Main Street Bike Lanes Coming to Downtown L.A.

Former striping has been cleared from Downtown L.A.'s Main Street - in anticipation of bike lanes to be added this weekend

In anticipation of new bike lanes, the old lane markings have been scraped away from Main Street in Downtown Los  Angeles. It’s the second Main Street that the city is adding bike lanes to – after Main Street in Venice a couple weeks ago. This project extends the recent Spring Street bike lanes southward 0.7 miles – from 9th Street (where Spring merges onto Main) all the way to Venice Boulevard – through Downtown L.A.’s Fashion District.

Also downtown this weekend, the city is testing some new green paint products to see what might hold up better than the extisting paint which is looking a bit ragged.  More information on these projects at the DLANC website.

2 thoughts on “Main Street Bike Lanes Coming to Downtown L.A.

  1. This is great and all but I want bike lanes are implemented with intersection treatment as a standard. There’s not reason for bike lanes to disappear as they approach intersections. LADOT claims they’ll ‘consider’ intersections in future implementation but I don’t see any evidence of that. I mean, my humble opinion is that the least they could do is have dashes, or sharrows through the intersection. It would be an improvement, I think. Bike boxs, green paint at intersections, or a separate bike signal phase could all help make intersections less intimidating to potential bicyclists.

    Kinda funny, where the ER Blvd bike lane crosses York (heading North) dashes for car lanes were striped so this resulted in half the bike lane being striped (the left side) as well through the intersection. As for the right side? Nothing. I understand sometimes intersections just become so cluttered with striping but I can’t see that as reasoning for not doing the same with bicycle facilities.

  2. LA should some check to see if there is any changes in motorist behavior after the lane stripes are taken away. Does traffic slow down significantly?

    Average speed of motorists is a significant deterent to cycling in the San Fernando Valley. Reviewing the LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting agendas since January of 2008, I counted 36 speed increase requests for the San Fernando Valley and only 2 for the rest of the city. At last Wednesdays Transportation Committee meeting a representative from the police department and LADOT essentially admitted that any efforts they have made has not been successful in keeping the motorists within the posted speed limits for the streets mentioned on the agenda that day. This same argument was repeated over and over in the other Transportation Committee meetings that had requests for speed increases.

    Bike lanes, a center median and trees lining both directions on Chandler Blvd have not stopped average speeds from climbing to 45 miles an hour. The SFV is where colored bike lanes and a buffer zone could help rein in excessive speeds by creating a psychological traffic calming affect.

    If LADOT could convince Metro to reduce the required bus lane width and replace that extra space with a buffer zone when a bike lane is installed, then that along with colorization should make the street width look narrower and cause motorists to feel less confident about traveling at 40 miles an hour or higher. A bus will be guided away from car doors with a buffer zone and this will also make it more likely that a bus mirror will not hit a cyclists head from behind. Also, the comfort level of a cyclist will increase by having the noise and speed of the motorists further away.

    Bike lanes alone does not seem to be having a significant affect on increasing the rate of cycling in the San Fernando Valley. I’m riding at different hours and it’s frequently just me, myself and I on several major streets in the SFV, even with bicycle lanes.

    The rate of cycling paralleling the Orange Line bus drops off significantly in the far western side of the San Fernando Valley compared to the east side, and believe me, a practically complete backbone network past Topanga Blvd has not resulted in much bicycling. The distance people are traveling, their average vehicle speed, and ease of parking is a major influence on the amount of cycling for the SFV.

    Bottom line, colored bike lanes and a buffer zone could decrease the average speeds in the SFV and thereby produce a significantly larger cycling rate, whereas cycling lanes alone will not.

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