The city is being divided again - this time between bikers in search of more space and motorists looking to hold onto what little space they have. Another in a series of public hearings will be held tonight to receive input on proposed bicycle lanes for portions of Westwood Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard, already two of the most traffic-clogged arteries in the city. Under the plan, part of a grandiose transportation scheme involving the entire city (God help us), one of the southbound lanes would be knocked out and a bike lane added, creating new delays, especially during rush hour, according to the Department of Transportation. This is not some hypothetical analysis: Check out downtown Santa Monica, where the merging of two lanes to allow for bikers always causes delays. Biking supporters are pushing for these changes, but the truth is bike lanes are frequently empty. Yet at City Hall, these initiatives have become a fashionable - and cheap - way of showing constituents that they're doing something to deal with congestion when in fact they're doing next to nothing. This is otherwise known as cynicism wrapped under the cloak of public service. Actually, increased ridership has only made L.A. streets more dangerous. Sidewalks too: As someone who walks to work, I can't tell you how many times I've been nearly run down by a speeding biker (even though there's a bike lane available). One of these days, an elderly pedestrian will be struck and killed, and the city - quite rightfully - will get its ass sued. Maybe these recommendations can be turned down (or at least toned down) before things really get out of hand.
Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: LADOT Western Parking Enforcement Office
11214 West Exposition Blvd. At Sepulveda