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Winnetka Ave Public Comments Summary

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on all aspects of the Winnetka Avenue Street Improvement project throughout the outreach process. We appreciate the comments from community members and other stakeholders on this important effort.

Approximately 33 people attended the open house and public hearing held on January 29th, 2019, where City staff provided community members an opportunity to review the project’s conceptual design as well as the results of the traffic impact analysis. (For reference, the materials from this meeting can be found here). Attendees were encouraged to provide their thoughts on the project through written comments and/or oral testimony to a hearing officer. The 30-day comment period for this phase of the project closed on February 3rd.

We received a total of 63 comments (50 written and 13 oral) from a total of 50 commenters. More than one third of the commenters (35%) fully supported the project, noting that the project would be a much-needed safety improvement for those who already bicycle on Winnetka Ave, Supporters also saw potential for the project to calm the often fast-moving traffic on the street, and to provide important access to the existing high-quality bike facility along the Metro Orange Line. About a quarter of the commenters (26%) were generally opposed to the project. The remaining (39%) had concerns about the project, with the primary issues being the potential for overnight/RV parking and general requests that the project not be implemented south of Victory Blvd. 

 

 

 

Below is a discussion of some of the recurring themes among the comments received.

 

On-Street Parking:

The project proposes to remove existing peak-hour restrictions where they exist between Vanowen St. and Calvert St., restoring these lanes to full-time parking for residents and Pierce College. Several people supported the project because they want to see full-time parking restored in front of homes along Winnetka Ave.

However, many specifically requested that the City impose overnight parking restrictions on Winnetka Ave. and surrounding streets, noting their experience with RVs parking for extended periods of time, and worries about safety of students and residents walking at night in the area. LA Municipal Code (LAMC 85.02) currently prohibits overnight vehicle dwelling (9 PM to 6 AM) in residential areas and all day and night within one block of schools (more info). The project does not propose any changes to this rule, and does not preclude the ability of the City to install signage to help enforce LAMC 85.02, similar to signs currently placed along the Victory Blvd perimeter of Pierce College, which prohibit overnight parking.

 

Traffic Congestion:

Half of the commenters shared their thoughts on traffic congestion, with many raising concerns about conditions south of Victory Blvd. and around the Hwy 101 ramps, future growth in the nearby Warner Center, and concern about “cut through” traffic through the residential neighborhoods of Carlton Terrace and College Acres adjacent to Winnetka Ave.

The proposed project would remove peak-hour parking restrictions where they currently exist, which is between Vanowen St and Victory Blvd (southbound in AM peak hours and northbound in PM peak hours) and between Victory Blvd. and Calvert St. (southbound in AM peak hours only). This would eliminate the ability to use these parking lanes as travel lanes during the peak hours. No other travel lanes are proposed to be removed. LADOT prepared a traffic impact analysis report (link), which looks at impacts across all four signalized intersections in the project area and discusses the topics of related development and the potential for traffic diversion. Congestion further south was not analyzed as it is outside of the project study area.

 

Project Limits:

Many of comments we received specifically requested that the project scope be limited to the segment between Vanowen St. and Victory Blvd., and not extend further south to Oxnard St. due to concerns about traffic impacts. The project was originally planned to end at Victory Blvd., but early feedback received led to adding an additional segment to link the project to provide bicyclists access into the Pierce College campus Brahma entrance and link to the existing east/west bike lanes on Oxnard St., which lead straight into the heart of Warner Center. Extending the project would have limited impacts to the roadway configuration between Victory Blvd. and Calvert St., and no impacts to the roadway configuration between Calvert St. and Oxnard St (no lanes removed.)

Some people noted that bicycle ridership is low or non-existent on the Oxnard St. bike lanes, especially due to the steep grade. However, others did comment that they use Oxnard St. and see the benefit of making this linkage and completing more of the bike network in this part of the Valley.

 

Bicyclists/Pedestrian Safety:

Among those that commented on the topic of bicyclist safety, they either noted how unsafe the current street is for bicycling, or how the proposed design for standard bike lanes could be made safer. Numerous suggestions were made regarding the design, in an effort to avoid potential “dooring” and other conflicts between bikes and cars.

