Englander Touts Reseda Great Street Upgrade, Includes Protected Bike Lanes

Parking protected bike lane improvements coming to Reseda Boulevard. Diagram via SFMTA
Parking protected bike lane improvements coming to Reseda Boulevard. Diagram via SFMTA

The city of Los Angeles will receive its first parking-protected bike lanes this weekend. The new parking-protected lanes are part of a Great Streets upgrade to Reseda Boulevard in Northridge. They will extend one mile from Parthenia Street to Plummer Street, replacing existing conventional bike lanes. If readers are unfamiliar with parking-protected bike lanes, also called cycle tracks, this Portland video can help.

plan via LAGreatStreets Tumblr
Reseda Boulevard plan configuration via LAGreatStreets Tumblr

At a community meeting last night, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch Englander expressed his enthusiasm for Reseda Boulevard’s new street design, stating, “Wait ’til you see the striping, it’s never been done before in Los Angeles.” Englander, responding to a common critique, added, “People say that the Valley is always last. Here, we’re first!”

L.A. City Councilmember Mitch Englander announces Reseda Boulevard Great Streets improvements. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
L.A. City Councilmember Mitch Englander announces Reseda Boulevard Great Streets improvements. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Councilmember Englander explained that the new street design had grown out of the Northridge Vision Plan. The plan, adopted in 2013, calls for improving “the Reseda Boulevard area traffic flow so that it is a safer environment for vehicles and a pedestrian/ bicycle-friendly environment for shoppers, students, and tourists.”

Englander stressed the new striping as a safety improvement. According to the city’s Transportation Department (LADOT), this portion of Reseda Blvd had 209 car crashes reported over the past five years. LADOT has done baseline surveys before implementing street improvements, and will be returning to record post-improvement behavior in early 2016.

Englander seized the opportunity to advance Reseda Boulevard upgrades under Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets initiative. In June, 2014, Mayor Garcetti chose Northridge’s Reseda Boulevard as the site to announce his first fifteen priority areas, including Reseda, targeted for Great Streets improvements.

Englander announced that the current phase of street improvements will be completed by April 14, the same day that Garcetti will deliver his State of the City address at the Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University Northridge. That event will include a walking tour of the new Reseda Boulevard improvements. Englander stated that this will be the first time a Los Angeles mayor has chosen to make his State of the City speech in the San Fernando Valley. 

Reseda Boulevard yesterday, freshly repaved. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Reseda Boulevard yesterday, freshly repaved. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Englander, Garcetti, and LADOT took advantage of the timing of already scheduled repaving of this section of Reseda Boulevard. Last weekend, the city resurfaced the stretch of Reseda Boulevard from Nordhoff Street to Plummer Street. This weekend, the resurfacing continues southward to Parthenia Street. LADOT anticipates completing the protected bike lane striping above Nordhoff this weekend, and, by April 14, will extend the striping south, add green paving in merge and conflict zones, and add new sidewalk and streetscape features.

The re-striping is a very low-cost version of protected bike lanes. Other local protected bike lanes have included more extensive signal upgrades (Long Beach), landscaping (Temple City), and full-on complete streets curb work (MyFigueroa). Piggy-backed onto existing already-budgeted resurfacing, the Reseda Boulevard striping will be effectively nearly free, though there are city staff time costs for redesign, outreach, evaluation, and education.

25 thoughts on Englander Touts Reseda Great Street Upgrade, Includes Protected Bike Lanes

  1. As a mostly transit-reliant CSUN student, I’m pretty excited for this change. However, the cynic in me believes people in the neighborhood won’t like the change. And I’m wondering now they’ll work on the intersection of Reseda and Nordhoff, considering there are two turning lanes. I don’t know if the meeting mentioned it or if the difference isn’t a problem.

  2. WOW. It was only a few years ago that myself and others in the neighborhood were going head to head with then Chief of Staff to Councilman Smith, Mitch Englander to save a road diet on Wilbur Ave. I always appreciated Councilman Englander for allowing the voices of Wilbur to be heard. Not to digress, I would love to see a SWITRS analysis done on Wilbur of then and now stats. I bet the deaths are way down. Stoked to see more bike friendly projects happening in Mr. Englander’s district!

  3. Go article Joe, I like how you used simple diagrams that don’t have a lot of details so that its easier to understand.

    Heading in the wrong direction from the meeting I started to ride down Corbin Ave and noticed that south of the existing bike lanes, the right lane could easily accommodate an extension of the bike lanes. Boy, there’s nothing like riding in the west side of the valley where cars typically move 45+ mph.

  4. I hope they smooth out that seam between the asphalt and the gutter pan before those protected bike lanes go in – otherwise it’ll be right in the center of the bike lane…

  5. The $2.1 million per year of Measure R funds dedicated to on-street bicycle infrastructure in the city of Los Angeles is not enough to install much beyond some plastic bollards and paint treatment for cycle tracks. I learned at the meeting that the city has a goal to install several more miles of cycle tracks this year.

