Eyes on the Street: Oh, Wilbur…

All pictures by Glenn Bailey

Traveling Southbound on Wilbur

Have you ever tried to brake on pine needles?

If the newly-restriped .3 mile area of Wilbur Avenue was supposed to be a compromise between the LADOT, City Council Office, advocates of fast moving car traffic, bicyclists and residents, it appears the LADOT put the politics of the situation over the road diet ahead of responsible engineering.

Glenn Bailey, a mayoral appointee to the city’s bike advisory committee, snaps these three pictures of the restriped area, each of which presents its own problems.

The first picture is clearly the oddest.  Bailey snapped this picture of a “cars in the right hand lane must turn right,” which makes little sense as the “right hand lane” is supposed to be a bike lane.  If cyclists are proceeding south and motor vehicles are required to turn right from their lane across the path of cyclists, this is inherently dangerous and a potential liability for the City.

The second picture places the bike lane on the other side of the right-hand turn lane, which is inconsistent with the first photo.  To make matters worse, there is no signage designating the turn lane at the next intersection.

Last, we’ve already noted that the new bike lanes have been moved to the gutter, are covered in slippery pine needles, and that nobody is taking responsibility for keeping the lanes clean andsafe.  That situation remains unchanged.  To make matters worse, the “Mayall Merge” that Don Ward refers to in his videos is a high-speed merge.  When you combine high speed cars and bikes that lose control on the pine needles, what was once a “road diet” becomes a death trap waiting to happen.