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First 'Parking-Protected' Bike Lane Opens in Los Angeles

The parking-protected bike lane on Reseda Boulevard in the Northridge neighborhood of the city of Los Angeles opened to bicycles on April 2. Also, Detroit broke ground on its first protected bike lanes—with or without the parking protection.
April 6, 2015, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Medgar Parrish

The United States' second largest city has been slow to get on the cycle track. With the opening of Reseda Boulevard in Northridge, hopefully Figueroa Street will follow soon.

Great photos by Joe Linton of Streetsblog Los Angeles clearly showing how the protected bike lane works for cyclists and motorists parking their vehicles, though not all got it right.

 Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

New parking-protected bike lanes on Reseda Boulevard. All photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Note the sign on the pole to the right of the cyclist. They are on "(n)early every other pole along Reseda Boulevard explaining the new striping," writes Linton, and how it works for motorists parking their cars, delivery drivers loading/unloading trucks or vans, cyclists, and even pedestrians, though not everyone is good at following directions. Or perhaps some motorists just insist on parking at the curb "because that's the way it's always done?" No worries, L.A.'s finest, on bikes, no less, are on top of it.

A commenter on the blog, Dennis_Hindman, writes, "Those white bollards are called K71, which self re-erect when hit by motor vehicles at over 65 mph. It comes in a variety of colors. There is also the K72 which looks more like a decorative steel post. [PDF]" I don't know if any of the armadillos make it to the final application.

The photos show a wide gutter pan between the bike lane and the curb. According to Federal Highway Administration Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation [PDF], "On streets where the bike lane is adjacent to the curb and the curb includes a 1-foot to 2-foot gutter pan, bike lanes should be a minimum of 4 feet wide (width does not include the gutter pan, since bicyclists are typically unable to use this space)." Hopefully the new lanes meets that criteria.

The similar good news on Detroit comes by way of Angie Schmitt of Streetsblog USA. "The bike lane is part of a road diet for Jefferson Avenue in the historic Jefferson-Chalmers business district." The Jefferson Ave. lanes will also be parking-protected.

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Published on Saturday, April 4, 2015 in Streetsblog LA
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