Choosing Bike Lanes Over Bikelash in Los Angeles

Activists threaten to sue after the city of Los Angeles decided to forgo environmental review on a street reconfiguration project that removed a vehicle lane on Venice Boulevard.

1 minute read

March 12, 2019, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Los Angeles Road Diet

The Venice Boulevard protected bike lane, pictured in December 2017. | Google Streetview

"Setting the stage for a legal challenge, the Los Angeles City Council rejected an appeal Friday from neighborhood advocates fighting a bicycle lane on a congested Westside artery," reports Laura J. Nelson.

The controversy surrounds a 0.8-mile stretch of Venice Boulevard in the neighborhood of Mar Vista.

"The city spent $1.8 million to add four traffic signals, sidewalk mosaics, curb ramps, more visible crosswalks and a bike lane with a buffer zone to separate drivers from cyclists," according to Nelson. "The project removed one vehicle travel lane in each direction."

The bike lane enjoys some public support, but opponents have been threatening to sue the city if the City Council made the pilot project permanent. After the City Council voted in December to make the project permanent, opposition groups appealed, which set the stage for last week's decision.

As noted by Nelson, the city's Vision Zero goals and its Mobility 2035 plan, have encountered resistance wherever road lanes for cars have been removed—perhaps most infamously in 2017, when the city reversed nine miles of road diets in Mar Vista and nearby Playa del Rey.

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