Project engineers have been calling it the MOLE for sometime now (affectionately so); the acronym stands for Metro Orange Line Extension. While many bicyclists and pedestrians have already been testing it out, it officially opens up this Saturday, with press coverage beginning tomorrow.
The 4 mile long bike path will run parallel to most of the northbound Metro Orange Line extension. The path will span two bridges, one across the Los Angeles River and another across the Santa Susanna River. It will serve new Orange Line users as well as connect people to the Chatsworth Metrolink Station–the path and its connections to transit make a variety of new trips possible. At the northern end, the path also connects to the existing Brown’s Creek Bike Path.
Intersection crossings have wider curb cuts than we have done previously, six feet instead of four, which should make maneuvering through crossings easier. The design also features, for most segments of the path, separate designated lanes for walking and bicycling, with a 4′ travel lane in either direction for bicycling, a 5′ pedestrian footpath, and a 2′ buffer between the two. The path will also have solar-powered lights, similar to those recently installed along the L.A. River. Much of the route will also be receiving cosmetic improvements even after the opening–so if you see an area coned off, or if you notice construction trucks near the path, take care to go by more slowly than usual. And keep an eye out for new landscaping, as well as more wayfinding signage and elements in the coming weeks.
One last note, the Orange Line Rapid buses include Metro’s new triple bike rack and a number of new bike lockers, as well as bike racks, have been installed around the new stations. Go to Metro.net for more info on those.