Bicycle ridership up in Los Angeles

05/12/2014 1:58 pm0 commentsViews: 48

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The number of people bicycling in Los Angeles is up
7.5 percent since 2011, according to a report out today.
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition released the results of a six-
hour bike count conducted over several days in September 2013.
The count was done at 120 different locations around the city, with
volunteers recording a total of 18,000 bicyclists.
Bicycle ridership was heaviest during the afternoon and evening commute
hours, compared weekend and morning commute hours, suggesting that people
bicycle mainly for transportation, according to the report.
Bicyclists tend to prefer areas with dedicated bike facilities, such as
bike paths and streets with bike lanes, the report suggests.  Following the

Biking in Los Angeles Photo by Gary McCarthy

Biking in Los Angeles
Photo by Gary McCarthy

installation of bike lanes and so-called sharrows — lanes on minor streets
shared by car and bicycle traffic — bicycling in some areas more than doubled,
according to the report.
The report also suggests a gender disparity in bicycle ridership, with
female bicyclists making up less than a fifth of the bicyclists counted. The
disparity was “lowest on the highest quality bikeway,” with the disparity
most pronounced “on streets with no bike facilities at all,” according to the
report.
The report’s authors said “cities with streets that are safe and
comfortable for bicycling tend to have smaller gender disparities in rates of
bicycling,” concluding that “when bicycle networks are designed to be both
safe and comfortable, people don’t need a high risk tolerance to bicycle for
everyday transportation.”
Wherever there was bike infrastructure, there was also less instances of
rules being flouted. Bicyclists were less inclined to use sidewalks or go the
wrong way on streets with bike facilities, the report also said.
The report recommends adopting an “8 to 80” standard in the city’s
2035 mobility plan that aims to make bicycling accessible and comfortable for
people with a wider range of ages from the young to the old.
It also recommends that the city work with the Los Angeles Unified
School District to incorporate bike safety into its physical education
curriculum.
Another recommendation was to have the city do regular bike and
pedestrian counts and to use the data to guide its transportation planning.
Councilman Mike Bonin announced the report’s results during the kick-off
of Bike Week L.A., a week-long slate of bike-related activities such as a
bicycle blessing event and a bike-to-work day on Thursday.

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