Bicycle transportation planning in Los Angeles

Los Angeles can refer to both the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, as well as the larger Los Angeles region (consisting of a continuous urban landscape stretching from Ventura County in the north down to Orange County in south).

There are a myriad of different agencies and authorities engaged in bicycle transportation planning, funding, design and construction in the Los Angeles area. This is an attempt to find the members of these agencies and authorities responsible for transportation projects and issues as they relate to bicycles.

Entities in the City of Los Angeles

In the City of Los Angeles there are several city level departments which oversee transportation related issues. The individual sections and divisions responsible for bicycle stuff are enumerated below. These are the people who work directly with bicycle projects:

Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Los Angeles Department of Transportation has a special portion of its Office of Transportation Development set aside for bicycle project planning, design, funding, and construction. Within the Office of Transportation Development, Bureau of Capital Programming (run by Haripal Var), is the Project Grants, Bikeways and Enhancement Division (headed by Michael Uyeno).

The Project Grants, Bikeways and Enhancement Division is further subdivided into a Bikeways Section and a position for a Senior Project Coordinator.

The LADOT has been granted the authority to issue vehicle and driver permits for pedicabs (aka bicycle taxis or rickshaws). The LADOT's forms, and the City's ordinances typically refer to pedicabs as "nonmotorized transportation". Permit applicants must submit the applications to the Franchise Regulation Division of the LADOT along with several fees.

Bikeways Section

* Bikeways Section (made up of a team of engineers) is headed by Michael May and Senior Project Coordinator, Michelle Mowery.

Franchise Regulation Division

This division of the LADOT has been assigned to process pedicab vehicle and driver permits, though in 2007 a Central District Transportation Engineer (from the Office of Transportation Operations), Hiram Lim, "expressed concern that pedicabs could pose a road hazard, blocking traffic and frustrating drivers."

The Franchise Regulations Division licenses companies, tests and permits drivers, regulate and monitor the operations of companies and individuals authorized by the Board of Transportation Commissioners and the Board of Taxicab Commissioners to operate for-hire passenger vehicles within the City of Los Angeles. The Division inspects vehicles and enforces compliance with associated City ordinances and orders of the Board of Transportation Commissioners and the Board of Taxicab Commissioners and investigates complaints relating to taxicab, ambulance and other for-hire vehicles. It also administers the franchise of the gas distribution system and over 40 pipeline companies.

Los Angeles Planning Department

* Los Angeles Planning Department

Los Angeles Department of Public Works

Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering

Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting

Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services

Within the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services Engineering Division is the Bikeways & Grants Management Section (LA):

Bikeways & Grants Management Section (LA)

The Bikeways & Grants Management Section (LA) prepares plans, specifications, and manages construction of bikeway projects in the City of Los Angeles. Bikeway projects recently constructed include the Los Angeles River Bike Path Phase 1-A and Phase 1-D, and the Culver Blvd. Median Bikeway. Upcoming projects include Los Angeles River Bikepath Phase 1-B and San Fernando Bikepath Phase I.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is a large, county-wide, authority. It affects cycling with its funding policies in two major ways.

First, the MTA spends money creating planning documents, surveys, etc. that allow the MTA itself or entities within Los Angeles County to apply for funds for bicycle projects. That is, the MTA gets paperwork ready for local entities to apply for money. The planning documents are produced in the Bikeway Planning (or Metro Bike Program) section of the MTA. Lynne Goldsmith runs the Metro Bike Program, and is part of the Transportation Development and Implementation (TDI) department.

Second, the MTA distributes funds for transportation projects. The MTA's policies prevent bicycle projects from being funded. Some big sources of general transportation funding that the MTA keeps from bicycle projects are: Proposition A and Proposition C Local Return sales tax dollars; and money available as part of the Transportation Improvement Program Call for Projects (a biennial process for allocating selected local, state, and federal transportation funds to cities in Los Angeles County). Both of these sources of funding are doled out using the Transportation Development and Implementation unit.

