In the fall of 2009, we held a series of Community Input Meetings to help us develop the Safe & Healthy Streets Plan – a set of policy recommendations to encourage and support biking and walking that we will be asking the City to adopt. We’ve completed the “public draft” of the Safe & Healthy Streets Plan and now it’s available for public review and comment. This is a living document that we expect to revise many times from now until the end of the year. You can download a PDF copy of the Draft Safe & Healthy Streets Plan by clicking here.
The City of Glendale and the LA County Bicycle Coalition will host two public meetings to get your feedback on the Draft Safe & Healthy Streets Plan. If you can attend these meetings, we encourage you to review the Draft Plan and come tell us what you think. All are welcome to the meetings.
If you can’t attend either of the meetings and would like to offer your feedback, please e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a list of the meetings in October.
Safe & Healthy Streets Public Feedback Meeting #1
Monday October 25, 2010
Glendale Central Library Auditorium
222 East Harvard St.
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Safe & Healthy Streets Public Feedback Meeting #2
Wednesday October 27, 2010
Sparr Heights Community Center
1613 Glencoe Way
7:00 – 8:30 pm
We look forward to seeing you in October!
Walk to School Day Success!
International Walk to School Day was a huge success in Glendale on Wednesday October 6 2010, with R.D. White Elementary leading the way! Seventeen schools in Glendale participated in this year’s event, making Glendale one of the leading communities in southern California. R.D. White students carried signs including one that read “Be Cool, Walk to School”, and were handed silver stars on which they could write their names and add to a walk of fame around the campus flag pole. The front entrance of R.D. White included a red carpet and velvet ropes, further adding to the students’ star treatment.
First Lady Michelle Obama sent the following message to the National Center for Safe Routes to School in response to Walk to School Day activities across the county. “Congratulations to all those participating in International Walk to School Day. By walking or biking to school, students, parents, teachers, and administrators all across America are getting active. It also helps kids get a head start on being active for 60 minutes each day, the goal set by the Presidential Active Lifestyle program. I know that by getting students moving, we can help ensure they will live full and healthy lives, and that is why I am so encouraged by all the events going on across our country this month.”
On Tuesday night, Mayor Ara Najarian proclaimed October to be Walk to School Month in Glendale and lead organizer Kara Watne-Sergile accepted the proclamation in front of a room full of parents and students. You can read more about Glendale Walk to School Day at the Glendale News-Press website and you can watch video of the Mayor’s Proclamation by clicking here (go to 23 minutes, 0 seconds).
CicLAvia reminder – Sunday October 10, 2010
If you haven’t heard about CicLAvia or made plans to go, here’s a great little video to get you excited!
B-Cycle in Denver, Colorado
After Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian offered to submit a story about his experience with the Bixi bike sharing program in Montreal, we found out that City of Glendale staffer Christina Sansone was going to visit Denver, Colorado, which had recently launched a bike sharing program called B-Cycle. We knew that Christina is a cyclist, so we asked her to try out the system and write a short piece about it. She graciously agreed to our request and here’s what she and her friend Steve gave us. We thank Christina and Steve for their contribution.
On my recent visit to Denver, I and my friend, Steve Tabor, got a first-hand look at the city’s “B-cycle” system–a means by which members can borrow a bicycle and make quick rides around the downtown core of the city. Through the system, bicycles can be unlocked from any bike station along various strategic points such as parks, major stores, entrances to bike paths and museums, and ridden to any other bike station. You do, however, need to bring your own helmet.
“After riding, a usage fee was charged to the credit card for the number of minutes the bicycle was in use. B-cycle relies on the integration of hardware, software, and proprietary GPS and radio frequency identification technologies to keep track of members and bikes. Although the B-cycle system was intended for local residents for short trips around town, the majority of users were tourists who want to get around from their hotels for short distance trips to the shops and attractions in the downtown area. The system’s website is supposed to calculate the distance traveled, the calories burned and the carbon emissions prevented, but this service is for longer-term members.
