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.

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