Garcetti, LaBonge and O’Farrell promote the redesign and ask for public comment.
It started as a note from contacts at the Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), turned into a mini-series on Streetsblog and now the movement to stop the redesign of the Hyperion-Glendale Complex of Bridges that would turn one of the region’s most iconic structures into one of its prettiest freeways has gone viral so to speak.
The new design excludes bicycle lanes and wider sidewalks, the city’s Bicycle Plan be damned, and increases the size of the four mixed-use travel lanes to accommodate traffic driving over 55 miles per hour. Space that could be used for sidewalks and bicycle lanes and sidewalks is being used for creating stronger crash barriers. The $50 million project’s stated purpose is a retrofit to better handle seismic events and is expected begin construction in 2016 and should take three years to complete.
Since Streetsblog last covered the bridges ten days ago, things have been moving quickly. In response to letters demanding a public hearing of the proposal, outreach meetings with city staff were cancelled so a hearing can be scheduled (details TBD.) Two neighborhood Councils, in Atwater and Silverlake at the west end of the complex are hearing motions to oppose the redesign as it exists. The Silver Lake motion was heard by their Transportation Committee last night and moved near-unanimously to the full Council. Assembly Member Mike Gatto, who also represents part of the project area, promised on Twitter to write a letter opposing the current design.
@flyingpigeonla Agree! Imagine not being able to safely bike between Atwater and Silver Lake! We are sending letter this week.
— Mike Gatto (@mikegatto) October 3, 2013
While there are certainly some who are worried about the lack of bicycle lanes in the project, there is a greater concern that increasing the vehicle speeds on a major entryway into their communities will lead to more dangerous conditions, more traffic, more air pollution and lower home values.
Meanwhile, bicycle advocacy is working on two connected but somewhat coordinated tracks. The LACBC submitted formal comments that outline the problems with the current planned design and other advocates are organizing on Facebook to maintain a steady flow of public pressure. To stop the redesign, rethink the project plans, and design a project that works for all vehicle users and the surrounding communities.
But while the absence of bicycle lanes is what angered cyclists and created resistance to the redesign plan, its the idea of designing the bridge to freeway standards that really upset the community groups.
“This is the same video that was presented at the meeting,” writes Don “Roadblock” Ward, one of the leaders of the movement to stop the current redesign of the video at the top of the post which now appears on Council Member Mitch O’Farrell’s blog. “..and the whole time I kept thinking of the 110 parkway bridge a few miles south with the 110 bike path and freeway crash barriers. This bridge will one day look that crappy.” Read more…