Last night, members of the LADOT Bike Program and the LA BAC presented plans to for bike lanes on Main Street to the Venice Neighborhood Council. You can take a look for yourself and download last night’s powerpoint presentation: Main Street bike lanes. The presentation was a joint collaboration between Assistant Coordinator Christopher Kidd, Intern Derek Levoit, LA BAC member Kent Strumpell, LACBC Planning & Policy Director Alexis Lantz, and the technical advice of LADOT Bikeways engineers.
Bike Community Fanfare
Both Streetsblog and the LACBC alerted their readers this week to the Neighborhood Council meeting, where the case was made for a road diet to extend existing bike lanes along Main Street from the Santa Monica City Limit to Windward Circle (a project listed as “pending work orders” on the LADOT Bike Blog Bike Lanes Projects Page). The concept of a road diet, which would create enough room for bike lanes on Main Street, was covered earlier this month by LADOT Bike Blog in our piece Safety, Traffic, and You: The Case for Road Diets.
Just the Beginning
The presentation to the Venice Neighborhood Council was only preliminary, meant to educate the community on the benefits of a road diet on Main Street. After the brouhaha over the road diet and bike lanes on Wilbur Avenue in the Valley this fall, the LADOT Bike Program redoubled our efforts to reach out to communities where we have upcoming projects that may require road reconfiguration. Rather than imperiously dictate what and where we are going to install bicycle infrastructure, tonight was more about opening up a dialogue with the community about making their streets better places for all users. The LADOT Bike Program will work with a committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council to further review our plans and take suggestions.
While there was some opposition to the project from public speakers, most comments were positive, reinforcing the support lent to the project by the LACBC and the LA BAC. You can follow last night’s blow-by-blows on the BikeBlogChris twitter feed.
No Simple Road Diet
One of the things we liked most about last night’s presentation was a map showing Main Street as the “missing link” in connecting the bicycle network in west Venice. Bringing bike lanes to Main Street will a create strong, through connection for bicyclists in a way no other street in Venice can.
We would like to give our deep thanks to Kent Strumpell of the LA BAC, to Alexis Lantz of LACBC, to Paul Backstrom of CD 11, and especially to those went from door to door on Main Street this weekend to distribute the flier: Complete Main St. The LADOT Bike Program looks forward to continuing our dialogue with the Venice Neighborhood Council and we hope that we can soon come to an arrangement that will be pleasing to everyone. That is, after all, the point of a road diet: making the street safer, more enjoyable, and more complete for all road users.