Middle School Students to Reyes: Build Those Bike Lanes! (Update: Read LADOT Comment Below…)

(Update: I’m leaving the text below unchanged so that peoples notes in the comments section makes sense.  Both LADOT and the Office of Councilman Reyes report that there has been contact between the Councilman and LADOT and that lanes will be built “next year.” – DN)

Two weeks ago, Streetsblog reported on efforts by middle school students at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park to encourage the city to build bike lanes on two streets connecting the community to the school.  While their efforts received something of a brush off from LADOT and Councilman Ed Reyes, the students are showing some tenacity.  B.I.K.A.S., a new advocacy website for bike advocates published more letters from students and the above video is starting to make the rounds with students and administrators making the case for safer bicycling.

In the video Jackson Huang, interviewed by another student who’s name I can’t make out, talks about his love of riding his bike and how it can be a dangerous experience.  Huang also addresses his comments directly to Councilman Reyes, whom LADOT claims could push the bike lane projects to a higher priority level.

“Ed Reyes, if we don’t get those bike lanes, people will get hurt and people will get more flats.  The United States is one of the most obese countries in the world.”

The video goes on to interview Mr. Summer, the Dean of Students, and Enrique Gonzalez, the principal.  Both are regular bike riders. Summer recounts a story of when he was hit by a bike while Gonzalez makes the case for a safer community.

The students aren’t asking for anything that requires a major lift from the city, just a mile of bike lanes to make their commutes safer.  The lanes would be on Cypress Avenue – from Pepper Avenue to Arroyo Seco Avenue (0.48 miles – immediately alongside NMS) and Avenue 28 – from Pepper Avenue to Figueroa Street (0.48 miles – one block from NMS).  Both lanes appear in the city’s bike plan and the city’s 5 year-implementation plan.

LADOT has said they would “love” to accelerate the projects but is waiting for leadership from the Councilman.

  • Reyes’ office contacted us a couple weeks ago to recommend prioritizing
    the project. Lanes on Cypress and Ave. 28 will be installed sometime
    next fiscal year. Once we have a more definite time line figured out,
    we’ll be sure to let everyone know. The push right now is to get to 50
    miles of new bike lanes installed before the current fiscal year is
    over.   

  • Interesting “50 miles of new bikes lanes” this fiscal year?! Wow – 10 miles more than what had been stated before. Still would like to see Cypress and Avenue 28 while these student are still at Nightingale.

  • Dennis Hindman

    Fifty miles is 1.9% of the 2,600 center-line miles for non-residential streets in Los Angeles, or 9.5%, if this pace of bike lane implimentation is maintained for five fiscal years.

  • Dennis Hindman

    Of the largest cities in the United States, Portland had the highest bicycle commuting modal share in 2010, at 6%, according to the Census Bureau American Community Survey. Slightly less than 15% of the primary streets in Portland have bike lanes.

    Davis California, with a population of 65,000, leads the nation in bicycle commuting modal share at 22%, according to the 2010 ACS results. Over 95% of the primary streets in Davis have bike lanes.

  • Dennis Hindman

    Los Angeles would need aboiut 390 miles of bike lanes to equal the 15% of primary streets with bike lanes that Portland has. 

    The 2010 Los Angeles bike plan mentions that 167 miles of bike lanes were in existence at the time the plan was published. Add in 19 miles of bike lanes from the last fiscal year and the total comes to 186. If 50 miles are installed this fiscal year that would bring the total to 236 miles of bike lanes. That would leave an average of 38.5 miles of bike lanes that would need to be installed per year for the next four fiscal years to reach 390 miles of bike lanes, which would be 15% of  the 2,600 centerline miles of non-residential streets in Los Angeles.

  • Susan R

    There are already bike lanes on Cypress Avenue.  And, Avenue 28 does not need bike lanes.  It is a one way street with lots of room.    North Figueroa needs bike lanes. 

    Councilmember Ed Reyes is termed out of office next year.  If he wanted bike lanes they would havbeen put in the last 12 years he was in office.  

  • Neko Gato

     @Dennis – There are flights to Portland every day.   If it’s the utopia you think it is, maybe you should move…(no offense but we have a pretty incredible infrastructure here in Los Angeles, let’s focus on improving what we have, leave Portland out of the discussion)

  • Roadblock

     c’mon LADOT!! Give these kids a win and look like heroes to the community. It’s time to change the thinking on how we move about the public space.

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