I'm live-blogging from the School of Public Affairs, where Ryan Snyder, a UCLA alumnus, is giving a presentation called "Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Go Mainstream". He's one of the most well-respected bike and pedestrian planners in the United States, and I'm very privileged to be able to sit on our graduate program's alumni council together.

Today, I'm joined by START to listen and live-blog the lecture; this should be a good crash course on bike/ped planning for them.

11:06 AM - RS described working as a bike/ped planner as "quite lonely" in the early years.  He says bike and pedestrian needs have gained more visibility over the years. This is a global phenomenon now because more and more people GET IT.

11:09 AM - RS explains that there is a strong nexus between improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and ameliorating public health problems, like obesity. He does this by showing slides of obesity slides among adults across the United States.

Live-blogging on a budget: Slide of suburban streetscape. Ryan asks, Would YOU want to walk there?

11:12AM - Points out the benefits of walkable business districts and quality neighborhoods

11:14 AM - Ryan asks students, "What are the benefits of walkable streets?"

  • Point to Point flexibility: When people consider door-to-door travel time, the car often becomes more desirable. Using transit can be time-consuming, as most users have to include waiting time into total travel time.
  • Low out of pocket costs
  • Exercise
  • Enjoyable
  • Independence

11:16 AM - Ryan shows bicycle mode split for cycling in cities around the US in the year 2000; he notes that the bike mode share has risen in cities like Santa Monica and Portland, which implemented comprehensive bicycle master plans in the 2000.

  • Davis: 14.4%
  • Santa Monica: 1.1%
  • Portland - 1.8% in 2000; risen to about 6%

11:19 AM - Why don't people cycle as much?

  • Traffic
  • Adverse weather
  • Inadequate parking (really?)
  • Too slow

What would encourage people to cycle more?

  • Safe bike lanes
  • Financial incentives
  • Showers and storage
  • Rise in gas prices**** (said by 38% of active riders, 15% of all adults)

11:21 AM - What cyclists need:

  • Good streets or bikeways
  • Bike parking
  • Transit connectivity
  • Showers and clothing lockers
  • Education and promotion.

11:22 AM - How are candidates for bike routes chosen? RS says he first looks at maps, to identify linkages between with key destinations.

  • Provide a network
  • Ways that help people feel safer
  • Are reasonably long
  • Have bicycle-friendly traffic control at intersections

What Ryan calls a "super bike sharrow" in Long Beach, CA.

Ryan talked about Class 3 bike infrastructure. Here at UCLA, we have sharrows along many roads, including CEY, Westwood Plaza, and Tiverton Ave, since our roads aren't wide enough to accomodate a separate Class II Bike Lane

11:33 AM: Ryan notes that bicycle circles (similar to traffic circles, except for bikes) are becoming really popular with cyclists, since they provide a way for cyclists to negotiate through intersections without deaccelerating.

11:35AM - Shows picture of bike lane in China that was 20m wide in late 1980s. (I say "was" because apparently it has been modified since then.)

11:35AM -  Mentions Ciclovia in Bogota, Columbia; there will be one launching in September (?? RS said it so fast that I didn't catch it, and can't find verification of this online.)

11:42AM - Ryan shows a picture of Westwood Village to exemplify the social and health benefits of grid street infrastructure in fostering a ped friendly environment. Also, he says, We want to avoid cul-de-sacs!

11:47AM Ryan talks about pedestrian retrofits that can be done to improve safety and experience at freeway on-and off-ramps: Narrowing; ensuring that the crosswalk is at a 90-degree angle (so that motorists can see pedestrians and cyclists).

What can be done to make freeway on ramps safer and less daunting for pedestrians.