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Eyes on the Street: Parking Protected Bike Lanes on Variel

Recent road diet parking-protected bike lanes connect residential developments to the G Line bike/walk path

Parking-protected bike lanes on Variel Avenue in Woodland Hills. Photos by Joe Linton

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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.

Last year, the city of L.A. Transportation Department (LADOT) added parking-protected bike lanes on Variel Avenue in the southwest San Fernando Valley community of Woodland Hills, represented by City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield. The bikeway connects an emerging residential area to the existing G Line bike path.

LADOT announced the new lanes in an August 31 email blast. The lanes extend one long block, 0.4 mile, from Erwin Street to Victory Boulevard.

Bbike lanes on Variel in the southwest San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Woodland Hills. Base map via Google
Parking-protected bike lane on Variel

That block of Variel is seeing a significant shift in uses. A little over a decade ago is was all single-story industrial, with a Home Depot. Now the southern half of the street is lined with residential (6-8 story apartments/condominiums) and several of the industrial buildings are boarded up. The Home Depot remains busy.

Variel bike lane in front of Home Depot

In keeping with the increasingly residential nature of the street, LADOT did a road diet, reducing four driving lanes to two. This freed space to add the protected bikeway.

In a tweet, LADOT Engineer Tim Fremaux noted that the city plans to extend the Variel facility further south when the street is resurfaced.

More pictures below.

New bicycle signage at Variel and Erwin
Locals walk and bike on Variel to access stores at Victory Boulevard, and to get to the G Line path along the north side of Victory at Variel
G Line bike/walk path at Variel
Yesterday, some drivers ignored or misunderstood street striping in order to park illegally next to fire hydrants
More scofflaw drivers parking next to hydrants yesterday

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