Dividers installed to make the 2nd St. tunnel bike lanes the first protected lanes in Los Angeles!

Protected Bicycle Lane

LADOT employee Eli Glazier snapped this picture of the new protected bicycle lane as he biked in this morning.

Last night, LADOT crews installed delineators along 2nd St. in Downtown, making 2nd St. the first street to feature a protected bicycle lane in Los Angeles. Each delineator will work in combination with the 4 foot buffer to alert drivers to the presence of the bicycle lane. A delineator is a hard plastic post about 3 feet tall. The delineators were installed 48 feet apart along the outer edge of the bicycle lane’s buffer.

LADOT crews work to install delineators in 2nd St. tunnel

LADOT crew members apply epoxy to delineators they installed along the 2nd St. tunnel bike lanes last night

2nd St. is now the first street in Los Angeles to feature a physical separation installed between a vehicle travel lane and the adjacent bicycle lane. Dividers can be difficult to install because the final street design must balance the needs of bicyclists with the need for bus and motor vehicle drivers to access the curb lane for bus stops, driveways, right turn movements, and parking.

As we continue to work to create more of these separated bike lanes in the city, (including the MyFigueroa project), we hope to pilot more innovative designs that resolve many of the conflicting needs described above. For more information about citywide plans for “cycle tracks”, as they’re often known, read up about the proposed “Bicycle Enhanced Network” at LA2B.org. Many thanks to Councilmember Huizar for championing the 2nd St. tunnel delineators as an important first step in these efforts.

0 replies
  1. Rico
    Rico says:

    I like them and applaud LADOT for making this crucial first step. I do think that they should be at least half as far apart, though. Or if not, perhaps include some Botts’ dots so if drivers do drive in them, they’ll immediately get the hint and stop driving in that lane.

    Reply
  2. Will Wright (@willwrightreads)
    Will Wright (@willwrightreads) says:

    I love the bike lanes….but I wouldn’t consider “delineators” protective. In fact, they actually contribute to visual blight and crumble and deteriorate and really don’t offer much protection at all from an errant car. So, although I do not want to be negative, I do in fact want to be critical.

    We need genuine separation. And whatever form that takes, the infrastructure needs to be beautiful and better integrated into the visible fabric of our urban realm. Otherwise, we keep cluttering up our public space with plastics and terrible signage and cheap, un-lasting dandruff-like flakes on the soulful scalp of Los Angeles.

    Reply
  3. Dan Gutierrez
    Dan Gutierrez says:

    The addition of raised delineators and the left buffers already make this facility a type of cycle treack or non-standard path. Part 9 of the CAMUTCD specifically and explcitly prohibits this type of riased barrier treatment for a bike lane:

    2012 CAMUTCD Part 9
    Section 9C.04 Markings For Bicycle Lanes

    Standard:
    22 Raised barriers (e.g., raised traffic bars and asphalt concrete dikes) or raised pavement markers shall not be used to delineate bike lanes on Class II Bikeways (Bike Lane)
    .
    Support:
    23 Raised barriers prevent motorists from merging into bike lanes before making right turns, as requiredby the CVC, and restrict the movement of bicyclists desiring to enter or exit bike lanes.
    24 They also impede routine maintenance. Raised pavement markers increase the difficulty for bicyclists when entering or exiting bike lanes, and discourage motorists from merging into bike lanes before making right turns.
    Option:
    25 Physical barriers may be used to convert a Class II Bikeway (Bike Lane) to Class I Bikeway (Bike Path)
    ====================================

    We sincerely hope the city has signed this facility as a bike path and not a bike lane, similar to what the City of Long Beach did when creating two facilities in the downtown area that employ riased barriers. And in a similar light, we hope the upcoming cycletrack designs are similarly signed at bike paths and not bike lanes. Just to sensitize you to the issue, here is what the 2012 Highway Design Manual has to say about facilities separated from travel lanes by barriers and/or street parking:

    301.2
    Class II Bikeway (Bike Lane) Lane
    Width
    (1) General. Class II bikeways (bike lanes), for the preferential use of bicycles, may be established within the roadbed and shall be located immediately adjacent to a traffic lane as allowed in this manual. Typical Class II bikeway configurations are illustrated
    in Figure 301.2A.A bikeway located behind on-street parking, physical separation, or barrier within the roadway is not a Class II
    bikeway (bike lane); see Index 1003.1 Class I Bikeway (Bike Path) for standards and design guidance.
    =====================================

    So in conclusion, we would like to see LADOT follow the state standards, which are required by SHC 981, 890.6 and 890.8, and sign both non-standard bikeways that are barrier and/or parking separated from travel lanes as paths, and not bike lanes.

    Reply
    • Clark J.
      Clark J. says:

      99.99% of the cyclist on the street don’t care what you call it. They only care that the delineators and buffers are there.

      I would actually argue that calling this a bike path would be very misleading to the general public. People expect bike paths to be off-street. A buffer and delineators is miles apart from a bike path on the rider comfort spectrum.

      Reply
  4. John Massengale
    John Massengale says:

    Traffic engineers love plastic sticks and paint. They don’t damage cars that run over them, they’re cheap, and you can be practically blind and driving too fast and still see the paint. But as several people have pointed out, they’re ugly and there are alternatives. And it’s worth adding that the alternatives can do a better job of protecting the cyclists (referred to by traffic engineers as “M.H.O.s”—Moving Hazardous Objects…for the cars, of course).

    In Paris, where they balance traffic flows with making streets where people want to be, the engineers use techniques brought up by the commenters, like raised dots and even low, raised barriers. They understand that making turn lanes that are the most convenient for cars also produce points of conflict and danger for the cyclists.

    Street design is evolving. Los Angeles is helping to lead the way. If state regulations favor cars over pedestrians and cycles (and of course they do), let’s change some of the regulations.

    Reply
  5. msgeekmedia
    msgeekmedia says:

    Do Van Nuys Blvd next! We have a bike lane, such as it is, but everyone is so afraid of crazy drivers that they ride on the sidewalks most of the time. We have a lot of bicycle commuters in the Pacoima to Van Nuys corridor, and another chronic problem is lack of places to hitch our bikes along the Blvd.

    Reply
  6. Angela
    Angela says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I so appreciate the people who are responsible for getting dividers “installed to make the 2nd St. tunnel bike lanes the first protected lanes in Los Angeles!” Thank you to the hard-working road crews who installed the dividers!! I’ve talked about dividers like these with family and friends for a few years now, and so glad to see someone else thought of the same thing. I hope bikers here will spread the news so that more of these are installed in every city, barrio, and town in the nation. You all are awesome!

    Reply
  7. Alex Brideau III
    Alex Brideau III says:

    Many of the delineators are now missing. I submitted a MyLADOT request to have them replaced, but so far no work has been done … or has it? I don’t travel through the tunnel frequently. Can anyone who does indicate whether the missing/broken delineators have been replaced? :-S

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] of protected bike lanes have doubled in the United States. An example from our own backyard is the 2nd Street tunnel, the first and only street in Los Angeles to feature physical separation. Currently entering […]

  2. […] you get to see when you’re coming down Sunset Blvd. into Downtown. Being able to go through the 2nd Street tunnel, and to see all the different generations of bikeway design that are apparent on that ride is […]

  3. […] turn LA into a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly city abounded; even the 2nd Street tunnel got a protected bike lane (right, courtesy of […]

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