Announcing the Release of the First Year Draft EIR and More

Draft EIR Cover

City Planning’s David Somers has two blog posts today to explain how these prioritized bike lane projects will be moving forward. This post  goes into more detail about the Draft EIR, while his previous post covered the public hearings scheduled for the project and the approval process afterwards.  – Nate Baird

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) of the First Year of the First Five-Year Implementation Strategy (First Year) and the Figueroa Streetscape Project was released to the public on Thursday, January 17th.  As all proposed bicycle lanes included in the First Year Draft EIR include the reduction of at least one mixed-flow travel lane, the main focus of the Draft EIR is the projected increases in travel delay (expressed in Level of Service (LOS)) anticipated as a result of the reduction in auto flow capacity. The result of the LOS analysis can be found in the Traffic Section of the Draft EIR (see Table 4.5-5).

Projects

Sunset Blvd. Traffic and Safety Assessment

A stand alone Traffic and Safety Assessment was also released for one mile of bike lanes along Sunset Blvd. west of Figueroa St. The Sunset Blvd. bike lanes were recently proposed and will for the first time provide a direct connection to the neighborhoods of Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Echo Park to Downtown by a continuous bikeway.

Draft EIR and AB 2245

Many may wonder why a Draft EIR is still necessary given the adoption of AB 2245, which exempts new bicycle lanes from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Though the state law exempts these projects from CEQA, it requires that the City provide traffic and safety assessments of these bike lanes and conduct public hearings prior to seeking the exemption. Additionally, the Department of City Planning initiated the Draft EIR prior to the adoption of AB 2245, and seeks to make the analysis available for public review prior to the public hearings. The Draft EIR serves as the traffic and safety assessment under the law. Comments on the Draft EIR will be addressed in a staff report prepared by the Department of City Planning for consideration by the General Manager of LADOT.

 Approval Process Going Forward

The City will not be certifying the EIR or preparing a Final EIR.  Rather, at the time of a decision to proceed with bike lanes, Notices of Exemption will be filed in accordance with AB 2245. LADOT will not make a final decision to approve all 40 miles of bike lanes projects included in the First Year project list at the same time, but rather intends to proceed in tiers by: 1) approving a subsection of bicycle lanes as proposed, 2) approving a subsection of bicycle lanes as modified in design based on public input and traffic and safety analysis, and 3) deferring the implementation of some of the more difficult bicycle lanes to a later date. LADOT may proceed with the implementation of some of the bicycle lanes from the project list upon filing a Notice of Exemption, and after review of the traffic and safety impacts contained in the Draft EIR and public input has been received and responded to. Subject to final approval by LADOT, the installation of the bicycle lanes is anticipated to take less than 12 months, and the completion of the first tier of bicycle lanes would begin sometime in 2013. A Notice of Exemption will be filed for the streetscape improvements proposed as part of the My Fig project.

Send any comments you have on either the Draft EIR or Traffic and Safety Assessment for the Sunset Blvd. bicycle lanes to David Somers by March 4th, 2013 at 5 PM. More information related to the process and contact is available here.

0 replies
  1. f ron miller
    f ron miller says:

    All bike ammenities are hugely appreciated by this rider –though I’m dissapointed to see that there are no projects pending which would safely conduct bicycle traffic east-west over or under the 405. That said, It appears to be a promising year in the city for anyone who travels north-south!

    Reply
  2. mattymatt
    mattymatt says:

    Are you kidding me: “It should be noted that reductions in vehicle trips and increase in other mode shares have not been accounted for in this EIR.” (Page 4.5-31)

    Why not?

    Reply
  3. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    I have suggestions for alternative routes that would create less delays in traffic for streets in the draft EIR on the westside.

    My first alternative route suggestion would connect employees and students at UCLA to the upcoming Expo Line station on Westwood Blvd, while also having a route that has a small amount of detours and is close to businesses along Westwood Blvd.

    Install bike lanes on Gayley Ave from Le Conte Ave to Rochester Ave. Then utilize the already low-stress for bicycling Midvale Ave as the route from Rochester Ave to Pico Blvd. This would require creating a pass through and dedicasted bicycle signal on Midvale Ave to get across Santa Monica Blvd.
    Keeping bicyclists aware of where they are in relationship to businesses on Westwood Blvd could be done by installing wayfinding signage.

