Grand Opening for New Virgil Avenue Bike Lanes This Saturday

At one point in the protracted Bike Plan processes, the city of Los Angeles labeled the Virgil Avenue bike lanes as “infeasible.” Thanks to persistence from local cyclists, including Eco-Villagers, and leadership from then-Councilmember now-Mayor Eric Garcetti (special thanks to Garcetti’s deputy Marcel Porras), the city is now striping new bike lanes on Virgil Avenue from Santa Monica Boulevard to Melrose Avenue – just northeast of L.A. Eco-Village.

The new Virgil Avenue bike lanes connect to these recent bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood

The new Virgil Avenue bike lanes connect to these recent bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood

The new bike lanes are a road diet – reducing four car lanes to three – adding bike lanes and making the street safer for driving, walking and bicycling. They are beginning to build the East Hollywood portion of the city’s bicycle network by connecting to recent bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard and are very close to bike lanes on Myra and Sunset. You can ride the new Virgil lanes nearly from the Bicycle District to the new home of the Bicycle Kitchen. Woooot! Woooooooot!

Join now-Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell in celebrating the new bike lanes at their grand opening this Saturday January 18th at 9am at Sqirl, 720 N. Virgil.

Here’s the official announcement from City Councilmember O’Farrel’s office:

Please join Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell as we celebrate the newest bike lane project in the City of Los Angeles! Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Some Easy Bike Lane Projects L.A. Can Do Right Away

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.

The city should be fulfilling its pledge with 40 miles of bike lanes - like these lanes recently added to Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard

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. Continue reading

New Bike Lanes on Washington Place

New bike lanes on Washington Place in Mar Vista

Thanks, Vicki Karlan, for taking some great photos of folks riding the new Washington Place bike lanes. The lanes, which were explained in detail at this earlier post, were striped by the Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) last weekend, Saturday December 10th 2011. They extend 0.77 miles – from Albright Avenue to Grand View Boulevard – in L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood, adjacent to Culver City.  Continue reading

Some Good Bicycle News – from Culver City and Mar Vista

New bike lanes on Washington Place in Culver City - alongside Tito's Tacos on Washington Place just west of Sepulveda

I was on the Westside yesterday for L.A. Streetsblog‘s end-of-the-year party (at the wonderful, yummy Earl’s Gourmet Grub on Venice Blvd), so I got the opportunity to ride on Culver City’s new bike lanes on Washington Place and Bentley Avenue. Apologies that it was late at night, hence the really poor photos.  Continue reading

Green Bike Lane Preliminary Markings on First Street

The squares in the foreground will soon be green - one of Los Angeles' first green pavement bike lanes. First Street at State Street in Boyle Heights.

This seems to be the week for announcing the preliminaries appearing on the streets for some good green bike facilities in Los Angeles. Earlier, we showed off the preliminaries on the new green buffered bike lanes on Spring Street downtown. Today it’s the green… well almost green (think Bruce Banner) …preliminaries painted onto First Street in Boyle Heights.  Continue reading