BikeSGV is VERY excited to report that an ambitious new regional active transportation planning effort has just kicked off in the San Gabriel Valley!
Designed to build upon the successful 5-City SGV Regional Bicycle Master Plan unanimously adopted by the Cities of Monterey Park, Baldwin Park, El Monte, South El Monte and San Gabriel in 2014, the follow-up effort will provide local "Active Transportation Plans" (i.e. biking AND walking plans) to five SGV communities currently without: the Cities of Montebello, La Puente, Irwindale, Glendora and Monrovia.
Equally exciting, the regional effort (hereafter Phase 2) will also include a Greenway Feasibility Study to identify the 50 miles of storm channels best suited for short-term greenway development!
ActiveSGV: Get Involved
Timeline for Phase 2 is expected to run through October 2018, with community engagement in the process strongly encouraged! One easy way to do so is to take the plan community input survey, available online here.
If you'd like to sign-up to volunteer for this ambitious new regional project, please let us know here; volunteers are needed to assist with local Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts, community street audits on foot and bike, and community meetings over the next 12 months.
On December 15th the South El Monte City Council became the 5th and final project City to formally adopt their city-section of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Bicycle Master Plan! The Council's unanimous vote in favor of the plan left the project with a perfect, 25-0 record by local leaders.
A huge thank you to all the members of the public, city staff, public health professionals and other supporters who shepherded this project from an idea in 2010 to a funded project and finally an adopted plan.
Although project funding for this effort was cut short by the US Congress, ending prematurely in September 2014, we are confident the final plan's many supporters will help ensure that implementation moves forward even without dedicated staff to assist the 5 project cities. However, that will only be possible if local residents like you continue to stay active and support the development of safer, more bicycle and pedestrian friendly streets!
Stay tuned and stay involved!
On November 25th, 2014, the City of El Monte unanimously passed several key items significant to advancing community health, including a local Complete Streets policy and the El Monte Bike Plan portion of the regional plan!
On hand to celebrate this auspicious moment and provide comment to local leaders were the Day One El Monte team of staff and Youth Advocates, as well as 30-40 community residents from El Monte and the greater San Gabriel Valley! With glow bracelets, Christmas lights, bright reflective tape and neon signs, the group demonstrated the importance of visibility for pedestrians and bikers.
To underline the need for streets that accommodate all road users, the DO youth advocates also put together and screened a video highlighting why "Complete Streets" were important to them.
With the passage of both policies the City of El Monte is one step closer to becoming a more bike-and-pedestrian friendly community. We extend a huge thank you to all those who made this possible, particularly Councilwoman Victoria Martinez, Mountain View High School, El Monte/South El Monte Chamber of Commerce, El Monte Union High School Board, First 5 LA/Best Start- El Monte/South El Monte, Wolfpack Fitness, South El Monte Arts Posse, and many more!
In a 5-0 vote, the San Gabriel City Council became the first of the five SGV Bike Plan project cities to formally adopt their city-level plan on Tuesday September 16, the same day the state of California's new 3-foot safe passing law went into effect.
Over 30 local residents and plan supporters attended the meeting, the vast majority of whom stuck until well after 9pm, when the item was finally heard by the Council. Following a staff report outlining the plan and process to date (e.g., previous 5-0 City Planning Commission vote in favor of adoption), the floor was opened up to members of the public. Speakers included San Gabriel locals Manuel Mabra and John Saliamonas, public health advocate and resident Scott Chan of the Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance, San Gabriel School Board Member Denise Menchaca, Alhambra resident Michael Lawrence, Project Manager Javier Hernandez, and Eastside Bike Club founder and President Carlos Morales.
The meeting was then turned over for Council discussion. Council Member Julie Costanzo, in underlining her support for the plan, shared that a cousin who did everything right as a cyclist (i.e., proper gear, riding technique) was killed by a motorist and that the City can and should do more to make its streets safer for people on bikes, especially children. Council Member Sawkins echoed safety concerns, and noted he would support the addition of Class II Bike Lanes to San Gabriel Blvd., if feasible.
Mayor John Harrington, a father of two girls, told those in attendance of his experiences riding with his family in the City. A strong supporter of the plan, he noted that San Gabriel should be a City where "we can hop on the bike with the kids and be safe". The Mayor also shared that "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Council Member Chin Ho Liao thanked SGV Bike Plan Project Manager Javier Hernandez and city staff for all their hard work in developing the plan to date, and urged the City to continue to partner with BikeSGV and Day One on future grants to help fund plan implementation.
