Good News for the Westside: New Bike Lanes Appear on Sepulveda Boulevard

New bike lanes extend from National Boulevard to Venice Boulevard along Sepulveda Boulevard

In April, a pair of North-South bike lanes appeared on 1.2 miles of Sepulveda Boulevard, providing a crucial connection from National Boulevard to the Venice Boulevard bike lanes. The new bike route actually spans two City Council Districts, the 11th District represented by Bill Rosendahl and the 5th District represented by Paul Koretz.

I’ve had the chance to ride the lanes a handful of times since the paint went down on April 2. The ride can be bumpy, and the Northen end of the route tends to attract trucks, especially the large retail stores just south of National Boulevard. Still, the lanes have changed my riding pattern and anecdotally are welcomed by Mar Vista riders. The lanes bring no controversy, they were put in without causing the elimination of any mixed-use travel lanes.

“Every new bicycle project brings us closer to the goal of building a truly multi-modal transportation system here in Los Angeles,” explains Rosendahl. “I’m ecstatic to be part of this transformative period, and while I’m pleased to see the bicycle infrastructure going into place, there’s still no question that much work remains to be done in creating safe conditions for everyone on the road.”

Trucks love bike lanes!

Some of the “much work” that remains is actually just north of the newly completed lanes. The .6 miles from National Boulevard to Exposition has been a hotly debated piece of real estate in recent years. Some residents worry that the coming Expo Line Station will create extra delays for car traffic. To put in bike lanes, a lane of mixed-use travel would have to be eliminated, a non-starter for many residents.

Conversely, for bike advocates, the lanes on Sepulveda would provide a safe connection to the Expo Line for people living south or southwest of the station. For these riders, the promised Expo Bike Path coming from the Southeast isn’t a great option. The lanes exist in the Bike Plan, but LADOT concedes that extending them isn’t a high priority at this point.

But for now, the good news outweighs the bad.  1.2 miles of new bike lanes for the Westside!

  • Irwinc

    It is indeed an welcome addition to the Westside bike infrastructure – the first major north-south street on this side of town with a fully marked bike lane. Another big plus that Damien didn’t mention is that it is connected to the bike lanes on Venice Blvd, which is heavily traveled by westside bike commuters.

    A couple of observations:

    1. I agree with Damien that northern extension to Expo line (and Pico Blvd) will be nice but the only way I see this happening is if street parking is eliminated. That won’t be easy.

    2. While connection to Expo will be ideal when the train arrives at Sepulveda, I think the more critical “missing” link is south of Venice Blvd.The most meaningful addition to bike infrastructure in this part of town is actually connecting Culver Blvd, Ballona Creek, and Venice Blvd (3 east-west bike path/lanes) with north-south bike lanes. To that end, the section of Sepulveda between Venice and Culver Blvd needs to be striped for bike lane ASAP. This is an easy low hanging fruit as it is already a major bike route with a lot of riders and the road here is wide enough. But it is entirely located in Culver City and Culver City is very slow and surprisingly retrograde in its bicycle planning/thinking.

    3. The current northern end of the bike lane near National Blvd is being used by buses and impatient drivers as a cut-though lane for making right turns. Drivers typically enter the bike lane 1 block before they are allowed to enter and speed down the bike lane to bypass stopped car and make right turns on National Blvd. Even Big Blue Bus and Culver City Bus drivers do the same thing. I have witnessed several close calls as cars actually try to pass bicycles riders ON THE RIGHT of marked bike lane… so far no police enforcement whatsoever.

  • Eric B

    Culver City is currently analyzing its portion of Sepulveda for either sharrows or bike lanes depending on road width.  They are aware of these new lanes and are taking them into consideration.

  • Dan Wentzel

    By the way, I was in Toronto last week and saw the following bicycle rental stations.  I look forward to seeing these in Southern California someday.

  • Eric Weinstein

    I ride here frequently. It’s nice to have the new bike lanes for the short bit I’m on Sepulvada. The car seem to behave better, I get more room. And it seemed easier to cross three uphill lanes to turn onto Palms  going Northbound from Venice.  My route is  to zig-zag acoss Mar Vista from Palms to the start of Ocean Park – that much nicer than using major roads.

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