At Zev’s Urging, Supes Demand Progressive Bike Plan

Earlier today, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors quickly and unanimously passed a motion by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky urging for progressive changes to the L.A. County Draft Bike Plan.  The L.A. County Bike Plan addresses the “unincorporated” parts of L.A. County (those without a municipal government) such as Marina del Rey.

First, he named Carmageddon, than he rescued the Bike Plan. Good year for the Supe. Photo: Brian Watts/KPCC

The motion, available on the Supervisor’s website for the last week, picks up many of the suggestions made by bicyclists at a recent meeting of the County Planning Commission, including language that allows the County to build cycle tracks when permitted by state law, requires conformity with the recently released “model street manual” by the L.A. County Department of Public Health and UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, and allows the use of other innovative bicycling design as they become approved by Caltrans.

“The bicycle plan has come a long way since the first draft, but there improvements are still needed to really address safety,” testified the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Alexis Lantz before passage of the motion.  “We want the County Bike Plan to not only be a guide for implementation but a visionary plan for the next 20 years that will help create safer streets, encourages a diversity of people to bicycle, and maximizes our planned and proposed transportation investments so LA County becomes more mobile, better connected, healthier and a more livable county.

We feel the motion before you today gives the guidance needed to staff in order to do just that and we urge you to support it.”

The L.A. County Bike Plan requires the approval of the Supervisor-appointed County Planning Commission before a full vote by the Supervisors themselves.  At the November meeting of the Commission, they voted to send the most recent draft back to the drawing board to incorporate many of the changes that are now clearly supported by the Supervisors themselves.  The Supervisors are expected to vote on the plan’s passage in March of next year.

“It is critical that the Board of Supervisors not wait to send a clear message that we expect this plan to do more to make the County a better, safer place to bike,” the motion reads.

For more on the motion, visit ZevWeb, here.

  • BC

    According to this map, LA County has jurisdiction over many more miles of creeks / Flood
    Control Channels than the very few that were addressed in the the current draft bike

    vast majority of these creeks/channels have fenced and gated access
    roads, often on both sides.  These access roads should be identified in
    the plan potential Class 1 Bike Paths, and the plan should include an
    summary analysis of what would be the lowest cost plan to open them to
    bikes, how many miles and which stretches might be most easily/cheaply
    converted to paths, and which stretches might get the most potential

  • BC

    On second look, I see that most of the creeks that I noticed lacking any mention in the Bike Plan are within LA City, but still under LA County ownership/control as Flood Control Channels.    I will try to measure how many miles are under the County, but not in the Bike Plan.

  • Ultimately this was watered down significantly from the LACBC request because of the need to meet the grant funding deadlines, so basically it’s stuff whatever changes you can in the time permitted without having to recirculate the EIR.

  • The problem is that if the residents complain, you piss away hundreds of thousands of dollars in design costs. Look at the Thompson Creek bikeway extension a few years ago. A brand new bikeway was basically shot down by a bunch of whiny residents and a mayor that wanted to get herself into State Assembly. They raised issues of crime and said that it would hurt public safety, which was absurd since criminals would just have to boost past one more fence today.

    At that time LACBC was moribund and I confronted them when I saw them at Clean Air Car Show later that year as to why they didn’t do more. We could have used the support. Since then they have mobilized significantly, but there is still a lot of education needed for communities to support bike lanes. Rural areas have opposed sidewalks and street lights, and could become apoplectic if they see little bikes on the pavement – no joke. 

  • Eric B

    Actually, it’s the opposite in this case.  The EIR is being funded by a Public Health grant on a strict deadline, so the Supervisor jumped the process so that his requested changes could be incorporated into the EIR.  There are more changes he’s looking to make, but he’ll do that when the plan actually comes before the Board next year.  It still has to go through Planning Commission first.

  • Guest

    Zev has held elective office for nearly 40 years, and there is not a bike lane or any other bike facility other than a meaningless posted “bike route” within miles of his house.  A politician who genuinely supported bicycling would have put bike facilities in his own neighborhood.  Zev killed the Wilshire bus-bike peak hour lanes through condo canyon; his  Pico-Olympic proposal sought to turn those streets into mini-freeways and didn’t consider bus-only or bike lanes.  

    Zev only supports bicyclists when they are nowhere near a street used by cars.  Words are cheap; his decades of inaction speaks volumes.         


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