Takeaways from the “Building Paths to a Healthy UCLA” Event
Today’s Building Paths to a Healthy UCLA: Working to make UCLA the Most Bike Friendly Campus was put together by the UCLA Bike Coalition, UCLA Transportation and UCLA Recreation. I was pleased to see a better turnout than last year’s bike conference, and a set of brief yet informative talks from the panelists.
Tim Fremaux (LADOT Bikeways) claims to have “noticed a major shift in policy in the city of Los Angeles, one that encourages active transportation as health. Not just maps and routes, but policy and implementation plans.” It was a bit of a shock to hear an LADOT staff member utter the words “we aim to place bike facilities on arterials as well as residential streets.” He also used the term “bike activist” in a positive context. He also warned that “people complain about traffic and will fight any inch being taken away from cars”, unable to visualize the fact that bike facilities tend to reduce congestion in the end.
Jeff Averill (UCLA Campus Architect) urged people to be more politically involved in order to influence local policy.
Jeff Young (UCLA Police Chief) stated that UCPD has absolutely no policy in place to harass cyclists, they are simply looking out for reckless skateboarders and cyclists in the Dismount Zone near Ackerman Union. He expects cyclists to follow the same rules of the road as automobiles. Jeff closed his short talk with a cordial statement: “No matter where you come from at UCLA, we are your police department”.
Cassandra Carlin (Stantec Consultant) suggested the green sharrow carpet treatment for Westwood Boulevard, similar to Long Beach’s Belmont Shore.
Andrew Thomas (Westwood Business Improvement District), whose goal is a more economically vibrant Westwood, stated that “alternative transportation, bicycling especially, can play a role in economic revitalization”. He is supportive of a Broxton bike corral and a bike sharing hub in Westwood Village.
Justin Resnick (UCLA Bike Coalition) said that the LA Bike Plan low hanging fruit is almost gone. Hard decisions need to be made now, and cyclists will need to get involved and get their voice heard (referring to the expected pushback from bike haters).
Future Bike Facilities
– Sharrows on Ohio in the next month or so
– a bike corral on Broxton in the “near future”
– a totem pole-style cyclist counter on Westwood Bl
– Weyburn Terrace Apartments, which will be future graduate student housing, will have a secure bike room which can fit up to 75 bikes