Transportation Development and Implementation

The MTA's Bikeway Planning (or Metro Bike Program) is in the Transportation Development and Implementation (TDI) department of the MTA's Countywide Planning and Development Department. The Chief Planning Officer, currently Carol Inge, oversees the Countywide Planning and Development Department.

The Transportation Development and Implementation (TDI) department is responsible for project development, management, and/or implementation of multiple modes of transportation within Los Angeles County, including Highway/Freeway, Arterials, Transportation Demand Management (TDM), Rail and Busway, Signal Synchronization, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Bicycle, Pedestrian, Goods Movement and others.

In addition, this department approves and administers the utilization of Call for Projects (CFP) funds by the cities and county and provides assistance on joint development activities. This department also serves as the project planning lead in the Long Range Transit Plan (LRTP) and CFP. The department is organized into two geographic sub-regions with three area planning teams in each sub-region. One sub-region includes the Central, Gateway Cities/Southeast and San Gabriel Valley. The South Bay, San Fernando Valley/No County and Westside area planning teams are in the other sub-region. Each team is responsible for corridor planning, project management and implementation of multiple modes of transportation within its geographic area.

References

Further reading

Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Pedicab Regulation in Los Angeles

* [http://metroriderla.com/2007/08/12/a-new-tranist-option-in-downtown-pedicabs/ A New Tranist Option In Downtown: Pedicabs] by Fred Camino on MetroRiderLA, August 12, 2007
* [http://metroriderla.com/2007/08/15/delving-into-downtown-pedicabs/ Delving Into Downtown Pedicabs] by Fred Camino on MetroRiderLA, August 15, 2007
* [http://www.ladowntownnews.com/articles/2007/08/20/news/news07.txt Pedal Power, Eric Green and His 'Green Machine' Are Giving Downtown a Lift] by Kathryn Maese in the Los Angeles Downtown News, August 20, 2007
* [http://www.ladowntownnews.com/articles/2007/09/10/news/news_briefs/at02.txt Transportation Department Halts Downtown Pedicab] from a News Brief in the Los Angeles Downtown News September 10 2007
* [http://metroriderla.com/2007/09/17/downtown-pedicab-out-of-commission/ Downtown pedicab out of commission] by Wad on MetroRiderLA, September 17, 2007
* [http://www.ladowntownnews.com/articles/2007/09/17/news/opinion/edit01.txt Editorial, Get the Pedicab Rolling] in the Los Angeles Downtown News, September 17, 2007
* [http://www.downtownnews.com/articles/2007/10/22/news/news05.txt The Pedicab Problem, A Second Effort to Run Rickshaw-Like Devices Downtown Is Snuffed] by Anna Scott in the Los Angeles Downtown News, October 22, 2007
* [http://rickshawsetcetera.blogspot.com/2007/10/rickshaw-operation-snuffed-out-in-la.html Rickshaw Operation Snuffed Out In LA] on the blog [http://rickshawsetcetera.blogspot.com of skylab and rickshaws] , October 25, 2007
* [http://www.ladowntownnews.com/articles/2007/11/19/letters/letters01.txt Pedicab Plan Has Not Been 'Snuffed'] by Mike Echols, Managing Partner, MagiCab Express, LLC in "Letters to the Editor, Reader Response to Recent Articles" in the Los Angeles Downtown News, November 19, 2007

External links

City of Los Angeles Departments

* [http://www.bicyclela.org/ Bikeways Section] in LADOT
* [http://www.lacity.org/BOSS/Engineering_Division/index_bikeway.htm Bikeways & Grants Management Section] in LADPW's Bureau of Streets Services

MTA Links

* [http://metro.net/projects%5Fplans/bikeway%5Fplanning/ Metro Bikeway Planning]
* [http://www.metro.net/projects_programs/funding.htm MTA Transportation Funding Source Guide]
* [http://www.metro.net/other_info/budget_online/images/budget_adopted_fy08.pdf MTA's Fiscal Year 2008 Budget] - see pages 133 to 134 of the .pdf document


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