Monthly Archive: September 2016

Las Vegas Rolls Out Downtown Bike-Share

A Las Vegas bike-share station (Credit: RTC) 

Las Vegas launched its first bike-share system Friday with 180 bikes at 21 stations across downtown in a soft opening, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The official start date will be in October.

The program is overseen by BCycle, the same company that operates bike-share systems in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Houston. The bikes will cost $4 for 30 minutes, $8 for 24 hours or $20 for a monthly pass, payable at one of the solar-powered kiosks with a credit card or through the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s new transit app. The app, RideRTC, also shows kiosk locations and the number of available bicycles.

A $1 million federal grant covered 95 percent of the costs for the bicycles, equipment and payment software, and RTC paid for the rest. It will cost about $63,000 monthly to maintain the program. David Swallow, RTC’s senior director of engineering and technology, told the Review-Journal that those costs will be covered by membership fees and business sponsors.

Many of the kiosks are along or near downtown’s new green bicycle lanes. Swallow says the bike-share will help with first mile/last mile connections to public transit. The bike-share aligns with the goals outlined in the city’s Master Plan released in April, which calls for more public transportation options, as well as a denser, more vibrant urban core. Plans are also moving ahead for a light rail connecting downtown to McCarran Airport, UNLV, Freemont East and the medical district, and free WiFi is rolling out for bus riders soon.

Analysts: L.A. Street Makeover Shows Road Diets Work

Rowena Avenue in 2016 (Credit: Google Street View)

LADOT made the largely unpopular move three years ago to give a thoroughfare in the Silver Lake neighborhood a safety makeover. Reducing Rowena Avenue’s four lanes to two and adding a center left turn lane, they argued, would slow down cars, improve visibility and cut down on crashes between cars and bicyclists and pedestrians.

At the time, nearby residents voiced concerns that the well-intentioned redesign would increase traffic and motivate drivers to take neighboring residential streets instead. A petition even called on the city to provide an alternative solution, saying the project could “wreck havoc” on their streets.

In a Thursday opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times, however, two data scientists say those fears were unfounded. Dave Goodsmith and Ben Van Dyke reached out to LADOT for the data on traffic patterns the city collects using sensors in the asphalt. The data collected along Rowena Avenue from before and after the changes were made in 2013 show no change in traffic volume, and average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph.

Collision data from the California Highway Patrol also show that car crashes dropped after the project was implemented. In 2008 and 2010, there were six crashes where unsafe speed was a contributing factor. There were no crashes involving unsafe speeds in 2013 and 2015. Collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists also declined.

The authors write:

“Beyond safety, road diets make streets more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists, bringing us closer to a future Los Angeles unburdened by the polluted, traffic-choked stereotype that exists today. Our analysis of the Rowena project confirms that road diets work — even in the most congested city in America.”

Goodsmith and Van Dyke were unable to address the issue of cut-through traffic on residential streets, as there aren’t sensors installed on the most likely alternative route. (The rising popularity of Waze and other navigational apps could be a factor too, if there was a spike in side-street traffic.)

The data on Rowena Avenue’s road diet could help boost support for similar adjustments slated for other parts of Los Angeles as part of its Mobility Plan 2035.

On the market: Apartment in the Berthold Lubetkin-designed grade I-listed Highpoint building in London N6

Of course we have featured the building before and each time we have, it has proven incredibly popular. That’s why we are flagging up this apartment in the Berthold Lubetkin-designed grade I-listed Highpoint building in London N6, which has just landed on the market. You know all about it I’m sure. Highpoint is a 1930s […]