Mayor Villaraigosa pushes plan for L.A. bike lane network
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is making a summertime push for urban cyclists, pushing city managers and administrators to help implement the L.A. Master Bicycle Plan.
The plan was adopted in 2010 and aims to create a citywide network by designating nearly 1,700 miles of bike lanes. The implementation plan includes building 40 miles of bikeways each year and also focuses on closing gaps in the existing network of lanes.
Late last week, Villaraigosa issued a directive that took effect July 1: “The Mayor’s Executive Directive, which takes effect today July 1, 2011, ensures all City departments and agencies coordinate on bike-related matters to meet the City’s ambitious alternative transportation goals,” a news release from the mayor’s office said.
Jennifer Klausner of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition applauded the directive, saying in a statement that it “goes a long way in showing everyday cyclists that the City is committed to making their lives and commutes safer. Most excitingly, it also nudges other cities in the County to step up and create and implement their own bicycle plans and policies.”
Barbara Broide, of the homeowners association Westwood South of Santa Monica Boulevard, said she hoped the master plan and the mayor’s directive will help promote cycling by assuring riders there is a safe network of lanes.
“Those riders and those of us perhaps a bit too frightened to venture out in city traffic amongst SUVs and buses will all benefit from the implementation of a network of bicycle routes that give all bicyclists the freedom to safely ride,” Broide said in the news release.
A 600-mile bikeway network plan was first adopted by the city in 1977, and a second plan was designed in 1996 and called for a 673-mile network. The latest master plan includes the 673 miles and adds an additional 1,007 miles.
The latest plan includes three primary networks for cyclists. The first, known as the Backbone Network, is designed to be 707 miles and provide access to major employment hubs, transit stations, educational centers and entertainment venues, among others.
The second, known as the Neighborhood Network, is 834 miles and “includes local streets with low traffic volumes and slower speeds where bicyclists of all experience levels can feel comfortable,” according to the release.
The last is a 139-mile Green Network, which is planned to enhance access to other bicycle paths and areas among the city’s open green spaces like river channels.
-- Ari Bloomekatz
Photo: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times