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Are You Ready to 'Ride Figueroa?'

Gear up for an 11-mile bicycle ride on Feb. 10 along Figueroa, York, Eagle Rock Boulevard and Colorado.

Would you like to “Ride Figueroa?”

More accurately, how about pedaling along Figueroa, York, Eagle Rock Boulevard and Colorado on a bicycle around the neighborhood?

A bit of a misnomer, Ride Figueroa is the otherwise catchy name of an 11-mile multi-street bicycle ride scheduled in exactly two weeks. Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, the ride is designed to offer participants an opportunity to explore proposed bike lanes on Figueroa Street and Colorado Boulevard, which would complete a loop with Eagle Rock Boulevard and York Boulevard.

At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10, scores of people-friendly bicycle enthusiasts from across Northeast L.A. are expected to gather at Greayer’s Oak Park, located at Figueroa and Marmion Way in Highland Park. From there, the group will ride up Figueroa, west on York, north on Eagle Rock Boulevard, east on Colorado, south on Figueroa and then back on York, concluding the heady trip with a dose of local politics at Occidental College, where a Council District 1 candidates’ forum is scheduled at 1 p.m.

Besides expressing solidarity with other bike riders and getting a feel for York’s celebrated bike lane, the idea is to “get the experience of what Figueroa and Colorado feel like without bike lanes,” said LACBC Campaign and Policy Manager Alek Bartrosouf.

An advocacy, education and outreach group with more than 1,500 members, LACBC “brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to improve the bicycling environment and quality of life for the entire region,” according to the nonprofit group’s website.

The proposed bike lanes on Figueroa and Colorado would replace one lane each currently devoted mostly to vehicular traffic. The bike lanes are part of L.A.’s ambitious 2010 Bicycle Master Plan. Implemented in March 2011, the plan identifies an elaborate 1,684-mile bikeway system intertwined with 334 miles of existing bicycle paths that have been installed over the past three decades or so.

“This is also an opportunity to rally folks in the neighborhood to advocate for bike lanes,” Bartrosouf said, adding that two speakers for the CD 1 candidates’ forum have been confirmed so far and that LACBC is expecting to hear back from one more speaker shortly.

The CD 1 election in March will decide who succeeds termed-out Council member Ed Reyes. Most of the proposed bike lane on Figueroa is in CD 1. The rest is in CD 14 led by Council member José Huizar, who won’t be up for re-election until 2015.

Besides LACBC, the candidates’ forum is jointly sponsored by the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and L.A. Streets Blog.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided during the 11-mile bike ride. An organized ride after the candidates’ forum will take participants back to Greayer’s Park.

For more information, contact Alek Bartrosouf at (213) 629-2142 or e-mail him at alek@la-bike.org.

Related: Bikeways Planning Begins For North Figueroa

Michael Turmon January 29, 2013 at 03:58 AM
@Jayres -- There is a lot of extra width along Colorado that people have been trying to figure out what to do with. There's no way the angled parking concept will fly in our lifetime. Not enough width and too much interference with other traffic including buses. The bike lane idea strikes me as a good experiment that won't hinder driving much at all, and would allow people all over ER to use a bike more safely to do local errands or go to local workplaces. I'm personally OK with cycling in the street, without a dedicated lane, but it's clearly less safe and more stressful. It also tends to make conflicts with aggressive drivers more likely. I got done with my "power to the bike" phase years ago, but there really are drivers out there who like to teach lessons of their own devising, and like the man said, good fences (lane stripes anyway) make good neighbors.
Michael Turmon January 29, 2013 at 04:08 AM
If you're in good shape, and stay focused on traffic and potential obstacles ahead, it's not crazy. You have to try to anticipate bad or unaware moves by other drivers. Cycling to work and for all errands for a few years here made me a better driver as well, because the habit of anticipating moves translates into auto driving as well. The book that I think best captures a safe and effective urban cycling style is "Effective Cycling" by Forester, although he has issues with the design of some bike lanes.
Hooper Humperdink January 29, 2013 at 05:01 AM
Yeah dude, that would be awesome if I could manage that every time I comment. I am usually typing extemporaneously based on reading and research I've done of publicly available documents. The N. Figueroa traffic data is available on the LADOT's web-site - I downloaded it and spent hours making it easy to search through and use. The study regarding York is cited by name above - you can google that title, download the report, and skip ahead to the pages with the graphs of customer and merchant surveys. The DEIR documents are available by googling "Bike Plan Implementation My Figueroa" and downloading the project summary and the transportation (delay) segment. My figures I've presented are probably a little off when it comes to timed delays because I'm doing the addition and division by 60 in my head - but they are still small numbers. There was a report available online years ago called (I think) "North Figueroa Corridor Report" that was a big study for me. I guess it would be valuable to make this material available online, and present a digest version of these studies - but I am making these comments inbetween work, a kid nagging me to play with her, chores, and trying to live a full life.
Eric Creaux January 29, 2013 at 10:07 AM
The article says that 'people-friendly cycling enthusiasts' will participate. That label sadly misinforms the public and insults the cycling community at the same time. Cyclists are inherently friendly. Are our streets riddled with the opposite? Do we have a lot of 'people-unfriendly' bicycle enthusiasts rolling around? It is inherently wrong to label cyclists as 'people-friendly' or 'people-unfriendly'. If you want to label something, then label 'people-friendly motorists' and 'people-unfriendly motorists' instead. The unfriendly motorists are the ones killing us.
nonoise January 30, 2013 at 05:43 AM
Jayes, thanks for the plug. I don't have a problem with bike lanes. They are on the side of cars and out of traffic which is better than being stuck behind these slow moving bicycles. York only has one lane in each direction so there is no problem with bikes on the sides except it is not safe for bicyclist which ride next to moving cars that are very close to them and parked cars where people can open their doors into bicyclist path.

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