  6. I like how the City is using highlighting potential conflict zones using green paint. However, I feel the City needs to be a little more aggressive in that regard. The configuration plan above shows that *almost* all of the conflict zones are highlighted with green paint, but the upper-left conflict zone is curiously devoid of any bike-related markings whatsoever. We have many areas like that near where I work and it all-to-easily allows car drivers to forget they’re sharing the road with bikes in those areas. It also encourages less-experienced bike riders to take to the sidewalks to avoid these areas.

  7. I have one but figuring out how to get useful information out of it is … well, I rely on the high priests of planning school for that one.

  8. Watch this video of a conversation between Janette Sadik-Khan and Seleta Reynolds at the Hammer Museum last night (program starts at 12-minutes into the video).

    http://hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2015/03/seleta-reynolds-janette-sadik-khan/

    Their common bound seemed to open up the discussion.

    I learned at the Reseda outreach meeting this week that the goal was to do ten miles of protected bike lanes this year. That came from Nate who is the transportation person for the mayor’s office.

    The reason for the lack of separation from motor vehicles all the way to the intersection is increased cost. To keep motor vehicles and bicycles separated by time and space up to that point would require separate left and right turn only traffic signals, along with bicycle specific signals. That would cost a lot more money.

  9. Also a interesting video to find out where the LADOT is headed is Seleta Reynold’s recent talk at USC about: Great Streets for Los Angeles – LADOT Strategic Plan:

  10. I wish the city would make all the bike lanes raised medians in the center of the road, away from cars. This share the road and “take the lane” have done nothing but pit drivers and cyclists against each other. It’s dangerous and people are still getting run over by cars. It’s a shame that our leaders have decided that this is good enough.

  11. > It’s dangerous and people are still getting run over by cars.
    where are your facts? I cited some (pro and contra as well!), but you are just making baseless claims.
    also, in a busy metropolitan environment, you can only make the bike lanes ‘away from cars’ all the way if there are no cars there. drivers won’t like that.

  12. Your research only goes up to 1998, so I don’t know how much things have changed since then.

    You don’t know that bikers are still getting killed in the streets by cars? Where should I start?

    October of last year a cyclist was killed near USC. That was a hit and run. A cream colored SUV dragged the cyclist and bike 30 feet and then took off.

    February 6th of this year Amory Borgens was killed by a drunk driver walking her bike across Sepulveda Blvd. in Manhattan Beach.

    According to the South LA Sheriff’s Department, a bike rider was killed in a collision with a car Jan. 26th 2016, at the intersection of Ocean Gate Avenue and 132nd Street in unincorporated LA County. I don’t have a name on that one.

    Christopher Angelos was hit by a box truck while riding his bike in the Meiners Oaks area of the Ojai Valley just before 1:30 pm January 26 2016, as the driver was leaving a private parking lot on East El Roblar Drive east of Felix Drive.

    77-year old Huntington Beach resident Thuc Van Nguyen. was struck around 6:07 pm at the intersection of 17th and La Bonita Streets. He was pronounced dead at the scene. This was in Santa Ana in Orange County.

    73 Cyclists were killed in SoCal in 2015 and of those killed:

    29 died in Los Angeles County, compared to 31 in 2014

    17 died in Orange County, compared to 20 in 2014

    12 died in San Diego County, compared to 9 in 2014

    10 died in Riverside County, compared to 13 in 2014

    3 died in San Bernardino County, compared to 11 in 2014

    2 died in Ventura County, compared to 2 in 2014

    No one was killed either year in Imperial County

    Meanwhile, 11 riders were killed in the City of Los Angeles in 2015, which is the same as in 2014.

    That’s why bikes and cars should not be on the same road. The road diets are a joke and cyclists and pedestrians are no safer because of them. That road diet they put in on Rowena didn’t stop another pedestrian from getting killed. A girl getting killed was what spurred the road diet there. And a year later a guy was killed in the same spot. Why? Because the problem isn’t the speed of the cars. It’s the light. There isn’t enough light. So if they can’t see the pedestrians, they’re not going to see the cyclists.

    Oh and on Hollywood Blvd. right by where I live a cyclist was killed in the crosswalk last year. I saw his mangled bike while his body was covered by a sheet in the crosswalk. I don’t know what you’re talking about with what the cars don’t like. Bikes should be on a raised median away from cars.

  13. Cannot agree with you more.

    Our elected leaders are happy to install 3rd rate crap and then act shocked, shocked (!), when ridership doesn’t explode.

    3rd rate bike lanes are more of road diet safety tool than a cycling amenity.

  14. That’s what I don’t understand. It’s like one step forward, two steps back. Some of the bike lanes are ok, but driving in LA is always going to be an issue. Maybe if biking were safer, more people would do it. No one ever wants to bike anywhere with me because they don’t feel safe.

  15. You are referring to the LA-style protected intersection – which is a disaster of transportation planning. A proper protected intersection would not have cyclists running headlong into the blind spot of motorists.

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