New Road Diet Bike Lanes Striped On Northeast L.A.’s Fletcher Drive
The city of L.A. is putting the finishing touches on 0.8 miles of new bike lane on northeast L.A.’s Fletcher Drive. The new bike lanes extend from San Fernando Road to Eagle Rock Boulevard, though Fletcher Drive becomes Avenue 36 just north of the 2 Freeway. The bike lanes contribute to fairly strong NELA bike network with connections to Eagle Rock Blvd bike lanes to the north, and getting cyclists closer to the L.A. River bike path to the south.
City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell shared the city’s plans for Fletcher Drive improvements at community meetings in May. The project includes a road diet, conventional bike lanes, resurfacing, and two tree-lined landscaped median islands.
As of this morning, city crews were still working on the median islands, though the bike lanes already appear to be complete. Oddly, the lanes are striped using paint, instead of the more common and more long-lasting Department of Transportation (LADOT) standard thermoplastic markings.
For bicyclists, arguably the most welcome aspect of the project is the resurfacing. Fletcher has been resurfaced from Perlita Avenue to Avenue 32. The stretch of roadway between Avenue 32 and San Fernando Road had a series of large cracks that were damaging to bicycle tires and wheels. These hazards have been replaced by smooth asphalt.
Though overall these lanes are a welcome safety improvement, it is disappointing that the southbound bike lane stops well short of San Fernando Road, the busiest intersection located in the 0.8-mile project. The southbound bike lane ends just north of Delay Drive, more than 1/10th of a mile above San Fernando, and the street resumes its old two-car lane, no bike lane configuration. In this stretch there is no on-street parking, so it seems like merely slightly narrowing car-travel lanes would yield the minimum 4 feet needed for a curbside bike lane.