The Council’s Feb 14 meeting featured a discussion of proposed bike lanes for Westwood Blvd.
The discussion kicked off with a PowerPoint presentation by Eric Bruins of the LA County Bicycle Coalition. For the stretch between Santa Monica and Pico, Bruins pitched a creative proposal involving floating bike lanes as an alternative to the city’s proposal. A city representative who was present said the city was prepared to support the LACBC proposal and noted such a design has been implemented in other locations. The design preserves street parking on both sides during non-peak hours with one travel lane in each direction. During morning peak, it allows for two travel lanes northbound and a parking lane southbound; during evening peak, two travel lanes southbound and a parking lane northbound.
Bruins developed a number of arguments in favor of bike lanes generally: health and safety; tendency of bikers to patronize local businesses; community ambiance. He emphasized the importance of Westwood Blvd as a biking corridor between Palms and UCLA, with the Expo Line to figure in soon.
A dozen or so community members spoke in support of bike lanes. Some already bike Westwood regularly; others would like to if given the safety of bike lanes, but are scared off by present conditions. A couple of community members spoke in opposition to bike lanes out of concerns about congestion.
A few Council members spoke favorably, but the weight of the feeling on the Council seemed negative. The Council President ended the discussion with an ominous speech about all the unknowns surrounding the Expo Line and further Westside development.
For details on implementation of the 2010 Bike Plan, see the LADOT Bike Blog: http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/bpit/