official imprimatur if it’s included in the approved bike plan.
If you want to support Ciclovia, one way to do it is to post your own public comment to the city’s bike plan website (another way is to come to our upcoming meeting on 12/12/2009.) The city is currently taking comments through January 8th 2010. Ciclovia supporters can post your comments at the city web-form here. Comments can be fairly short – like “I’d like the city to host ciclovia!” or more specific/elaborate (if you want, feel free to use CicLAvia talking points here.) CicLAvia encourages you to post your comments at the city website and also in the comments section below.