Vice Mayor Jason Pu closed out the comments by motioning to adopt the plan. After being seconded by Council Member Costanzo, the final vote was unanimous in favor, with the additional direction to staff to study the potential for adding Class II Bike Lanes to San Gabriel Blvd., an improvement not listed in the draft plan.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed to tonight's result and helped make the SGV Bike Master Plan project possible, including the consulting team at Alta Planning and the Day One and BikeSGV teams who dedicated countless hours to shepherding the vision for a regional bike plan in the San Gabriel Valley from concept to reality!
Over the past year Day One staff and BikeSGV volunteers have worked hand-in-hand with 5 cities - Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Baldwin Park, El Monte and South El Monte - to develop the San Gabriel Valley's first regional bicycle master plan.
Designed to encourage healthier, more active lifestyles by creating an interconnected bicycle network that is safe and easily accessible for people of all ages and abilities, the plan is currently being reviewed by local residents, stakeholders and decision-makers.
Please take a moment review the below maps and share any comments here.
El Monte, South El Monte Bikeway Recommendations Map
Download draft bikeway maps
On Saturday April 12th a group of SGV Bike Plan volunteers, San Gabriel City staff, and project staff headed out to conduct a "Community Street Audit" of sections of 8 local streets.
Why? Community Street Audits are a great way to evaluate the quality of local streets from the viewpoint of the people who use them. Street audits are typically conducted by walking or biking a 4 to 6-mile predetermined route with a small group of 6-10 people consisting of residents, stakeholders, elected officials, city staff, and/or technical consultants among others. The purpose of a community street audit is to help:
A huge thanks to all those who participated in the San Gabriel street audit!
On Saturday April 5, 2014 a group of Monterey Park students and local residents joined SGV Bike Plan project staff to conduct a community street audit. Traveling by bicycle along a route identified for potential bicycle improvements by community residents at an earlier workshop, participants had the opportunity to experience and document existing conditions along a variety of MPK streets, suggest specific improvements on individual forms, and provide feedback and questions directly to staff. The group stopped at four pre-determined locations, including Mark Keppel High School, to capture notes for each section of the traversed route. One of 5 community audit rides conducted in each project city, the the activity provided an excellent opportunity for a diverse group of residents to learn more about the SGV Bike Plan project and shape the draft plan's recommendations. Many thanks to all the volunteers who made the event a success!
More often than not, bicyclists and pedestrians are typically not included in traffic counts. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 20% of all trips in LA County are on foot or by bike while 39% of roadway fatalities are pedestrians or bicyclists. Yet, statewide investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure remain less than 1% of the total transportation budget. Conducting bike/ped counts is critical for understanding our complete transportation system especially as investments in efficient, multi-beneficial and affordable modes of transit become more widely prioritized. Bike/ped counts help:
Many cities have recognized the value of biking and walking and have therefore conducted their own respective counts. However, due to varying count methods, the resulting data sets paint a regionally-skewed picture of biking/walking usage and behavior. In 2013, The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) created and released a standard manual for counting bicyclists and pedestrians.
The SGV Bike Master Plan seeks to establish baseline bike/ped data in the San Gabriel Valley to compare across multiple-jurisdictions, especially partnering cities. El Monte and South El Monte were prioritized for counts due to recently approved and soon to be installed bikeways in each city. With 2013 rapidly coming to a close, project staff coordinated the first ever bike/ped counts in the San Gabriel Valley using the new count manual.
Thanks to the dedicated Day One family and BikeSGV volunteers, a total of 42 counts, at 16 locations over 6 days plus one day of training was completed. Once the data is cleaned, organized and analyzed a final report will be produced and shared.
Many thanks to the many volunteers that sacrificed their early mornings, early evenings and Saturday afternoons to sit street-side counting cyclists and pedestrians (even in the rain). Your support directly influences bike/ped improvements in our beloved SGV.
December 2013 has been a stellar month for the SGV Bike Master Plan. For the first time, residents within the cities of Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Baldwin Park El Monte and South El Monte were afforded opportunities to weigh-in on the development of the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Master Plan through a series of workshops.
Unlike a traditional "sit, listen and watch a powerpoint presentation," the first round of jurisdiction-wide workshops were designed with the goal of optimizing community participation through active engagement. The workshop platform was divided into individual stations that were designed to capture specific feedback from participants. Each station had a different but related theme, which included:
To ensure that the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Master Plan reflects the wants and needs of local residents and regional stakeholders the project has placed a big emphasis on community feedback. The first draft of the plan is expected to be released in April 2014. Until then, you can surely expect more workshops and opportunities to weigh-in on the future of a bike-able San Gabriel Valley.
If you haven't already, please take a moment to explore this website to learn more about the SGV Bike Master Plan. Also, don't forget to complete the General Bicycle Survey and subscribe to the project newsletter to be up-to-date on upcoming events, workshops, bike rides and more.