The Gold Line Is Rolling, Now What about a Bike Network to Support It?

11_16_09_gl_br.jpgThe Gold Line crosses the L.A. River and heads toward Indiania on First Street within City Limits.

During our ride on Friday, Steven Frien wondered a couple of times why there wasn’t talk of having a bicycle lane on 1st Street running parallel to the Gold Line on First Street .  Later in the day, during The Source’s review of our review of the Gold Line, Steve Hymon upped the score by asking why there wasn’t better bike planning along the entire route.  After all, we know how much bike parking there is at every station, wouldn’t it be nice to have a bike network to keep those racks full?

A look at the Draft Bike Plan shows a lot of opportunities for the area around the lane.  Those yellow dotted lines are "potential bike lanes," the purple one is a "proposed bike route," and the blue dotted lines are for "potential bicycle friendly routes."  However, dotted lines on a map are just dotted lines on a map.  LADOT confirms there are no timelines for any of these street improvements in East, L.A.  Now, we can rely on LADOT to work with Metro to do the right thing, or we can put some pressure on the agencies ourselves.

The first thing we can do is to use the public comment function at the Official or Unofficial Bike Plan websites to let the city know that East L.A. deserves a transportation system that is truly multi-modal and that the plan should move from paper to pavement quickly surrounding the extension.  However, just sending comments to city staff isn’t going to get the job done.

Fortunately, the Gold Line has two representatives on the Metro Board of Directors, Councilman Jose Huizar and Supervisor Gloria Molina.  A little pressure on their offices will lead to a little pressure on Metro to get more involved in providing funding for a bike network for the Eastside Extension.  You can find contact information for Huizar and Molina at their official websites.

Of course, L.A. County has its own Bike Plan and public process.  We’ll be back with a look at that plan and what the next steps for the Eastside Extension should be.

  • I’m sory, but I am still coping with the lack of adequate connecting bus service for the Orange Line. Metro staff conceded when the busway was being planned that frequent connecting services were key to the value of this 1/3 billion investment.

    Yes, the nasty budget problems are a likely reason we didn’t get what was supposed to happen but that some stations have infrequent weekday service and noen of weekends boggles my mind.

    Forgive me. This post tripped over a pet peeve of mind.

    Besides the electeds concerns like this one might be worth airing at the next meeting of the Review Advisory Committee for the Eastside extension. Hopefully Metro will post the date/time/place of the next meeting soon (I think it is to be on the 19th).

  • Yeah, Damien, what the City did to the East Side (and NELA) is pretty insulting.

    The 1996/2002 plan had Class I Bike Lanes on a lot of arterials – which have all been removed and turned into “potential” bike routes/”planned but infeasible”.

    Stephen Box was able to acquire a copy of a subcontractor’s survey of all the streets Alta Planning was asked to consider for the plan. The subcontractors survey showed, for example, that a Class 2 Major Highway (North Figueroa Street) is anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 ADT below its MINIMUM ADT. The minimum for this class of street is 30 to 50,000 ADT – the coontractors numbers in the most crowded stretch of Fig we 28,000 ADT, down to 20,000 in less crowded sections.

    On N. Figueroa, with such a wide right-of-way, and the 110 freeway so close, and a traditional, walkable neighborhood and commercial district – some traffic calming is definitely in order. This is precisely what the subcontractor called for in their survey.

    The LADOT took that recommendation and filed it in the trash can – they removed the Class 1 Bike Lane from the plans and keep claiming that “EIR”, “EIR”, “EIR” (some insurmountable obstacle) will prevent any car lanes from every being affected or removed, ever.

    Lots of Major Highways and Scondary Highways in LA, that were considered in this plan, are below their minimum ADT, and are allowed to have a peak-hour Level of Service all the way down to “D” – which they are at, or are near already. Removing car capacity and putting bike facilities will reduce the number of cars on the road (if done properly) – yet the LADOT won’t consider this.

    The Gold Line extension right of way has wide shoulders and extra roadway space – but it has been designed for car throughput as fast as the engineers who designed it could make it.

    I cannot imagine these folks looking back on their decisions with anything but embarrassment and shame in 20 year’s time.

    This type of planning kills a disproportionate amount of people in LA County each year.

  • this google map with the ‘spheres of influence’ is a great way to show what’s possible.


Looking into Los Angeles’ 2010 Draft Bike Plan

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