LOS ANGELES – City Councilmember Mike Bonin is calling on the city to do a better job of how it counts bicyclists and pedestrians, so that policymakers can make more informed decisions about transportation policy as a 21st century public transit infrastructure is built in Los Angeles.
“A better understanding of how many people walk and bike on our streets will lead to better decisions as we create a transportation future in Los Angeles that doesn’t solely rely on cars,” said Bonin.
Bonin submitted a motion to the Council today, which seeks to update the method used by LADOT to gather data about pedestrian and bicyclists in Los Angeles, in order to allow that data to be incorporated with a Bicycle Data Clearinghouse – a standardized way bicycle data is collected in cities throughout Los Angeles County. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), in collaboration with Metro and UCLA, recently established the Bicycle Data Clearinghouse and invited local municipalities to both share the data they collect and to make data available to the general public. The information compiled through the Clearinghouse provides an essential metric for policymakers to make informed choices about future transportation priorities.
Additionally, Bonin is requesting that the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) report to the Council’s Transportation Committee about the results of the 2013 citywide “Bike and Ped Count,” which is being conducted by volunteers at 120 locations at key intersections in all parts of the city today and this Saturday. This is the third Bike and Ped count, which is organized by LACBC and LA Walks. In 2009, the Bike and Ped Count counted 14,000 bicyclists and 62,000 pedestrians. In 2011, volunteers counted more than 15,000 bicyclists and 75,000 pedestrians.
On Tuesday morning, Bonin stopped by one of the Bike and Ped Count sites to meet with volunteers conducting the counts.
“For too long, our city’s focus has been on cars, and not on communities – despite the evidence that walking and cycling promote healthy lifestyles and reduce pollution and traffic congestion,” said Bonin. “We have, from various sources, an abundance of data on auto trips; yet very little is known about the rates of people walking or bicycling in Los Angeles. The Bike and Ped Count volunteers are helping to change that and I am very grateful for their work.”
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