Happy International Winter Bike to Work Day!
Although it goes completely unnoticed here in Southern California, where we don’t have to worry about chipping ice and snow off our bikes.
Not to mention ourselves at the end of a sunny winter ride.
Photo by photorama from Pixabay.
It may be time to sound the alarm.
Last week, we mentioned that Metro’s renderings for a planned transit-focused development at North Hollywood Station did not show the existing bike lanes currently serving the area.
Apparently there is a reason for this.
Street blogs Joe Linton writes that a new layout for the project – which would replace a huge above-ground car park with more than 1,500 new homes, as well as retail and office space – shows plans for cycle paths.
Just not as good as what’s out there right now.
The massive project, which sits right next to the connection point of the Burbank-Chandler and Orange Line multi-use trails, will clear a popular bike path connecting the trails. And replace it with a convoluted series of cycle paths that will encourage cyclists to dangerously break the law by riding against the current.
Here’s what Linton has to say.
Currently, cyclists – including me and my daughter – heading from the NoHo station to Burbank use the existing bus plaza sidewalk (which goes off) to get to the subway bike path (which goes off va) which runs along the north side of Chandler Boulevard between Fair Avenue and Vineland Avenue.
LADOT expects eastbound cyclists to do their best to cross four to five lanes of traffic on Chandler and then make an awkward left turn on Vineland (where many drivers turn right) to proceed to Burbank-Chandler Road. Cyclists will likely choose to salmon ride against traffic in the westbound bike lane (or sidewalk) as it will be more direct and faster. (Similarly ridiculous traffic is shown on Chandler west of Lankershim. LADOT somehow expects cyclists to cross from the north side of Chandler to the station, then cross Chandler again 500 feet to get to to a median bike path on the south side of Chandler.)
To make matters worse, the bike path should be replaced by, you guessed it, a parking lot.
And not just any car park, but a concrete juggernaut with spaces for 3,300 drivers and their vehicles. Which would suggest Metro has given up on getting Angelenos out of their cars, even as the world literally burns.
It also suggests that Metro thinks cyclists have a place on the road, but only if we don’t disturb all those important people in cars in any way.
Here comes Linton again.
Why was this trail, a high active transportation priority, not part of Metro’s site requirements? It sure seems like getting bikes around was not a priority – an afterthought – something to be done halfway after the cars took up a lot of space.
(And, frankly, that’s how Metro treats stations, bike lanes, and transit-oriented development. Without public notice or input, Metro removed an approved bike lane from its Rosa Parks station redesign, while allowing motorists to speed through the middle of the complex station.The Expo Line bike path has a terrible and dangerous hole at the Culver City station where cyclists are dumped into busy streets just before reaching the station. becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: “No one goes to these stations by bike anyway” because The Metro makes them inhospitable to cycling.)…
The project really should be reworked to include a continuous bike path from Vineland to at least Tujunga Avenue. Ideally, the path would pass through Lankershim and Vineland. This continued path was shown in renders released in 2016. If Metro and (Board Member Paul) Krekorian really want to pass livable climate to the next generation, this feature should be reintroduced.
We look forward to future public meetings where we will have the chance to offer very negative feedback.
In the meantime, maybe it’s time to tell Krekorian, who single-handedly scrapped ready-made plans for a reduction in lanes and bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, that he needs to do better.
Surprisingly, longtime scribe Peter Flax agrees with everyone who says cyclists have a right.
Except he says our main right is the right to come home alive.
And he’s got the t-shirt to prove it.
Here is how it is deployed. Someone sees a cyclist pedaling down the street and maybe even gets delayed for 15 seconds, and cyclists are entitled to that. Or maybe 17 parking spaces have been redistributed to make way for a bike lane, and so cyclists are entitled to it. Or someone makes the completely novel observation that cyclists don’t pay entry fees or taxes on gas they don’t use. Or someone sees a driver going through a stop sign or maybe filtering through traffic with a smile on their face. You all know the refrain: Cyclists have rights.
Of course, that’s total rubbish. The people doing all this moaning about cyclists are drivers who are oblivious to all the obscene rights they enjoy. We are talking about trillions of dollars and decades of subsidies. We are talking about hundreds of millions of free parking spaces. We’re talking about the most sinister fantasies of the oil and auto industries being turned into politics. Drivers have been showered with VIP privileges for so long that they don’t even notice them.
In order to reclaim this misused term, Flax says we need a bill of rights including,
- Cyclists have the right to return home alive
- Cyclists have the right to safe places to ride
- Cyclists have the right to get to work, schools and local businesses like everyone else
- Cyclists are entitled to legal protections
- Cyclists have the right to call on lawmakers, police departments and the justice system to recognize and protect people who ride bicycles
- Cyclists have the right to ride on the road
Like everything Flax writes, it’s a good track. And well worth a few minutes of your time.
And remember that bill of rights for cyclists we talked about earlier this week, which almost became law in Los Angeles, before it didn’t.
Oh, and about that t-shirt.
– Authorized Cyclist🚲 (@EntitledCycling) February 10, 2022