    Have a one-block bike lane on Pico Blvd to connect Midvale Ave to Westwood Blvd or have cyclists ride on the sidewalks on Pico Blvd since its a short ride. Cyclists are expected to ride on the sidewalk along Canoga Ave to connect them to the Orange Line mixed use path that starts north of Vanowen St to the path just north of Victory Blvd, so why not do something similar here.

    Also, install bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from Pico Blvd to National Blvd.

    My second alternative route suggestion is to replace bike lanes on Sepulveda Blvd from n/o Ohio Ave to the Expo Line. This would utilize low-stress for bicycling Camden Ave from n/o Ohio Ave to Pico Blvd and then create bike lanes on Pico Blvd (or the sidewalk) to connect bicyclists to inherently low-stress for cycling Military Ave. This will connect cyclists to the bike path along the Expo Line that will get them to the Sepulveda Expo Line station.

    Detour routes for those traveling on Sepulveda Blvd bike lanes south of National Blvd that would connect them to Military Ave–which will get them to the Expo Line station–can be made.

    My third alternative suggestion would replace the bike lanes proposed on Bundy Dr from San Vicente Blvd to the Expo bike path. This would utilize low-stress for bicycling Westgate Ave from San Vicente Blvd to Wilshire Blvd. The cyclist could be connected to Westgate Blvd south of Wilshire Blvd by having them ride on a sidewalk for less than a block. Take Mississippi Ave east to Granville Ave and then to the bike path that will take you to the Bundy Dr Expo Line station.

    The I-10 creates a physical barrier that prevents access to the Expo Line station from south of the freeway on most north/south streets. There is no other choice but bike lanes on Bundy Dr, utilizing Barrington Ave, or Centinela Ave to the west of Bundy Dr to get past the freeway.

    Reply
  4. Dennis Hindman
    Dennis Hindman says:

    Another suggestion I have is to have bike lanes in consideration on Lankershim Blvd only from Ventura Blvd/Cahuenga W. to Riverside Dr. Connect Lankershim Blvd to Vineland Ave with bike lanes between these two streets on Riverside Dr. Put in bike lanes from Riverside Dr to Chandler Blvd on Vineland Ave.

    This would bypass the F condition traffic situations on Lankershim Blvd at Magnolia Blvd and Camarillo St if the bike lanes are installed.

    This also would give a much more comfortable route to ride compared to the horrific level of stress to bicycle across Lankershim Blvd where it intersects Camarillo St and Vineland Ave.

    I live in the area and have bicycled Lankershim Blvd from Riverside Dr hundreds of times to get to the Orange Line. The tools that the traffic engineers will use for the Lankershim Blvd/Camarillo St/Vineland Ave intersection will not reduce the stress level enough for comfortable or safe cycling for the mainstream population. The compromise I mentioned above is worth considering to make some progress in getting bicycle infrastructure in the area.

    Reply
  5. Peter Daniels
    Peter Daniels says:

    Does anyone have a reasonably good estimate of how many bicycles actually are being ridden on a daily basis along the routes being proposed on the Westside?

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] At this point in the presentation, we then dove into some of the details of each project. In the embedded Prezi presentation, and in the linked presentations (double click to download any of the geographic presentations), you can pan around and zoom in on any of the project details (including maps, cross section drawings, and descriptive text) or the associated graphs detailing the results of our travel delay analysis (based on data available in the Draft EIR that was prepared). […]

  2. […] Which means that if you didn’t get a chance to have your say at the hearing, you should think about submitting written comments in support of the project to planner David Somers (prior to March 4th) or attending the webinar on February 20th, the details of which can be found here. For more about the First Year Plan and Draft EIR, please click here. […]

  3. […] Planning’s David Somers filled us in a couple of weeks ago on the release of the draft EIR for the First Year Bicycle Lanes project. While AB 2245 exempt bicycle lanes from CEQA, it still […]

  4. […] plans are unveiled for the city’s first cycle tracks and raised bike lanes. Meanwhile, the city speeds up key projects by opting out of environmental review; hearings for first year projects will be held next […]

  5. […] New Year’s Bicycle Plan Implementation Meeting Quickly Approaching Announcing the Release of the First Year Draft EIR and More […]

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