The Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT), which met this Tuesday, is continuing their work on the “Top 10″ list of priority projects. In addition to working on bringing bike lanes to 7th Street, the BPIT also began discussions about extending the existing Venice Boulevard bike lanes from their current terminus at Crenshaw Boulevard all the way to Downtown LA. We’d like to open up that discussion of bike lanes on Venice Boulevard to the public at large. Your ability to make it down to City Hall at 2:00 PM on a Tuesday shouldn’t impact your ability to help LA implement its Bike Plan and become more bike friendly.
As part of the BPIT’s continued outreach for input on “Top 10″ projects, LADOT Bike Blog last month launched discussions (both on the blog and on Facebook) on how best to build bike lanes on 7th Street. We’d like to again extend the opportunity to comment on how to build bike lanes on Venice Boulevard.
The First Cross-City Corridor
Extending bike lanes along Venice Boulevard, where they already run over 9 miles from Pacific Ave in the west to Crenshaw Boulevard in the east, would create the first true east-west corridor of bicycle infrastructure in Los Angeles. By building the 4 miles of bike lanes from Crenshaw Boulevard to Main Street, a bicyclist could ride from downtown LA all the way to the beach without once leaving a bike lane.
This project will also connect with the terminus of existing bike lanes on Hoover Street and will also connect to whatever bicycle infrastructure comes out of the MyFigueroa project. This project embodies the zeitgeist of the Backbone Network contained as a part of the LA Bike Plan, and is a project deserving the full support of the bicycle community and the City.
As this project moves forward, LADOT will assist council offices in conducting outreach to the communities along Venice Boulevard.
Venice: A Very Varied Boulevard
From initial analysis by Bikeways Engineers, Venice Boulevard from Crenshaw Boulevard to Main Street was split into 5 sections. Each section has different roadway widths, and thus offers different options for extending bike lanes.
- Section 1: The roadway from Crenshaw to 7th Ave is .21 miles long and has a width of 67 feet. The current configuration has two lanes of travel in either direction and a two-way left turn lane in the center. The two parking lanes have peak-hour restrictions, creating two extra travel lanes on this section of Venice during rush hour.
- Section 2: The roadway from 7th Ave to Arlington is .41 miles long and has a width of 90 feet. The current configuration has three lanes of travel in either direction and a two-way left turn lane in the center. There is street parking on both sides of the street.
- Section 3: The roadway from Arlington to Orchard is 1.93 miles long and has a width of 56 feet. The current configuration has two lanes of travel in either direction and street parking on both sides of the street.
- Section 4: The roadway from Orchard to Figueroa is 1.17 miles long and has a width of 55 feet. The current configuration has two lanes of travel in either direction and street parking on both sides of the street.
- Section 5: The roadway from Figueroa to Main is .51 miles long and has a width of 40 feet. The current configuration has one lane of travel in each direction. The two parking lanes have peak-hour restrictions, creating two extra lanes of travel during rush hour.
Help Us Make Venice Boulevard the Best it Can Be
Armed with these facts, what are your thoughts on bringing bike lanes to Venice Boulevard? How would you avoid the “accordion effect” when reconfiguring the street? The “accordion effect” is when travel lanes keep changing in number (from 2 lanes to 3 lanes to 2 lanes again to 4 lanes, etc.), causing driver confusion and backups at merges. Are there problem-intersections that especially need our attention? Where do you think it would be appropriate to remove a travel lane or street parking to accommodate a bike lane? Are there sections of the street that you think deserve an alternative treatment like Sharrows? Are there sections that could take an even more aggressive treatment like Cycle Tracks?
Leave us your ideas in the comments section below. We’ll make sure all of them get back to City Planning and LADOT’s Bikeways Engineers as we move forward on bringing bike lanes to Venice Boulevard.