Late last night, the Venice Neighborhood Council voted 13-3 to support a road diet and bike lanes for Main St. The project will install a 7′ / 5.5′ / 11′ / 9′ / 11′ / 5.5′ / 7′ striping configuration (parking, bike lane, travel lane, two way left turn lane, travel lane, bike lane, parking). Along some stretches with more width, the bike lane will be widened to 6′, the median to the originally designed 10′.
Prior to the vote, and after a supportive introduction from Councilman Rosendahl’s office, Tina Backstrom (an LADOT engineer responsible for the project, along with engineer Abbass Vajar, also in attendance) explained many of the benefits of the project, including safety (which we’ve discussed before), as well as some of the technical details. The original design had 5′ bike lanes, but after receiving much input from the public, the median two way left turn lane will be reduced to a very minimum 9′ width in order to give an additional 6″ to either the bike lanes or the parking lanes. The VNC voted to support adding the additional width to the bike lanes via an amendment to the original motion to support the project. Additional benefits of the project include the bikeway network the project helps connect in Venice: the Main St. bike lanes will link to existing bike lanes on Main St. in Santa Monica, to proposed bike lanes on Rose Ave., and to existing bike lanes on Venice Blvd. via existing sharrows on Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Kent Strumpell of the Los Angeles City Bicycle Advisory Committee (LACBAC) also presented to the VNC prior to the vote; he explained the need for the bike lanes and the high number of bicyclists already using the corridor. A Saturday afternoon count this past January noted nearly 700 bicyclists in just 6 hours.
During the public comment period, many who came to support the bike lanes (and some who were against it) were in favor of more robust options of providing a bikeway on Main St. My DOT colleagues explained that the project will not preclude more robust options from happening in the future, subject to funding availability and outreach/political processes. For a more blow by blow account of the meeting, check out our Twitter feed history. Councilman Rosendahl’s office is expected to concur with the VNC’s vote in the very near future. We’ll update this post once we get word from his office. Thanks all!