Biking in the AV


The joys and challenges of riding in the Antelope Valley

Archive for the ‘Road Conditions’ Category

Unsafe Routes to School

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Biking in LA reports on the unsafe condition of LA’s streets near schools:

I knew L.A. wasn’t the safest place to bike or ride.

But it never really sank in until I saw the maps.

Safe Routes to Schools has joined with the LACBC to call attention to just how far this city has to go before children to walk or bike to many schools, especially in lower income areas. New collision maps based on TIMS data (the Transportation Injury Mapping System) clearly shows how many injuries and fatalities occur near schools.

Take a look at the map for the Antelope Valley.

“Now with the TIMS data, the State of California has provided an amazing tool that allows us to see the neighborhoods, intersections and streets of greatest need and make strategic investments. We need the City to provide staff, and create a plan to implement safety improvements quickly, so we can see our transportation priorities shift. For too long, there has been a focus on moving cars to the detriment of our health and communities, the City of Los Angeles needs to put safety and people first,” says Jessica Meaney, California Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

What Jessica Meaney said above concerning the City of Los Angeles can equally be applied to the Antelope Valley. I hope that local cities and the County of Los Angeles along with our local school districts will use this data as a tool to improve the safety of our children.


Upcoming Biking/Wellness Events in Lancaster

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The City of Lancaster will have the following events during the summer months of June, July, August, and September.

Bicycle Master Plan Public Workshop. Date: Wednesday, June 29. Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Bikeway and pedestrian improvement recommendations will be reviewed. If you missed the previous workshops and walk-audits, now is the time to come and speak up. Let the City of Lancaster know what changes you’d like to see in bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

LanCoaster Bicycle Experience. Dates: Wednesdays, June 8, July 13, August 10, and September 14. Ride times and locations: 6:30 pm Lancaster City Hall, 7:00 pm Lancaster City Park. Lights required.

Open House at Mariposa Wellness Home. Date: Thursday, July 14. Time: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Walk through the neighborhood.

Trailhead Bingo Event. Date: Saturday, August 13. Time: To be determined. No details at this time.


Cycling in the Desert: The Challenges and Joys of Biking in the Antelope Valley

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

(Originally published on LA Streetsblog on May 18, 2011, as the third installment in LA Streetsblog’s series on bicycling around L.A. County as part of their Bike to Work week coverage.)

The Antelope Valley covers an immense area 60+ miles north of the City of Los Angeles. Within the valley are 2 large cities with populations above 150,000, Palmdale and Lancaster, and several smaller desert communities. Politically, the valley is part of 3 different counties — Los Angeles, Kern, and San Bernardino — with most of the population living in Los Angeles County.

Cycling is very popular here as a recreational sport. You can ride only a short distance and find yourself out in the country. On a Saturday or Sunday morning with various cycling clubs or groups, you can go out on a peaceful ride through the countryside with fairly empty roads and gorgeous desert views for miles and miles. You might experience high winds, but hey, that’s character building.

Caffe Racers on the windy California Aqueduct. (Michele, Brian, Sarge, and Alex)

The flip side of that is that in the city cycling for transportation is more difficult, though not impossible. The people who laid out the roads here did so on a grid pattern with arterials on a mile and half-mile grid. Most of those arterials have very high speed limits of 50, 55, and even up to 65 mph. This makes biking challenging, even on the streets that have bike lanes.

Wide bike lane narrows on Lancaster Blvd