Los Angeles Goes Bike-Lane Crazy

If you're tired of seeing traffic lanes on already congested streets being taken away for dedicated bike lanes, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

The car capital of America is officially changing its tune. A city built on the automobile will now weigh bicycle, pedestrian and transit traffic as part of every major planning and permitting decision.

The result will be about 300 more miles of protected bike lines in years to come, increased density near rail and bus stops, and a focus on pedestrians when streets are redesigned and developments are approved. The goal is to "expand the role of the street as a public place," the city says.

In a 12-to-2 vote today the L.A. City Council adopted this Mobility Plan 2035. Jose Huizar, a sponsor of the motion to adopt the document, says:

While the automobile remains a vital part of our transportation future, so too is our goal to make our roads safer, more efficient and accessible with increased public transportation, pedestrian and bike-focused options. Mobility Plan 2035 does just that.

It's the first comprehensive update to the city's transportation framework since the 1990s, its backers say. 

You might be frustrated when four lanes turn into two in order to accommodate bike riders, but Mobility Plan is aimed at getting you out of your car altogether and reducing traffic over the long term. According to a statement from Huizar's office:

The Mobility Plan 2035 proposes developing a network of bike lanes, transit lines and pedestrian-friendly streets to help encourage more people to choose to walk, bike or take public transit, taking cars off the road in LA neighborhoods.

Los Angeles Goes Bike-Lane Crazy
City of Los Angeles

Councilman Mike Bonin, who co-sponsored today's measure, said the plan would take L.A. from a "1950s mentality" of wide streets and polluting cars to a post-automobile world of bikes, electric cars and light rail.

"This plan is about giving people safe and convenient transportation options so they aren’t forced to use their cars for every trip they take," he said.

You can read the plan here.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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