New Bike Lanes in East San Fernando Valley

New bike lanes on Chandler Boulevard in North Hollywood

For New Year’s Day I headed up to the San Fernando Valley to check out two new bike lane segments. Bike lanes striped recently:

  • Tuxford Street – 1.3 miles from Lankershim Blvd to Glenoaks Blvd – in Sun Valley
  • Chandler Boulevard – 0.9 miles from Woodman Ave to Leghorn Ave – in North Hollywood (near Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks)

These are both fairly cheap, easy, low-hanging fruit projects; they both squeeze new bike lanes in without removing any existing lanes. These wide excess-capacity street are still fairly common in the San Fernando Valley – so that’s why most of the city’s recent new bike lane mileage has taken place there.

These projects are also both worthwhile gap closures.

The new Tuxford Street lanes connect with existing bike lanes on Glenoaks and on Roscoe. One more block northeast and they’ll also connect with the La Tuna Canyon Road bike lanes (and that last block looks like it’s in the city’s 5-year implementation plan - though the 5-year plan says “Tuxford from Glenoaks to Sunland” – the street forks, half of it turning into La Tuna Canyon Road. The 5-year plan map [which has been removed from the city bike plan websites] shows La Tuna – so we’ll see.)

New bike lanes on Tuxford Street in Sun Valley

The new Tuxford lanes are in a nearly entirely industrial area. When I was there on New Year’s Day, I only spotted one cyclist who was stopped. When I asked him, in my broken Spanish, if I could take his photo, he declined. So my shot of the new lanes regrettably doesn’t show any cyclists.

The city’s recent bikeway implementation report shows the distance for these as “0.58 miles” but google maps has them as 1.3 miles. According to that city report, they were completed on September 23rd 2011.

Here’s a map showing both of the new bike lane segments (in green) and the existing bike lanes that they connect with (in blue.) The upper diagonal green is Tuxford, the lower horizontal green is Chandler:

The new lanes on Chandler Blvd extend west where the Orange Line bike path begins – veering diagonally northwestward from Chandler. That’s at a little street called Leghorn, which is located one block east of Coldwater Canyon Avenue. So… these new lanes bridge the gap between the exising bike lanes along the Orange Line busway (from Leghorn to the NoHo Station) and the existing lanes from Woodman to Van Nuys.

Before the Orange Line opened, this was the way I used to bike across the Valley. It’s a fairly quiet, residential street, with a great mature tree canopy. On New Years, there were plenty of cyclists, apparently having fun recreation on their first ride of the year.

Cyclist enjoying the new Chandler Boulevard bike lanes

Both of these segments were approved as part of the city’s Bike Plan, aproved in March 2011. Neither of them are in the city’s 5-Year Implementation Strategy document.

So… going back to the listing of bike lanes implemented by the city of Los Angeles in the first six months of FY11-12 (which I listed earlier here), here’s a revised version – again listed roughly in completion date order:

  • Wentworth (Wheatland – Foothill) 1.30 miles
  • Woodley (Saticoy – Sherman) 0.28 mile
  • Jefferson (La Brea – La Cienega) 0.99 mile
  • 7th Street (Catalina – Figueroa) 2.20 miles
  • 1st Street (Boyle – Lorena) 1.60 miles
  • Cahuenga (Odin – Yucca) 0.60 mile
  • Reseda Blvd (Roscoe – Parthenia) 0.50 mile
  • Tuxford (Lankershim – Glenoaks) 1.3 miles
  • Vermont Avenue (Del Amo – Knox) 0.54 miles
  • Spring Street (Chavez – 9th) 1.50 miles
  • Washington Place (Albright – Grand View) 0.77 mile
  • Chandler Blvd (Leghorn – Woodman) 0.88 mile
  • TOTAL 12.46miles

So, looking at the overall mileage… the good news is that 12.46 miles is significantly more than the city has generally done in 6 months. From 1996 to 2009, the city averaged about 5 miles of new bike lanes installed each year – so 12.5 is five times the city’s 2.5 average – coool! The bad news is that it doesn’t look like the city is on track to reach the mayor’s pledge to “build 40 miles of bikeways a year.” We’ll see. There are still plenty of these relatively easy, cheap, quick bikeways that they can do – and still half a year to go!

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3 thoughts on “New Bike Lanes in East San Fernando Valley

  1. Having ridden the new lanes on Spring Street to get through Downtown (and not just to gawk and smile at LA’s new lanes), news of these lanes in the Valley have me feeling a little giddy about what the future might bring. Granted, this is small-time stuff – but compared to how crappy things, to see some actual progress is great!

  2. Chandler Blvd is one of the most comfortable streets to ride in a bike lane for the San Fernando Valley. Unfortunately, traffic moves much too fast on most arterial streets in the valley to make biking a quick and comfortable way to get around.

    I just recently realized that having mixed use paths in the valley could make students amongst the biggest utility bike users there if enough bicycle friendly streets connected to the paths. Think of a path as the trunk and bicycle friendly streets as its branches that could make biking comfortable enough for some elementary or middle school students.

    Connecting bike lanes to the Orange Line has been a major priority for recent bikeways installation in the valley. But, consider that the transit boardings for the entire San Fernando Valley are about what they are in city council district 9. That’s a reason why I concluded that installing bike friendly streets connecting to the upcoming Canoga Ave path, instead of prioritizing bike lanes, could make students a high precentage of the bikers for the west-end of the valley.

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