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Bike Lanes Recently Added on San Fernando Road and Foothill Boulevard

New bike lanes on San Fernando Road – photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

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This article supported by Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney as part of a general sponsorship package. All opinions in the article are that of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of LABA. Click on the ad for more information.

The L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) recently installed new bike lanes in collaboration with Streets L.A. resurfacing projects.

New bike lanes on Foothill Boulevard at Polk Street
New bike lanes on Foothill Boulevard at Polk Street
New bike lanes on Foothill Boulevard at Polk Street

New bike lanes on Foothill Boulevard in Sylmar

In January, LADOT added 0.3 miles of new bike lanes to close a bike lane gap on Foothill Boulevard in Sylmar. The new lanes, added during resurfacing, extend from Polk Street to Tyler Street. The Foothill bike lanes there now span 4.3 continuous miles from Balboa Boulevard to Hubbard Street. This suburban area is somewhat hilly and does not currently see great numbers of cyclists.

Foothill Boulevard bike lane project location - click to enlarge
Foothill Boulevard bike lane project location - click to enlarge
Foothill Boulevard bike lane project location - click to enlarge

The street width varies quite a bit on Foothill. Prior configurations there had favored maximizing driver throughput, with bike lanes and on-street parking disappearing at narrower pinch points. About a decade ago on that part of Foothill, LADOT added an uphill bike lane, with no downhill counterpart. Even that lane disappeared between Polk and Tyler.

This year, the city did a short road diet, removing two travel lanes, in order to establish uniform continuous travel lanes, bike lanes, and on-street parking. Above Tyler, the bike lanes are buffered.

The project is located in Council District 7, which is represented by City Council Monica Rodriguez. As SBLA has noted, Rodriguez may not be among the most outspoken champions of Vision Zero or bicycling, but has, somewhat quietly, managed to install quite a few street reconfigurations designed to improve safety and to curb speeding and street racing. Recent CD7 street safety improvements include: Chatsworth Street, Eldridge Avenue, Foothill Blvd (in Lake View Terrace in 2021 and 2022), La Tuna Canyon Road (2018 and 2022), and anti-racing treatments at the Polk and Glenoaks Boulevard intersection.

New bike lanes on Foothill Boulevard at Polk Street
Upgraded bike lanes on Foothill Boulevard north of Tyler Street
New bike lanes on Foothill Boulevard at Polk Street

New bike lanes on San Fernando Road in Cypress Park

In recent weeks, LADOT added a third of a mile of new bike lanes on San Fernando Road. Through northeast Los Angeles, San Fernando was (and still is) a largely bike-hostile industrial speedway. Over the past dozen or so years, the composition of the street has been slowly changing, with a new state park, new apartment housing, and new high school all on the Taylor Yard former railyard site where large-scale L.A. River revitalization is planned. That project was given a boost with last year's completion of a new bike/walk bridge, but San Fernando Road remains a barrier for local residents traveling on foot or by bicycle.

San Fernando Road bike lane project location - click to enlarge
San Fernando Road bike lane project location - click to enlarge

The city's 2015 Mobility Plan approved protected bike lanes on San Fernando from Avenue 26 to the Glendale city limit (Tyburn Street), but bike-hostile former District 1 City Councilmember Gil Cedillo ensured that no bikeway was implemented there. Last year, Cedillo was unseated by the current councilmember Eunisses Hernandez, who has expressed support for street safety, bike lanes, and transit investment as parts of a more livable city.

The stretch of San Fernando between Division Street to Future Street was repaved about a month ago. LADOT added bike lanes there - mostly along the frontage of Rio de Los Angeles State Park where the city had earlier widened San Fernando, because adding a new park in L.A. means dedicating more space to driving (hopefully this harmful spot-widening is on its way out).

These basic San Fernando Road bike lanes are needed, but frankly don't go far enough to make San Fernando a safe welcoming place to bike or walk. Streetsblog observed cyclists mostly using the broad curving park-front sidewalk instead of the new unprotected lane.

New San Fernando Road bike lanes in front of Rio de Los Angeles State Park
New San Fernando Road bike lanes in front of Rio de Los Angeles State Park

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