Before diving into a number of conceptual plans for Priority 1 bikeways, this month’s Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting featured some healthy discussions about environmental review processes. Prior BPIT discussions on this subject can be reviewed via our past posts on bikeways projects and environmental review. Wendy Lockwood, an environmental consultant, was on hand at the meeting to explain the City’s strategy for implementing bikeways projects via the Bike Plan, including some delving into what qualifies as a significant impact in the City. Here are some of the takeaways:
- A mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) was submitted for the 2010 Bike Plan
- Projects which do not cause significant impacts as defined in the City’s traffic guidelines (or any other significant environmental impacts, for that matter) and which have independent utility (more on this later) can move forward
- A number of other bikeways projects, which might have the potential to cause significant impacts (usually as defined by the City’s traffic guidelines), require additional environmental review to proceed
- In certain cases, bikeway corridors that do have a significant impact on some segments may have others segments that do not. If these segments have independent utility, these projects can proceed.
After the fold, we’ll discuss the idea of independent utility in more detail and then proceed to a number of updates on projects that staff have been working on.
The concept of independent utility was discussed during the BPIT meeting. Independent utility is basically a term used to describe individual projects that are capable of standing on their own. For example, DOT is currently pursuing the addition of 0.6 miles of new bike lanes on Cahuenga Blvd. as part of a bike route from Hancock Park to the Hollywood Bowl. While the previously identified Cahuenga bike lanes project will require further study and review, DOT staff have identified a segment that will not pose significant impacts and has independent utility as part of the larger Hancock Park to the Hollywood Bowl bike route it will complete. DOT and City Planning are working diligently to identify such opportunities as they arise. If you have any ideas, please let us know!
City Center North & Hollywood to Alhambra Conceptual Designs
DOT Bikeways engineers presented conceptual designs for three streets in City Center North and three streets that together will connect Hollywood to the City of Alhambra. Here is a brief overview of the concepts. Look out early next week for more details on each of these individual concepts. We look forward to your comments/ suggestions for how you’d like these exciting projects to be designed.
Figueroa St. (7th St. to Sunset Blvd/Cesar E. Chavez Avenue)
DOT Staff presented concepts that included a south-bound (S/B) contra-flow bicycle lane (cycle track) on the west side of the street and a complimentary northbound (N/B) bicycle lane on the east side of the street for Figueroa between 7th and 3rd Street. Design challenges along Figueroa that DOT staff are analyzing include bus only lanes, on-street parking, one-way to two-way street configurations, narrow underpasses, and ramps to the 110 freeway.
Main St. (Venice Blvd/16th St. to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue)
Another downtown concept presented was Main Street from Venice to Cesar Chavez (2.2 miles). This project could require the removal of on-street parking and/or a vehicle travel lane, depending on the particular segment of the project. A protected bike facility is being considered between 9th and Cesar Chavez, with options ranging from either a bike lane adjacent to the curb or between parking and the thru-lane.
Spring St. (9th St. to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue)
A 1.5 mile segment of Spring St. from 9th St. to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue was also presented during the BPIT meeting. This project would necessitate the installation of “queue jumpers” at transitions between one-way and two-way street configurations. Queue jumpers would be a separate phase for bicycles so that they can move ahead of car traffic to transition from the left side to the right side of the street, and vice versa. The removal of parking and/or vehicle travel lanes may also be required for this project.
Hollywood to Alhambra
Sunset Blvd / Cesar E Chavez Ave. (Douglas St. to Mission Rd.)
The segment from Douglas to Elysian Park would require the removal of street parking on one side. From Elysian Park to Grand, the west-bound peak hour lanes and parking on both sides would have to removed or remove both peak hour lanes and retain parking on one side. From Grand to Broadway, either parking or peak- hour lanes (or one some combination of the two) would have to be removed. Also, double left turn lanes would become single left turn lanes along this segment. Finally, the segment from North Broadway to Mission Rd. would necessitate the removal of one travel lane in one direction in order to fit in bike lanes.
Mission Road ( Cesar Chavez Ave. to Soto St./ Huntington Dr.)
This project would require the removal of some parking and would generally preserve two lanes of traffic in each direction, or maintain parking but reduce to single lane operation for certain sections depending upon roadway width.
Huntington Dr. (Soto St./Mission Rd. to Alhambra City Limit)
The take away from this project was that no vehicle travel lane reduction or parking removal would be necessary. Bike lanes would be inserted through travel lane width reductions, subject to final verification.