Responding to coverage in Streetsblog of the May meeting held concerning the North Figueroa Road Diet, a spokesperson for Metro reached out to Streetsblog arguing that despite our characterization of Metro’s position as “opposed to the Road Diet,” Metro is not opposed to reducing mixed used traffic lanes to create a buffered bike lane.
“It’s pretty clear Scott DID NOT speak against the Figueroa bike lanes as your article states,” writes Dave Sotero, a spokesperson with Metro. “He merely said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that when the lanes come in, we’ll monitor and make changes to the schedule accordingly and do our best to ensure the buses stay on time.”
Watching the video again, I can see Sotero’s point. However, Metro’s Scott Page gave his presentation surrounded by public officials speaking against the road diet in a series of agency testimonials orchestrated by the office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Gil Cedillo. Video of Page’s testimony is available here.
Whether Metro or Page meant for the Metro staff-person’s presentation to sound as though it were opposed, many people, including our writer, assumed it was meant to cast doubt on the safety and mobility benefits of the road diet project, which would make the street safer for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people in cars and buses.
It is also important to note that, under state law, bicycles are allowed on every street lane. Painting a bicycle lane on a street increases safety for all.