Biking in the AV

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The joys and challenges of riding in the Antelope Valley

Archive for July, 2011

Jennifer Klausner and I ride around the AV

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Jennifer Klausner, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, drove up to the Antelope Valley from Los Angeles yesterday afternoon for a ride. She wanted to take a spin around the Valley, so I mapped out a route that would take us from Palmdale into Lancaster and back.

Essentially, we made a big loop from west Palmdale up 30th St West to Lancaster Blvd to THE BLVD to Sierra Highway. At Ave J, we picked up the Sierra Highway Bike Path and rode that to Ave O to 15th St West, which became Ave P-8, and back to 30th.

Ave O

Ave O between Sierra Highway and 10th St West

We were having so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures until we stopped for a snack on Ave O.

Jennifer Klausner

Jennifer Klausner stopping for a drink on Ave O

At this point, our notorious AV wind kicked up and made the rest of the ride even more interesting.

We saw only a few other riders. One of them was on THE BLVD. He was heading west and taking the lane. We saw a fellow riding on the bike path coming north from Palmdale towards Lancaster. We saw another guy riding in the wrong direction on the other side of Sierra through hotel parking lots and another rider coming up to the intersection of a street with the bike path, again on the wrong side of the street. I think of all the riders we saw, only one was proceeding on the proper side of the street.

We have our work cut out for us as far as educating AV bike riders how to ride safely.

When Jennifer comes back to the AV, she’d like to go mountain biking on the trails off Ave P-12. If you’d like to come along, let me know.

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Bikeways on 10th St W and Ave I may be in our future

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

On June 27, 2011, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority (MTA) released a report of its preliminary recommendations for the 2011 Call for Projects applications.

Several applications were submitted for Antelope Valley projects. Of these, MTA will be funding projects to modernize traffic signals, add 1.5 miles of separated Class II bike lanes on 10th Street West and add 1 mile of buffered bike paths on Avenue I.

These recommendations are only the beginning of a long process of approvals that is estimated to last through October of 2013 with implementation slated for 2015 through 2017.

The projects were divided into the categories of:

  • 2A – Regional Surface Transportation Improvements
  • 2B – Goods Movement Improvemetnts
  • 3 – Signal Synchronization and Bus Speed Improvements
  • 4 – Transportation Demand Management
  • 5A – Bikeway Improvements
  • 5B – Pedestrian Improvements
  • 6 – Transit Capital
  • 7 – Transportation Enhancement Activities

In category 2A, LA County submitted an application and the City of Lancaster another. The county’s project would widen Avenue K from one lane to two in each direction with two-way left-turn lanes and left-turn and right-turn lanes at key intersections. The project submitted by Lancaster would construct capacity improvements to widen roadway to available right of way extents and close mixed flow gaps.

MTA chose to fund 9 out of 31 applications submitted in category 2A. Unfortunately, the AV projects were ranked #22 and #23, rated at 62 out of 100 points and 59/100, respectively, so neither were funded.

Lancaster submitted an application for a project to modernize the city’s aging traffic signal communications system infrastructure in category 3. MTA gave it a score of 71/100, ranking it #9 out of 15 projects funded.

In 5A Bikeways Improvements, Lancaster submitted an application for construction of 1.5 miles of Class II bike lanes on 10th St West between Avenue H and Lancaster Boulevard. From Avenue H to Holguin, the roadway will be reduced to two lanes with a separated landscaped median between the bike and travel lanes.

This project rated 82/100 and MTA ranked it #1 out of the 26 applications submitted for bikeways.

Lancaster’s application for the construction of pedestrian improvements at Ave K and 15th St West including widening the sidewalks, adding planter buffers, increasing green space beyond the sidewalk and improving the bus stop did not make the cut in the Pedestrian Improvements category. Five projects were chosen and the Avenue K/15th Street project was ranked #18.

Finally, in 7 Transportation Enhancement Activities, Lancaster’s application ranked #3 out of 5 that were chosen to be funded (out of 24 applications submitted). The project calls for an enhanced streetscape within the existing right of way of Avenue I between 20th Street West and 10th Street West via a road diet including landscaping, a bike path, buffer, sidewalk, bus stop improvements, centerline medians, and ADA accessibility.

