This morning, I listened to SBLA editor Damien Newton interviewed yesterday on KFI radio’s John and Ken show . Frankly it made me tense to hear the level of antipathy that John and Ken express toward people who bike. Toward me. Toward my family and our safety.
I heard a few misconceptions stated by the hosts, who repeatedly accused Damien of lying.
The falsehood I want to focus on, the one that John and Ken repeated, over and over, was that there are existing places in Los Angeles where bikes get fifty percent of the roadway. I counted ten mentions of this assertion. The first and clearest was in the hosts’ introduction (at 01:25) when they stated:
They’ve [bicyclists] gotten fifty percent of the roadway on some streets in downtown L.A. and other places.
Readers – is there actually a street anywhere in Los Angeles where fifty percent of the roadway is set aside for bikes?
John and Ken, if you are reading this, maybe you could explain where you got this fifty percent number. What streets are you talking about?
The hosts did go on to explain this a bit, blaming road diets. Road diets generally take one lane away from cars and replace it with two bike lanes. In recent years, the city of L.A. has implemented just over fifty miles of road diets on its 6,500 miles of roads. Some road diets perhaps worsen congestion, some do not, and occasionally, in some places where lots of cars turn, they reduce congestion. I am going to assert that 50+ miles of road diets are not a major cause of the extensive congestion many drivers experience throughout Los Angeles. None of these road diets have ever been done on freeways, which seem pretty congested pretty frequently.
But do any road diets in Los Angeles actually give fifty percent of the roadway to bikes? Read more…