I’ve been pretty critical of the city of Los Angeles Transportation Department’s (LADOT’s) August 2011 announcement to implement lots of sharrows instead of actually implementing the bike plan the city approved in March 2011. Sharrows are wimpy. Bike lanes are proven effective.
Some folks have said: “OK, Joe, you don’t like the city’s sharrows – but what should they be doing?” Generally my answer is: BIKE LANES!
This blog post is a more long-winded response to the question of what projects I think L.A. should be implementing right now. Below I list bikeway projects that I think are good – and that I think that the city of L.A. could move forward with quickly.
I tend to favor easy “low-hanging fruit” projects. I’d love to see protected bike lanes, bike boulevards, road diets… but I think that these will take a relatively long time. Under current city biases, these ambitious projects can take years; so I tend to favor the easier bike lane projects. The good news is that the city is already doing quite a few of these easy projects – for example, recent lanes on Vermont Avenue and Washington Place.
My list below (sorry the framing is getting long, and it’s not over yet) are all EASY bike lane projects – aka low-hanging fruit – specifically:
- Bike LANES – not sharrows, not bike routes, not “bike-friendly streets.”
- NO CAR LANE REMOVAL – Bike lanes that can be implemented in the existing roadway without impacting through-traffic-capacity.
The list below are the cheap, easy, quick projects that can get the city to its pledged 40 miles this fiscal year. My sense is that if the city can actually complete more easy painless bike lane projects, L.A. drivers will see more bike lanes and will come to expect them. Soon, with greater public acceptance, the city can move on to doing additional and more ambitious projects.
I’ve broken my list into three categories. There’s a tiny bit of overlap, but this is how I thought these through, so I’ve kept them in the different groups. Again these are all easy bike lane projects that can be done with no removal of car lane capcity:
- Easy Bike Lane projects in the city 5-year plan (7.8 miles)
- Easy Bike Lane projects on LADOT sharrows list (5.1 miles)
- Easy Bike Lane project LADOT approved but not done (0.8 mile)
1. Easy Bike Lane projects in the Five-Year Implementation Strategy document
These are all easy, no-through-lane removal bike lane projects – all already approved in the city’s 5-Year Implementation Strategy document.
1828 – from Pepper to Figueroa 0.48miles (Cypress Park)
- Bellevue Avenue – from Echo Park to Marion 0.50miles (Angelino Hts)
- Burton Way – from San Vicente to Doheny 0.70miles (Beverly Hills adjacent)
- Colorado Blvd – from Ave 64 to Figueroa 0.50 miles (Eagle Rock)
- Cypress Avenue – from Gay to Figueroa 0.28miles (Cypress Park)
- Eagle Rock Blvd – from Westdale to Colorado 0.70 miles (Eagle Rock)
- Huntington Drive – from Kendall to Collis 1.98miles (El Sereno)
- Marion Avenue – from Sunset to Bellevue 0.10miles (Angelino Hts – contiguous with Bellevue above)
- Rampart Blvd – from Beverly to 6th 0.60miles (Westlake)
- Riverside Drive – from Van Nuys to Tyrone 0.26 (Sherman Oaks)
- San Vicente Blvd – from La Cienega to Wilshire 0.60 (Beverly Hills adjacent – contiguous with Burton Way above)
- Tuxford Street – from Glenoaks to Sunland 0.25miles (Sunland) [listed as Tuxford Street in 5-Year plan, but 5-year map shows this to include part of Tuxford Street and part of La Tuna Canyon Road)
- Washington Place – from Zanja to Centinela 0.40miles (Mar Vista – working with Culver City to extend recently-striped Washington Place lanes in L.A. and in Culver City)
- Westwood Boulevard – from Wellworth to Le Conte 0.50miles (Westwood)
- TOTAL 7.85miles
2. Easy Bike Lane projects on the August 2011 LADOT sharrows list
These locations are all on the ill-considered city sharrows list, which LADOT described as streets “too narrow for bicycle lanes” but actually contained many excellent examples of locations where bike lanes can be added without impacting through-traffic capacity.
- 51st Street – from Hooper to Long Beach Avenue 0.5miles (South L.A.)
- Arden Place – from Arden Blvd to Rossmore 0.05miles (Hancock Park)
- Colden Avenue – from Avalon to Clovis 0.5miles (South L.A.)
- Fountain Avenue – from La Brea to Highland 0.3miles (Hollywood)
- Fountain Avenue – from Vine to Bronson 0.5miles (Hollywood)
- Fountain Avenue – from Western to St. Andrews 0.1miles (Hollywood)
- Laurel Canyon Blvd – from Hamlin St. Oxnard St. 0.6miles (North Hollywood)
- McConnell Avenue – from Culver to Ballona Creek 0.3miles (Mar Vista)
- Redondo Blvd – from La Brea to Jefferson 2.3miles (Mid City)
- TOTAL 5.15 miles
3. Bike Lane project LADOT already approved but that hasn’t been implemented yet
This project is listed on the LADOT website as having been “signed” (approved) in June 2009, but is still awaiting implementation.
- Anaheim Street – from Gaffey to Figueroa 0.8miles (Harbor City)
- TOTAL 0.8miles
- 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 COMPLETED
- Aviation Blvd – from Imperial Hwy to Century 0.98mile (LAX – source Bike Plan Qrtly Report)
- Devonshire Street – from Reseda to Hayvenhurst 2.49miles (Northridge source – Bike Plan Qrtly Report)
- Foothill Blvd – from Wheatland to Wentworth 1.5miles (Lake View Terrace – source Bike Plan Qrtly Report)
- Main Street – from Grand Blvd to city of Santa Monica 0.9miles (Venice – source Bike Plan Qrtly Report)
- Main Street – from 9th to 16th 0.7miles (Downtown – source DLANC website)
- Porter Ranch Drive – from Rinaldi to Corbin 0.5miles (Porter Ranch – source LADOT website)
- Rose Avenue – from Lincoln to 4th 0.47miles (Venice – source Bike Plan Qrtly Report)
- Vermont Avenue – from I105 to 88th Street 2.1miles (South L.A. – source Bike Plan Qrtly Report)
- York Blvd
Avenue– from Avenue 55 to Figueroa 0.9miles (Highland Park – source Bike Plan Qrtly Report)
- TOTAL 10.54miles
- 12.46 miles – completed since July 2011
- 10.54 miles – on LADOT’s lists as coming within a few months
- 13.8 miles – on Joe’s lists of easy bike lane projects
- TOTAL: 36.8 miles
(Big thanks to Julia Lippe-Klein and Charlie Peel for working on this. For anyone interested in double-checking my work, here’s my spreadsheet where I’ve tracked and totaled bike lanes implemented each year, and my recommended projects.)