We’ll keep track of what’s going on with these projects. There will more than likely be many times when Antelope Valley cyclists will need to make our voices heard.

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Antelope Valley Press reports on cyclist hit by car on Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

This morning, the Antelope Valley Press reported on page A2 about the cyclist who was hit by a car after a group ride on Saturday morning. According to their coverage:

A bicyclist hit by a sedan that veered into her lane on the Avenue L bridge over the Antelope Valley Freeway remained hospitalized Monday in critical condition, a sheriff’s official said.

Lisa Collins, 50, of Lancaster was riding west about 10 a.m. Saturday when she was struck by an Acura TSX moving out of its lane and into the off ramp lane, said Sgt. Brian Dunn of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.

I rode over the Avenue L bridge yesterday and can report that the speeds driven there are excessive as drivers rush to get to the freeway entrances.

There are no bike lanes on the bridge. I believe the speed limit is 45. It felt like most drivers were going quite a bit over that.

The section of Avenue L from the corner of 10th St West and crossing the freeway to 15th St West is dangerous and making it less so should be a priority for the City of Lancaster.

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Antelope Valley bicyclist hit by car

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

A friend says that a friend of hers was hit by a car after a ride on Saturday morning.

There wasn’t a story about this in Sunday’s Antelope Valley Press, so I don’t have anything to share that has been confirmed. When details becomes available, I will share it with you here.

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Bicycle licensing in Lancaster

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Douglas Wade has a post on his blog that reveals the City of Lancaster requires bicycle licensing. Evidently, it costs 75 cents to license your bike in Lancaster. You are supposed to go to the Sheriff’s Station to get your license.

Read the whole story here.

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CicLAvia Community Ride 07/10/2011

Monday, July 11th, 2011
CicLAvia Community Ride 07/10/2011

CicLAvia Community Ride Route

Since the CicLAvia originally planned for July 10, 2011, would not be happening, CicLAvia organizers invited folks to come for a community ride in Los Angeles. Unlike CicLAvia, the streets would not be blocked off.

Fred Flores relaxes

Caffe Racer Fred Flores relaxes before the ride

Sarge, Fred Flores, and I rode to Los Angeles on the 9:13 am Metrolink train from the Antelope Valley, which arrived at Union Station at 11:20 am. Metrolink instituted a $10 weekend pass last weekend, which allows travelers to ride from Friday evening until midnight Sunday, all on the same ticket.

We rode from Union Station to Hollenbeck Park and waited there as other riders gathered for the start of the ride.

joni yung

joni yung, host of Yoga Chat with the Accidental Yogist, and fellow L.A.Legger

Sarge with flag

Sarge ready to ride with the U.S. flag, of course

We ride

We ride . . .

There were 200 to 300 riders. We took the right-hand lane and obeyed all traffic laws. The first stop was the African-American Firefighter Museum at the corner of Central and 14th.

Old-time fire engine at the African-American Firefighter Museum

We then rode through the fashion district, into Little Tokyo, and passed City Hall, stopping again at El Pueblo, where there was Native American dancing and drumming.

Mariachis at Mariachi Plaza

Mariachis play for us at Mariachi Plaza

Our last stop before returning to Hollenbeck Park was Mariachi Plaza, where mariachis played for us.

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Target shopping center bike parking

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I also rode to the Target/Best Buy/Staples/Barnes & Noble/Sport Chalet shopping center on 10th St West south of Rancho Vista Blvd in Palmdale to investigate bicycle parking.

At first, I could see no bike parking at all in front of Target. I rode around on the 10th St West side and spoke with a security guard, who said that he was a mountain biker, and he’d never seen any bike parking at this Target. After riding around the back of the Target building, I did find what might be bike racks on the side of the building where the garden shop used to be.

Possible bike parking

Is this bike parking?

If this is bike parking, it is too close to the wall and the third rack is blocked by a trash receptacle.

