Last week, the California Traffic Control Devices Committee approved the “compromise” design for the Spring Street Green Buffered Bike Lane. The CTCD was the last body that needed to approve the design.
As you may recall, the new design will maintain the buffer, change the shade of green from bright green to forest green, and drastically reduce the amount of green paint on Spring Street. Instead of a green band filling the lane, there will now be four inches of green inside the lane borders and green paint in the conflict zones similar to the green lane on 1st Street in Boyle Heights.
The bike lane in Boyle Heights will not be changed, it will continue to have bright green paint. Both lanes are in Council District 14, represented by Jose Huizar who fought for the installation and preservation of both lanes.
After the City Council bowed to the nonsensical demands of the Film and Television Industry to make existing infrastructure in Downtown Los Angeles less safe and attractive despite the objections of the people who live work and recreate on Spring Street, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition managed to find a silver lining in the debacle. The new design is considerably less expensive so the city can (and should) not just repaint Spring Street, but also paint four or five new green lanes with this less expensive design.
If this new design is such an improvement, the least the city could do would be to apply the same treatment to Main Street, which runs parallel to Spring with traffic moving in the opposite direction. Main Street was supposed to get the full green bike lane treatment that Spring did until it was killed in a “compromise” with the Film and Television Industry.
My feelings were a little different. Because Council Members Tom LaBonge and Eric Garcetti were the members who pushed the issue at City Council, they should show their bike friendliness by pushing for full green bike lanes in their districts, I reasoned. This suggestion is already outdated as Garcetti is now the Mayor of Los Angeles and the whole city is his district. As for LaBonge, he still believes that nobody else has ever painted a bike lane green anywhere in the world.
Instead of focusing on the green paint, Streetsblog offers a different challenge for Mayor Garcetti and Council Member LaBonge. The 7th Street Bike Lanes are some of the most important ones in the city, are widely used, and provide a crucial connection between Koreatown and points west to Downtown Los Angeles. If you really want to make up for the Spring Street debacle, where you clearly stated that the convenience of the Film and Television Industry is more important than the safety of cyclists, turn these 7th Street Bike Lanes into L.A.’s first protected bike lanes.
It just so happens this lane is partially in Council Member LaBonge’s Council District.
The Council Member’s Office points out that the district begins at Western and 7th. The bike lanes end just east of there. Streetsblog regrets this error.