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.”
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!