Best Urban Bike Lane (2013)

Metro Orange Line Bike Path

When San Fernando Valley residents put a stop to light rail years ago, some people made fun of them. Then the wildly popular, super-quiet Orange Line busway opened between North Hollywood and Warner Center, and recently the northward extension was finished to Chatsworth. The 14-mile-long Metro Orange Line Bike Path weaves beside the busway and serves those who bicycle for transportation, not guys in matching performance duds. From dawn to dark, this well-lighted lane, planted with 800,000 exotic trees and shrubs, is used by Mexican laborers hauling paint, students with backpacks and commuters pumping to catch the bus. It takes you from trendy NoHo's theater district through the vast green Sepulveda Basin to mall heaven/hell at Warner Center and finally north to Chatsworth horse country for a cold beer. Watch for cross-traffic at the many intersections. labikepaths.com/bike-paths/orange-line-busway. —Norm Jenssen