Daily News Spotlights Orange Line Bike Trail, Slow Pace for Bike Improvements

2_2_09_laist.jpgLitter and Debris Piled on the Side of Orange Line Bike Path

In both an editorial yesterday and an article today the Daily News took a strong position that local governments are not doing enough to support cyclists, especially those that use the Orange Line Bike Path.

Yesterday, an editorial called for increased  funding for bike amenities along the Orange and other transit lines.  The Daily News notes:

The MTA board budgeted $500,000 for the bike storage containers – $100,000 each year for the next
five years. They’ll install 80 lockers in the San Fernando Valley
before the summer. Great, but there is already a list of 200 cyclists
citywide who hope to snag a locker.

There is a wide-open window of opportunity right now to boost
the regular ranks of public transportation users, thanks to the state
of the economy. MTA board members should seize the moment (not the
half-decade) and accelerate the funding to get lockers installed
sooner. The next spike in gasoline prices is right around the corner,
and the MTA should be ready to accommodate new transit and bicycle
commuters when that happens.

Today, the Daily News followed up on that writing by slamming the state of the Orange Line bike path.  Repeating some of the reporting that appeared last week on LAist.  In short, while the physical state of the path is still great, it has also become a home for vagrants, or as LAist put it, "Orange Line Bike Path Turning into Mini Skid Row."

As planners continue to think about construction of a bike path to run parallel to the Expo Line, hopefully they’ll take into account some of the problems going on in the Valley.

Photo: LAist

  • My wife and I use the orange line bike path for recreation on the weekends, between sepulveda and White Oak, and pass by the area where I think this photo was taken. There are basically two areas in that range where it’s likely that vagrants are living. 1.) immediately west of where the path crosses under the 405 freeway, and 2.) amongst the trees where the path slaloms along Victory. I have seen only one site along the 2.5 mile section of path we use where a vagrant was clearly living, however.

    All that said, I would venture to guess that the orange line bike path is an example of a SUCCESSFUL bike path project. If we surveyed all the bike paths in the county, I would bet that the orange line path falls near the bottom of the list in terms of paths needing funds for beautification and repair. How about the L.A. River bike path or the Ballona Creek bike path, for example?

    To be honest, I’d much rather the money be spent to build MORE bike paths throughout the county than to somehow make it harder for vagrants to live in the wooded area along the orange line bike path.

  • I 100% agree with David above. As a frequent user of the Orange Line bike path, on the whole, it’s just fine. I’d like to see MORE real bike paths like it around town (and connecting current ones), rather than see money spent to keep a couple of vagrants out. Maybe some more ‘three-bike’ bike-racks on busses like the ones on the Orange Line busses too!

  • That picture isn’t random trash, it’s where someone lives.

    I used to do the FoLAR clean up and I would always be really bothered by people who would just pick up someone’s bed and throw it away, even when it was obvious that someone was sleeping in a spot.

    I know people view it as a mini-skidrow, but its where people live and what are the supposed to do? They are people and with the economy going the way it is that could be alot of people who formerly where viewed as “normal.”

    Browne

  • How much could it cost for the the MTA (or the LADOT?) to get their act together and hire an overpaid contractor to do the bike path cleanup for them?

    One thing that cyclists on off-road bike paths have going against them is the CA Supreme Court ruling in Prokop vs. City of Los Angeles – which found that an off-road bike path (such as this one) is not subject to the same safety requirements that a normal roadway has.

    That is to say, if a road is badly designed and poorly maintained, the City of L.A. would be responsible for your injuries if you hurt yourself driving on that road.

    If you’re a bike rider on a bike path like the one next to the Orange Line, and the lack of maintenance has left the bike path a rutted mess filled with garbage and leaves – if you were to hurt yourself because of the poor state of the bike path, you would not be able to hold the City of L.A. liable for the injuries you sustained.

    Yay for the justice system.

  • John

    Ya, it is about time that people realize that we are rapidly turning into a third world country. Oh, give the homeless bums what they want, just as long as they don’t bother me. That seems to be the attitude here, just leave them alone and no harm will come to anyone. I say, bullshit. Enough with this, we need to start sending these illegals, as most of them are, back to their country and do it at their country’s expense. If you really want to do something about the homeless situation, here in Los Angeles, then help the city put these people to work repairing sidewalks, fixing potholes, painting government buildings, teach thesee people a trade don’t just give them a handout. The Chinese have a saying and it goes something like this “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for life”. Try it sometime, you might be amazed at what can be accomplished.

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