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The Case of the Vanishing Venice Blvd. Bike Lanes

9:21 AM PST on January 6, 2012

Over the break, Josef Bray-Ali, of Bike Oven and Flying Pigeon Bike Shop fame, was bicycling on Venice Boulevard when he noticed something odd.  The bike lanes vanished on the north side of the road well before the usual terminus at Crenshaw Boulevard.  Furious, Bray-Ali took to the Internet to excorciate the city and Mid-Town Crossing mega development for sacrificing the lanes for the wishes of a developer.

After contacting LADOT about the vanishing lanes, a process apparently mirrored by other writers and members of the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee, they initially expressed confusion.  Days later, LADOT reported that the issue was that Mid-Town Crossing was working off diagrams from when it was originally cleared back in 2005.   The developers will pay for the bike lanes to be repainted on the repaved portion of Venice Boulevard.

Anyone interested in learning more about the saga of Mid-Town Crossing should check out this archive on Curbed.

So all's well that ends well as far as Venice Boulevard is concerned, but the issue raises questions, none of which are good for the city.

The most obvious is, "what can the city do to make sure this doesn't happen again?"  Jonathan Weiss, a Bicycle Advisory Committee Member, plans on raising that question to staff next week at the BAC's Planning Committee next week.

Another question is how many old road designs are floating out there, approved but not constructed, that don't reflect the city's stated commitment in the 2010 Bike Plan to improving conditions for cyclists on all streets?

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