Before the Eight Street bike lane was painted, Evelyn Martinez, a 21-year-old Wyvernwood resident and cyclist, said she would ride down Olympic Boulevard instead of Eighth Street. Since Olympic Boulevard was flatter than the hilly Eighth Street, she braced daily against freight trucks and heavier traffic.
“The huge trucks would freak me out,” said Martinez.
The Eighth Street bike lane opened sometime in December, and has provided cyclists an alternative east-west route through South Boyle Heights. The bike lane passes through one of the busiest intersections at Soto Street, Lorena Street, and Olympic Boulevard, and the Wyvernwood Apartments and Estrada Courts.
Heading east or west on Eighth Street the bike lanes pavement makes for a smooth ride. And there are five-six zebra-stripped crosswalks at different points of the street for pedestrians.
While Eighth Street has alleviated some worries about the nearby congestion, automobiles and trucks are still a big presence. On Eighth and Soto Streets, freight trucks and Metro buses are still turn onto the two-lane street. There is an I-5 freeway entrance on Eighth Street.
Martinez said she has started to use the bike lane more frequently coming from work. Often riding from Boyle Avenue, the east route through Eighth Street gives her more momentum down hills because they start from higher peaks.