LADOT compromises on North Figueroa Street bike lanes

Rendering of LADOT proposed N. Figueroa bike lane looking north towards Avenue 26 near the intersection of N. Figueroa Street and  Avenue 22. By Nathan Lucero.

It is easy to come away from a discussion about bike lanes on North Figueroa Street thinking that this is a “bikes vs. cars” issue. Heck, our local councilman, Gil Cedillo, had his entire office working on that tired narrative the past 3 months (prior to ignoring the issue after being elected in May of 2013).

When you look closer at the facts, this narrative breaks down completely.

The way the LADOT has designed the North Figueroa Street bike lanes will not have a noticeable impact on peak hour car travel times, and will have no impact whatsoever during off-peak hours.

Why is that?

Rendering of LADOT proposed N. Figueroa bike lane looking south towards Avenue 22 and the 5 Freeway from just past the Avenue 26 intersection with N. Figueroa Street. By: Nathan Lucero

The most car-congested intersection of North Figueroa is where it meets Avenue 26. It is common to see a clump of 40 to 60 cars waiting at Avenue 26 to enter either the 5 South or the 110 South in the morning on weekdays.

The LADOT’s planned bike lanes will keep all the existing car lanes on North Figueroa from Avenue 28 down to the intersection with the 110 South – which means that there will be no added car delay in this portion of North Figueroa when bike lanes are installed.

Is this what Figueroa For All wants? Not really. We would prefer a cycle track and much better intersection design running the length of North Figueroa.

Here is an example of what Figueroa For All would like to see:

You can read more about cycle tracks and protected intersections by clicking here.

Now that the LADOT has compromised on its original vision of a buffered bike lane running the length of North Figueroa Street, will those opposed to the lanes accept this compromise? Will Councilman Cedillo call off his staff on their crusade to scare people away from safer streets?

Figueroa For All members outside a community meeting called by Councilman Cedillo on June 12, 2014.

For the sake of quality of life and safety on North Figueroa let’s hope the LADOT’s compromise design and these renderings get a bike lane installed soon.

5 thoughts on “LADOT compromises on North Figueroa Street bike lanes

  1. I think this compromise is a good one, as long as the dedicated bike lanes are continuous along the entire length of Fig. from San Fernando Road north to York. The renderings show that car parking would be eliminated to allow for a wide bike lane and two car lanes. Isn’t this what LADOT is now proposing? A radical intersection redesign would open up a new can of worms and would take years to implement at this rate. Let’s go with this incremental step and get people used to having both bikes and cars on the street.

    • Sadly, Harv, the LADOT’s designs show no bike lane connecting the soon-to-be-installed roundabout at San Fernando Road to Avenue 22 (where the 110 freeway onramp is). This one block gap will likely be served by pointless sharrows. I might be mis-reading the lane diagrams that LADOT has prepared – I hope I am wrong about this but my instinct tells me the new Riverside-Figueroa bridge and the North Figueroa bike lanes will not properly connect to each other despite the massive positive benefits such a connection would bring at a vanishingly small cost to simply plan for this connection.

  2. Pingback: Morning Links: Drivers give more distance to riders in bike lanes; cyclist hurt at Sunday’s LA River Ride | BikinginLA

  3. “Clump of 40 to 60 cars”? Gee, given typical California car loadings–most cars operate 65% empty here, after all–that’s just one Metro bus, which takes up the space of just three cars. Sixty bikes wouldn’t take up much room either. Nor would people walking.

    Looks like we’re wasting a lot of asphalt pandering to private driving with public money here in LA, aren’t we? Not to mention the opportunity costs…if one of those lanes were for a few cars and a lot of buses, and one for bikes, the rest could be small businesses bringing choice and employment to the area, linear parks, wider sidewalks, bioswales to help alleviate the drought, etc.

    Really, a four-lane freeway and a high-capacity light rail line bracket Figueroa barely a block away on either side; why should it be reserved mostly for cars? Stoopid.

    • I understand what you’re saying, but we are not going to have even 10% of the workforce in DTLA drive bikes 10+ miles to and from work. Look at the bike lanes vs the car lanes on York blvd on any given day at any given time. Less then 1% of the people on York are using bike lanes.

      After the hipster fad ends and bikes are no longer cool, will the local areas still want bike lanes? Judging by the majority people who live there now (and not ones that bike in for LOCAL hearings)… no.

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