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.