I went to the nearest station, with nine stalls, all of which were empty. Next-nearest station, a couple of blocks away, there were many bikes available. The touch-screen was facing into the sun and was very hard to read. Any pause for uncertainty of more than 10 seconds or so sends you back to the “Howdy” screen. This one got me to the card-swiping stage, but the machine wouldn’t recognize the card. Third-nearest station, another couple of blocks away, there were also plenty of bikes, and the system finally worked. (Some of the stations are placed very close together, and they are close to major services like hospitals and shopping areas. One is located right outside the flagship REI store.) First half-hour rental is free with the membership.
All bikes are red Trek-made cruisers with heavy step-through frames. They have 3-speed hubs with gearing suitable for Denver’s moderate terrain. I didn’t check tire inflation and no pump was present—does someone come around every night and do this? There is a top chain guard, but I didn’t notice the condition of the chain. Some mudguards were starting to look a little battered, and the bike I chose had handgrips starting to decompose and go sticky in the Denver sun. Front and rear lights are provided, though in a quick inspection I couldn’t figure out where the switches were. There is a lock, which I didn’t try. Cabling at the front end is enclosed in a metal box and there is a long basket attached to the handlebars. When any appreciable weight is put into the basket, steering becomes rather hard. This may be par for this type of bike, but it could be almost dangerously unresponsive. However, I rode the bike through maybe half a mile of downtown Denver weekday traffic and felt visible and fairly safe.
Overall impression: very handy and appropriate for downtown errand-running and slow cruises along the dedicated bike trails. For longer rides or hilly country you’d want to rent a more appropriate bike from a shop. The B-cycle system is a well thought-out complement to an already impressive public transportation system. The level of maintenance will make or break it. I left my bike at a different station; where the sensor on the front axle automatically logged it back in. The $5 charge duly showed up on my credit card account the next day.”
Denver was home to the first B-cycle system which was introduced on Earth Day 2010 (April 22). It ultimately will consist of 500 bikes at 50 stations. Denver’s B-cycle is a public-private partnership. The city of Denver assisted in publicizing the system and locating B-cycle stations around the downtown area. The B-cycle founding partners did all the rest. The partners are a joint venture between three companies: Humana (health insurance company), Trek Bicycle Corporation and Crispin Porter + Bogusky (advertising and design agency) with a mission to provide bicycles to improve health, the environment and the community’s transportation ecosystem.
Future of B-cycle.
B-cycle is now available in Chicago between July and October and will be available again the following spring. As of August 13, 2010, the Hawaii Department of Health, Healthy Hawaii Initiative announced the competitively awarded contract for a B-cycle bike sharing pilot system in Kailua. On July 11, 2010 B-cycle’s Demo Tour rolled on to the streets of San Francisco for their Sunday Streets event. On Thursday, June 17, 2010, the San Antonio City Council unanimously approved San Antonio Bike Share and B-cycle to implement a bike sharing, rental and tour program. The initial bike sharing program will include 140 bicycles at 14 locations. Dozens more cities, universities and corporations are considering such programs.
Bike Lanes on Santa Carlotta (Foothill coming soon)!
As part of routine street improvements in north Glendale, bike lanes have been added to Santa Carlotta Street. The City’s Planning staff was told during North Glendale Community Plan meetings that local residents would use bike lanes on Santa Carlotta if installed. We were told the same thing during our Safe & Healthy Streets meetings in the fall of 2009. Santa Carlotta is an extremely wide residential street which allowed for the addition of bike lanes without removing any parking or travel lanes.
Foothill Blvd. between Lowell and Pennsylvania is slated for street improvements within the next few weeks and will be re-striped to include bike lanes as well. Once completed, the new bike lanes will connect with bike lanes already striped on the County section of Foothill (Pennsylvania to Briggs) and will roughly double the length of bike lanes on Foothill Blvd. We encourage you to write to the Mayor and City Council if you support the bike lanes on Santa Carlotta and/or Foothill Blvd. It’s important that voices of support for specific bicycle projects are heard. These messages will help to encourage more bicycle improvements in the future. Speaking of which, an update of Glendale’s Bikeway Master Plan is coming soon. Stay tuned…