Possible bike racks

These may be bike racks

Here are three more possible bike racks around the corner from the ones pictured above. Again, they are too close to the wall and one is blocked by shopping carts.

Closer to the Target entrance, I found a wave rack with a bike attached to it. The rider probably didn’t know how to use it correctly and parked as if it were a wheel-bender rack. I think it is also positioned too close to the wall on one end. The other problem with this rack’s location is that from the front it is obscured by the rounded projection of the building (on the left in the photo).

Isolated bike parking

Good place to steal a bike

(more…)

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Bike parking at Amargosa Commons

Friday, July 8th, 2011

This morning, I rode over to Amargosa Commons to document bike parking.

First, I rode behind the old Circuit City building and found that the gate to the bike path that runs along Amargosa Creek is padlocked.

Amargosa Creek bike path padlocked

Gate padlocked to Amargosa Creek bike path

If this gate and the gate on Ave P-8 were open, cyclists could ride from the Highland High School area to Amargosa Commons and the Target/Best Buy shopping centers across the street without having to venture onto either Rancho Vista Blvd or 10th St West, avoiding high-speed, heavy traffic.

Going back to the front of the shopping center, these two bike racks were located in front of Contempo Nails nail salon.

Nail salon bike parking

Two bike racks at Contempo Nails

At Big Tuna, I encountered Justin Kekauoha parking his bike at this bike rack.

Justin Kekauoha

Justin Kekauoha parked his bike at Big Tuna's bike rack

There was another bike rack placed in an awkward place near TJMaxx.

TJMaxx bike rack

TJ Maxx bike rack

The rest of the main part of the shopping center, including at the center anchor, Trader Joe’s, had no bike parking that I could see. If you find a bike rack there, please take a photo and send it to me.
(more…)

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Previously unseen bike parking at Vons Rancho Vista

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I rode over to Vons on Tuesday to get some bagels. There was a handicapped sign in front of the cigarette store where I parked my bike. When I looked to the left, I saw this bike rack that I’d never noticed before in front of the Subway.

Wheelbender parking at Subway

Previously unseen bike rack in front of Subway

Unfortunately, it’s a dreaded wheel-bender rack. It would be difficult to figure out a way to secure both wheels and the bike frame to this structure.

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Lancaster Plan for Trails and Bikeways Public Workshop 06/29/2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Members of the public gathered at Mariposa School in Lancaster on Wednesday evening to meet with city officials and consultants to offer their opinions on what is needed to improve bicycling, walking, horseback riding, and mobility for the disabled within the City of Lancaster.

Gathering for Workshop

Members of the public gather for the workshop

After brief talks by city official including April Bartlett, chairwoman of the city’s architectural and design committee, and Berna Mayer, Antelope Valley Partners for Health board member, Ryan Snyder of Ryan Snyder Associates gave a presentation on the planning process so far, the work that they have done to date, and shared the draft maps of the plans that have been produced.

Prior to this workshop, several public meetings have been held with cyclists, equestrians, walkers, and disabled people to address what kinds of things they feel would make Lancaster the kind of place they would like to live in, what would make it a healthier, more vital community, more walkable and more livable. This process began last September with monthly staff meetings, meetings with an advisory committee consisting of stakeholders, and public workshops. Snyder and his staff reviewed background documents, did extensive field work, and created draft maps.

Ryan Snyder

Ryan Snyder presents the draft plan

For bikeways, a network is proposed that connects the whole city, making bike travel easier both north-and-south and especially east-and-west. These improvements will include the standard Class I, II, and III bikeways, but also colored and buffered bike lanes, wider shoulders, and small paths. Pedestrian improvements will include wider cross walks, higher visibility, curb extensions, bulb-outs, perpendicular ramps, crossing islands, signs and pavement markings. Barriers to the disabled will be addressed to fix inaccessible bus stops and missing curb ramps. Equestrian trails will include trailheads, parking, and sitting areas. Jogging loops will be created that include earthen trails, decomposed granite trails, and rubberized sidewalks.

(more…)

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