Eyes on the Street: New Green Bike Lane Merge Zones on Vineland Avenue
The Vineland Avenue bike lanes got a little greener this week. The L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) gave several merge zones a coat of “fresh Kermit.”
The Vineland Avenue bike lanes run from Ventura Boulevard to Burbank Boulevard in the southeast San Fernando Valley neighborhoods of Studio City, North Hollywood, and Toluca Lake – just east of the North Hollywood Red Line Station. There have been some issues with these lanes in the past, especially in the freeway-infested area where the 101, 134, and 170 Freeways intersect. In a 6-block stretch, between Aqua Vista Street and Hortense Street, the Vineland lanes cross two freeway on-ramps and two freeway off-ramps, with three additional freeway ramps just a block or two away on Moorpark Street and Riverside Drive. Drivers merge into the bike lane and drive in it for blocks before turning; this results in clogging the bike lane, generally at commute hours.
According to Streetsblog reader Melissa Federowicz, LADOT had recently experimented, apparently unsuccessfully, with installing plastic bollards. This week the bollards came out and green paint went in.
The green merge zones are all intermittent treatments in areas where drivers merge to the right to get on to freeways, either at freeway on-ramps or at streets leading to nearby ramps.
Even with the bike lanes and merge zones, some cyclists preferred to avoid the car traffic and ride on the sidewalk.
The heavily car-trafficked area remains generally unfriendly to pedestrians and cyclists.
Even with the very visible green markings, many cars still merge right early, driving more than a block in the bike lane before turning right.