Readers respond to proposed bike lanes*

bikers.jpgA number of comments have come my way on the city's plan to remove a traffic lane on portions of Westwood Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard and add a bike lane. I think it's a dumb idea that will cause even more congestion (here's my post). Yet at City Hall, this kind of initiative has become a way for elected officials to show constituents that they're doing something about L.A. transportation. Anyway, thanks for the feedback:

Thank you for your article this morning.You are right on! I biked for 30 years, including six miles daily to work, and I am horrified by the current crop of cyclists. My boyfriend lives Downtown and we have come close to being run over twice while walking on the sidewalk. I see people riding on the sidewalk and crossing traffic lanes in the most dangerous and bizarre manner. I am a proponent of cycling and bike lanes, but bikers need to remember that they are (for the most part) bound by the same rules as autos, if you assume the rights of being a vehicle you also assume the responsibility.We need to prohibit riding on the sidewalk and the police need to ticket for violations.
Couldn't agree with you more. Santa Monica has become unbearable for driving these days. Whenever I have to travel, especially north and south, I almost always use either Ocean Avenue or 11th Street. 2nd to Lincoln has become a traffic nightmare what with the continuing and expanding construction on all these streets, and don't get me started on the political absurdity of granting more access to bicyclists on major thoroughfares. Just what we need: more arrogant entitled riders.
Your most recent article has to be among the most poorly researched I've seen in some time.I'd be curious whether you've taken some non-trivial bike ride on L.A. streets in traffic in the last year or so. If not, you might consider enhancing your perspective. Even the "safest" bike lanes on the West side, the ride along Santa Monica Boulevard from Sepulveda to Century City, sometimes leave me shaken. It's scary out there for cyclists, and we need to do more for them. To my knowledge, they are the only road users that decrease pollution and congestion and improve public health at one stroke.
Liked your piece today on bike lanes in LAO. I, too, believe they are mostly a feel good project with a very small return on investment (much like car pool lanes on the freeway). It's not so bad when bike lanes are part of new construction, but to take away space from existing lanes is stupid. LA City recently added bike lanes to a section of Foothill Bl. from the LA City / Glendale line through Sunland Tujunga where I live. It's a minor traffic disruption, except during morning and evening hours when it becomes a moderate disruption. In our community who uses them? Mostly nobody. I've see a few recreational bikers on weekends and the homeless who push their carts along the street. Big waste of resources and money.
What a knee-jerk reaction to a forward thinking idea. L.A. has seen a sharp increase in the number of bicyclists commuting to work. The CicLAvia program is one of the most popular community events in the city's history. Clearly there's a thirst for alternative means of transportation, if only L.A. was able to better support it. Why not try these lanes? If it doesn't work out, they can always go back to the old ways.

*From LAStreetsblog on Tuesday night's public hearing:

From the start, it looked like a bad night for bicycle advocates on the Westside. Before the evening began, a post on L.A. Observed by Mark Laceter [sic] layed down the stakes for Westside residents at the LADOT and City Planning community meeting on 5 Bike Plan projects on the Westside. It's normal people versus cycling zealots in a battle over public space. Emails from homeowner's groups were similarly dire. Despite the efforts of advocates, especially the Bike Coalition's (LACBC's) Eric Bruins to "community activists" about how bike lanes and other traffic calming devices are good for all road users; Laceter and many of those present last night at the "community meeting" can't seem to see past their windshield.

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Readers respond to proposed bike lanes*

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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