Closing the Exposition Bikeway Northvale Gap, Meeting Next Week

LADOT is responsible for bike lanes and other road markings for this area connecting the Expo Bike Paths in Phase 1 and Phase 2. Recently, the city announced it has no timeline on when this bikeway will be completed.
The Expo Line bike path will soon extend east and west of this 0.7-mile “Northvale Gap.”

When Metro’s 6.6-mile Expo Line opens in mid-2016, the parallel Expo bikeway will open too.

Except where it won’t.

Two stretches of Expo bike path under construction are nearing completion. Unfortunately there is a 0.7-mile gap between them. Next week the city of L.A. will host a meeting to receive input on plans to close the gap, which parallels Northvale Road. Meeting details after the jump.

Here are the two sections of Expo Line bikeway nearing completion:

  1. Venice Boulevard to Motor Avenue: This 1.2-mile stretch includes two components. On the east end, located just south of the 10 Freeway, there will be a 0.7-mile bike path extending from Venice Boulevard (across the street from Culver City Station) to Palms Boulevard/National Boulevard (across from Palms Station). West of Palms Station, the bikeway is on the streets for a half mile. This includes National Boulevard (with a very short stretch of bike lanes) and Motor Avenue.
  2. Overland Avenue to Colorado Avenue: This 3.5-mile stretch is all off-street bike path, extending from Cheviot Hills to downtown Santa Monica. Like the Orange Line and other bike paths, there are a handful of places where cyclists cross perpendicular streets, but both bikes and trains run in the old rail right-of-way. The eastern terminus of the path is at Overland Avenue, near the Westwood Station. The western terminus is at 17th Street Station in Santa Monica, where cyclists can connect with the city of Santa Monica’s bike networks, including bike lanes on 17th Street, Broadway, and Arizona Avenue, and the Michigan Avenue Greenway.

Between those two segments – about 0.7 miles from Motor Avenue to Overland Avenue – is the Northvale Gap. 

For details of the frustrating legal delays that caused the Northvale bike path segment to drop out of the Expo 2 rail construction project, see Jonathan Weiss’ September 2015 article. In brief, Cheviot Hills neighborhood opposition to the train spilled over against the bike path.

Fortunately, L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz, the Department of Transportation (LADOT) and Bureau of Engineering (BOE) are working to get the process unstuck and get the bike path built. Though not a fan of bikes everywhere, Koretz is supportive of closing this critical gap. “I’m looking forward to this cross-town amenity being completed,” Koretz stated “The section in my district poses some unique challenges and it’s good that the public has a chance to learn more about the project and provide feedback before construction begins.”

Next Wednesday night, Koretz, LADOT, and BOE are hosting a community meeting to receive input on alternatives for the bike path, including access points. Here is LADOT’s meeting announcement:

Expo-Northvale Bicycle Path Open House

Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library – Meeting Room [2920 Overland Ave, Los Angeles]

January 13th, from 6 to 8 PM

There will be limited free parking, and we will need to leave the Library no later than 8 PM.

LADOT and BOE staff anticipates bringing 2 to 3 concepts, though no decisions have been made to date regarding the final alignment.

It is important that cyclists attend the meeting to show support for closing the gap to complete the path, and to ensure that the final alignment serves a broad array of stakeholders. The alignment of the path should not be too difficult; this is a linear rail right-of-way. Important concerns will likely be neighborhood access points along the path, and how the east end of the path gets cyclists across Motor Avenue.

If you live, work, bike, or breathe in this part of West Los Angeles, make plans to attend next week’s meeting.

For an overall map and early look at Expo bikeway issues, see this 2013 Santa Monica Next article.

  • Why is it so hard to get contiguous bike infrastructure instead of a bit here and a bit there with huge freaking gaps in between? Would streets be treated the same way?

  • Roz Serrano

    or Freeways?? All the NIMBY’s were out last time – they’re afraid that someone will ride their bike, break into their homes and steal their goods; and to top it off, the bike lanes will reduce the space on the road for cars, which means the cycling thief will be able to use the bike lanes to plot their escape :-).

  • ubrayj02

    I’d rather have a cycle track the length of Venice Blvd any day than some stupid bike trail behind some horrible NIMBYs house.

    I’d also like to spend my time doing something productive. Sitting in yet another anti-bicycle bitch session, begging those in power to hand us a shit-tier bike infrastructure, isn’t productive.

    Koretz isn’t going to get it done for us. Failure for bicycles was baked into the cake with this transit line. The people who’ve been working on cosing this gap since plans were being drawn up for the Expo Line are some of the brightest, best informed, rational, capable communicators in this entire city. WTF is a room full of lumpy “outsiders” (everywhere a bike rider goes to speak about his or her interests, we’re outsiders) asking nicely for some routine accommodation going to do? It will make us more of a joke interest to those involved.

    I would rather have a ride and party to register people interested in this project and projects like it, to vote. To make media about that party and ride, and post it online. Then plan more rides and parties to do the same thing, collecting contact information and registering more voters as you go. You do that enough times and we don’t need to worry about some ritual public theater at a “community hearing”.

  • Salts

    You make a good point, we should lobby Caltrans to convert a lane on Venice into cycle track. Mike Bonin is doing that for a small part of Venice but we need it for the entire length.

  • Joe Linton

    You don’t have to choose between a cycletrack and a path – let’s do both! You don’t have to choose between attending meetings and registering voters – let’s do both!

  • Sirinya Matute

    I can’t be at tomorrow’s meeting. Is there a way to write in comments to decisionmakers?

  • Joe Linton

    It would make sense to email City Councilmember Koretz (who is supportive of the project – so don’t be hostile) and voice your comments.

  • Bond Harper

    I’ve been trying to find a schedule for tonight’s meeting. Is it an “open house” or is there an actual presentation at a certain time?

  • Eric Mankin

    A year later, the gap is still there and more dangerous than ever – unlit, no bike/car lane separation, curvy and step so both cars and bikes come ouf unexpectedly. Accidents waiting to happen. Hello??


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