Unfortunately, north of Victory Blvd. there is no room within the current roadway width to incorporate buffered or protected bike lanes. The proposed design for this segment reflects the same layout and dimensions that are currently found north of Vanowen St. South of Victory Blvd., where there is a bit more width, there may be a possibility of incorporating “protected” bike lanes (buffered area with vertical delineators) that can make for a safer more comfortable ride. The design team is exploring this potential.

In addition to bicycling, many expressed concern about pedestrian safety in the area, with a few people explicitly expressing support for the project’s proposed pedestrian crossing on Winnetka near the LA River. The team is continuing to study this potential crossing.

Thank you once again to everyone who came to the January open house and shared their thoughts with us! As we move forward in the design process, we will be considering the comments and suggestions we heard. Keep checking the blog for updates, or sign up for project notifications by contacting lameese.chang@lacity.org.

 

BPIT’s “Top 10”: How Would You Build Bike Lanes Around NBC/Universal?

The BPIT (Bike Plan Implementation Team) has been quite the focal point of bike community controversy lately. Despite any disagreements over CEQA reivew, however, work still must be done; projects are moving forward even as we speak. In past months, projects like 7th Street and Venice Boulevard have come before the BPIT, had preliminary conceptual design work done, and were featured on the LADOT Bike Blog to get opinions of the public.

3 BPIT "Top 10" projects, spanning the Cahuenga Pass

Three more of the BPIT’s “Top 10” projects have conceptual designs, and we’d like to present them to you for your comments and opinions. How would you build bike lanes on Cahuenga Boulevard, Barham Boulevard, and Lankershim Boulevard? These three streets surround the NBC/Universal project area and can serve as a vital link of bicycle infrastructure between the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood. In fact, these projects were moved up to the BPIT’s “Top 10” to make sure the NBC/Universal project, once completed, wouldn’t preclude implementation of bike infrastructure.

Below the fold we’ll cover the particulars for each street and some preliminary design concepts for new bike lanes. As always, all of your comments here go straight to City Planning and our Bikeways Engineers.

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Project Updates: Bike Lanes Moving Forward

The LADOT Bike Blog hasn’t done a full review of all the bike lane projects in the queue in quite a while. Sure, we covered the Woodman Avenue bike lanes and the latest on the Metro Orange Line extension bike path, but that hardly represents a comprehensive update.  At the April BPIT meeting, Planning and Bikeways engineering promised to provide a full update on all ongoing bike lane projects.

Well the wait is now over: LADOT Bike Blog is presenting a full update on all of our projects’ progress since our last update in January. As always, you can check out the full list of current projects on our Bike Lane Projects page, our Bike Path Projects page, our Projects map, and our BPIT map.  There’s also the matter of the remaining, and mysteriously named, “Year Zero” projects.  We’ll provide an explanation of what “Year Zero” is, and what projects are left, below the fold.  But first, the current projects update.

Woodman Bike Lane

New Bike Lanes on Woodman Avenue

Project Updates

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More Bike Lane Love for the Valley

(ed. note: Seeing as how this is my first post, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is JoJo Pewsawang and I am an Urban Planning graduate student from the USC School of Policy Planning and Development. I am a native Angeleno, who didn’t realize the full potential of bicycling until seeing it in action during my time as an undergrad at UC Davis. As the LADOT Bike Program’s team pushes ahead on a number of projects, I look forward to keeping everyone up to date on  our efforts to make Los Angeles a better place to ride a bike.

Woodman Bike Lane

Woodman bike lane

Woodman Avenue Bike Lane

Towards the end of February, LADOT installed one mile of new bike lanes on Woodman Ave. between Oxnard and Vanowen. The new facility connects with an existing bike lane that runs from Burbank to the Orange Line Busway, creating a continuous 1.5 mile bike lane for the east Valley. Check out the updated bike lane project page and our projects google map to see a complete list of recently completed and soon-to-be completed bicycling facilities.

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