Last week in the Valley, something like 450 people turned out at a raucous community meeting called to discuss the restriping of upper Wilbur Avenue to add left-turn and bike lanes. The new layout of the street took away a regular traffic lane in each direction, between Nordhoff and Chatsworth streets, leading to congestion that wasn't there before on a popular commuting route favored by locals. So on the one hand you had residents upset about the new traffic jams where drivers used to notoriously speed, bicycle advocates happy about the new bike lane and a victory over the evils of car culture, the city Department of Transportation arguing that bike lanes are the law and that the street is much safer to travel now, and new Councilman Mitch Englander — who commutes on Wilbur — making bizarre quips about the mayor and the DOT. "I was smiling on the outside, but extremely sad on the inside… very tough crowd," says a neighbor who's also pro-bike lane, in a long, partisan post at Streetsblog. Ron Kaye posted audio files that pick up the Englander quips.
Photo: L.A. Streetsblog