With gas prices, interest rates and unemployment steadily rising, more and more people have turned to biking and public transportation to get around the city. Have you noticed the trend? And, why not? You get lots of exercise. You save tons of money on car insurance and gas. And, Los Angeles County has not turned a blind eye to this growing trend.
According to a recent report on Zev Yaroslavsky’s official blog, on September 13, 2011, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will post volunteers in 50 locations during rush hour to count riders in downtown L.A., the Westside, and the San Fernando Valley. The volunteers will be asked to count bikes and record details about each rider, including gender, whether a helmut is used, if they are on the sidewalk or road and if they are observing traffic laws.
The numbers, along with the information collected, will be compared to data collected in 2009, when L.A.s’ first bike count in twenty years recorded more than 14,000 cyclists in our city. The results will be used to help city and county governments plan and develop infrastructure to make local streets more bike-friendly.
Bikes, trikes, wheelchairs and suitcases
Did you know that Metro is currently conducting a summer internship program in which teams of student interns jump aboard Metro trains and approach customers at Metro stations to spread the word that bikes – as well as wheelchairs, suitcases and other large items – now have a designated place on Metro trains? It’s true.
Yaroslavsky’s blog also reported that Alice Tolar, a Metro transportation planning manager, is overseeing the new program. The idea is to thank riders who already know where to put their bikes and to educate those who may not know the routine. In addition to reinforcing good behavior, the interns will be handing out brochures that detail the agency’s current bike policies.
Some of the improvements Metro is making to make trains more bicycle-friendly, include reconfiguring train car interiors to accommodate more space for bikes and designated areas and marked spaces for bikes and other large items. The intern outreach program and the train car reconfiguration are elements of a broader effort by Metro to boost ridership by increasing its bicycle-friendliness.
For some of the students, the internship is good experience for future careers in urban planning or transportation. For others, it’s a way to start a professional resume. Either way, if you see them on your train – they will be wearing bright orange t-shirts – make sure you say ‘hello.’
Source: Zev Yaroslavsky’s Official Blog