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LA Eliminates Entire Car Lane For Safer Bike Travel

LA Eliminates Entire Car Lane For Safer Bike Travel

 

Despite its reputation for horrendous traffic, officials from the City of Los Angeles recently decided transform a lane normally used by cars into a thoroughfare for bike commuters.

If you’re an L.A. citizen that normally gets around by car, you might think the decision is outrageous, or even a joke, but it’s not. And if you’re a bicycle commuter, well, it just might be the best news you’ve ever heard.

“Hold on to your hats, folks, we’re actually removing a lane for a car — in favor of a bike lane — in Los Angeles,” City Councilman Ed Reyes said during a news conference at MacArthur Park. “By doing so, we, as a city, are changing the way we see bicycles, as not only a recreational vehicle but as a legitimate form of public transportation.”

The new bicycle lane is located along a 2.2-mile stretch of 7th Street from Catalina Avenue in Koreatown to Figueroa Street downtown.

Cycling advocates hailed the decision as revolutionary and long-overdue. Some say it will set the standard for other metropolitan areas that have been slow to accommodate the growing cycling culture.

It’s been said that the establishment of bike lanes in urban areas is a signal of gentrification, but it seems that L.A.’s newest bike line fails to uphold this theory.

Cyclists are not only middle-class white urbanites who can afford a car but choose to not always drive, but also transit-dependent residents in low-income minority communities such as Westlake, Allison Mannos of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition told the L.A. Times.

Mannos also said the 7th Street proposal emerged from conversations with laborers who frequently use the thoroughfare to commute.

The decision to convert the lane is part of Los Angeles’ Bike Master Plan which calls for more than 200 miles of new bike routes every five years. Although bike lanes are one of the cheapest types of transportation infrastructure, costing approximately $50,000 to $100,000 per mile, some fear that the City lacks funding to achieve this aggressive goal.

Related Reading:

Ride Outside NYC’s Bike Lanes, Get A Ticket

Why Building A Bike-Safe City Is Key To A Clean Energy Future

Traffic Fines Fund Bike-Friendly Cities In Brazil

via LA Times

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Image Credit: Flickr - mark.hogan

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72 comments

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8:24PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

excellent

9:54PM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

Awesome! This is a great start and I really hope they complete their goal. Cities across the country need to follow L.A.'s lead.

3:07PM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

I hope LA's method of protecting bikers by building them lanes to travel on will. provide them with safe areas. Hope other areas will copy this action.

10:48AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

hopefully we'll get more bike lanes in more areas soon

3:18AM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

Good move! Let's ride our bikes!

7:03AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

BIG up!

12:32AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Way to go LA!!!

12:50PM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

good for LA maybe it will encourage more bike riders

5:47AM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

good news

5:46AM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

Good for LA. Now perhaps the rest of the USA and other countries would like to follow suit.

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