County Bike Plan Considers Paths Along Rivers and Creeks

January 14, 2010 § 3 Comments

Los Angeles River Bike Path - One example of the types of waterway bikeways expected in the county bike plan - photo from L.A. Streetsblog

Tonight is the kick-off meeting of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Advisory Committee (this is county – not to be too confused with the city committee that shares the same name.) The meeting is open to the public. It’s at 6:30pm at the County Hall of Records, 320 West Temple Street, downtown L.A. 90012. Lots of details (agenda, bike parking, transit directions, etc.) on the meeting are already posted at BikingInLA, so I won’t bore you with them here.

Why should creek freaks be interested in L.A. County’s bike plan? Well, I am glad you asked. Other than the overall bike-watershed connection, it’s  because the county plan will include bike paths along rights-of-way controlled by the L.A. County Flood Control District – known in the vernacular as: rivers, creeks, washes, arroyos, streams, sloughs… 

The new county bike plan not an overarching plan for all bike facilities in the entire county. In the 1990’s the county worked with Metro and did county bike plans along those lines. These overarching plans suffered from what is known as the “big staple” effect (apologies to Anne Riley for stealing her “big staple” watershed planning criticism.) At that time, the county basically asked all the cities to turn in their plans, then stapled them together and said – here’s our county plan.

This time around, the county bike plan scope includes only two things (this is a paraphrase from a conversation I had – I will learn more specifics at the meeting tonight):

1 – Planning for bikeways in unincorporated areas. These include lots of islands of communities scattered throughout the county: East LA, Windsor Hills/Ladera Heights, Altadena, Lennox, etc. etc. These mostly-small areas actually add up to 65% of the county (by area) and have a population of about 1 million (hence would be the second largest “city” in the county)… but they’re spread out all over… so difficult to plan coherently. (Statistics source: http://ceo.lacounty.gov/OUAS/ )

2 – Planning for bikeways along L.A. County Flood Control District rights-of-way. The county controls (by ownership or by easement) nearly all of the waterways, including plenty of nearly-ready-to-ride access roads, so they’ll be looking at where they plan to put bike paths.

Tonight is the first meeting of the county’s appointed volunteer committee that will advise them on the plan. It will be another year or two for the plan to take shape, get approved, etc…. then, implementation! Keep your RSS tuned to L.A. Creek Freak for more details as the county bike plan progresses.

(This blog entry got its start as a comment on L.A. Streetsblog.)

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