DOT Working to Remove Reseda Blvd. Bike Lane

8_11_09_bike_lane_box.jpgPhoto of SUV parked in Reseda Blvd. bike lane via SoapBoxLA.

Ted Rogers, who’s Biking In LA blog should be required reading for L.A. cyclists, has discovered a plot in the Valley to take out a Bike Lane on Resedal Blvd., along with street parking, to double the car-capacity of the road at rush hour.  Apparently, traffic engineers in the West Valley Department of Transportation decided that not enough cyclists use the lane to justify its existance. 

Remember, the City of Los Angeles doesn’t do bike counts, so how the engineers know this lane is being used by "one or two cyclists" is a mystery. Rogers explains that as normal, the LADOT is still showing the public outreach that led to such spectacular results with the Pico-Olympic plan:

According to BAC Chairperson Glenn Bailey, it only came to light when bike planning engineers
tried to coordinate with the West Valley traffic engineers about
long-standing plans to add another three miles of bike lanes, and
eventually extend the current bike lane the full length of Reseda Blvd.

Instead, they were told not to waste their time. The WVDOT had
already overridden those plans in order to create Peak Hour Lanes along
Reseda Boulevard — meaning that all on-street parking will be banned
during peak hours.

As a result, the three miles of planned bike lanes, which would have
run next to the parking lane, were no longer under consideration. And a
full two miles of the existing bike lanes on both sides of the road
between Van Owen and Ventura Boulevard would have to be removed.

Tonight at 7:00 P.M. the LADOT is sponsoring a motion in support of their plan at the Northridge West Neighborhood Council at 7p, in the auditorium of Beckford Avenue Elementary School, at 19130 Tulsa Street in Northridge.  Bailey and Rogers are doing their best to get the word out on tonight’s meeting and the LADOT’s newest attempt to move as many cars as quickly as possible.

But why should cyclists even car?  If the LADOT is to be trusted, then the lane isn’t fully utilized anyway and as has been referred to as "lame" by other activists?  First, the precedence of removing a bike lane is a bad and dangerous one for a city that already treats like annoying insects.  Remember the resistance formed last summer when the LAPD was considering closing one of the gated entrances to the Ballona Creek Bike Path?  Cyclists in Los Angeles have gotten pretty good at playing defense when the city is ready to rip up bike amenities.  It’s too bad the city hasn’t figured out a way to funnel our energies into supporting good projects instead of fighting bad ones.

  • What does our “green” mayor have to say about this?

  • joe

    Los Angeles is so backwards. Dalas Texas is planning on making 35 miles of new bike lanes this year. Los Angles, with this we might endup breaking even (if you count the river path extention)

    On another note. I like to ride on streets that have no parking on them (avoid the evil doorings). So this all works into my evil cyclist plans. Sucks though that we will never have a real bikeway system in los Angles.

    On that note. I’ve noticed that White Oak blvd is not being used a lot by Cars. Can eliminate the car lanes to increase bike capacity?

  • What does our “green” mayor have to say about it? Probably the same thing Rosendahl, Koretz, Smith and Zine had to say when I asked for their comments:

  • DJB

    Sounds like a good occasion to send out some emails too:
    ladot@lacity.org,
    mayor@lacity.org

    This is happening in Council District 12 right?
    If so, that’s Councilmember Greg Smith:
    councilmember.smith@lacity.org

  • Derek

    Looks like most of the bike lane is in the door zone anyway. Tell them it’s okay to remove the bike lane as long as they replace it with sharrows in the right lane.

  • I have found out that a lot of roads are designed NOT for the posted speed limit, but 10 km or 5 m OVER the posted speed limit. Surprise, a lot of motor vehicles actually go over the posted limit. Can a bicycle even reach the posted limit? Maybe downhill, but you may risk injury or death by getting doored at that speed. So bicyclists may avoid roads with speeds higher than they can pedal.

    What is needed is either actually build roads to the posted speed limit, or build barriers or buffers between motor vehicle traffic and bicycles.

  • joe

    A speed limit is not a “required speed”. There is no law that says slower traffic needs to stay off roads that they cannot achieve the speed limit. The law actually requires slower traffic (like bikes, busses and trucks) to stay to the right unless they are intending on turning (to make left or right turns)

    Often on roads like Reseda and Ventura durring rush hour, I pass busses. Because of congestion and amount of riders these busses never really get a chance to ever get to the speed limit.

    In your logic, those busses that I pass should take other slower roads to allow for more speedy cyclists.

  • California’s minimum speed law only applies to highways. It appears that you can go as slow as you please in the right-hand lane on a street. Other traffic can always pass on the left if it is safe to do so. Until it’s safe to do so, they have to wait.

  • biker not

    if ladot is so not trustworthy, why don’t you try getting a job there? you could make a difference. or you could learn the fun of dealing with whole lot of selfish road users, including bikers, drivers, etc etc etc.

  • There are people more qualified than I who hold similar views who have applied for spots. Needless to say that they weren’t chosen for any of those jobs.

    And why would I want to work for an agency I don’t trust?

  • Rhode Block

    the LADOT is fucking evil. at the Northridge NC meeting there was also a discussion about removing a crosswalk because “it’s not as safe as it could be, and since there is no budget to make it safer, we should remove it.”

  • The “no budget” argument is easily countered. There are pots of millions of dollars available for projects that would make the streets safer for pedestrians. The LADOT goes after car projects and ignores other funds, like TDM and clean air money. They don’t have the skillz to apply for the extra money they claim they need.