WeHo’s push for protected bike lanes doesn’t come cheap

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City Council has ordered that any new bike lanes the city builds be protected. But with several streetscape projects already in motion, research by City Hall reveals just how expensive and complicated it will be to do so. 

West Hollywood’s Transportation and Mobility Commission on Wednesday will be responsible for reviewing and providing feedback on these plans. 

On November 6, 2023, City Council directed staff to develop a policy focused exclusively on protected bike lanes. Council also requested staff to gather input from residents and businesses to ensure community needs and preferences are incorporated. Staff will present options for amending current plans to align with this new directive. 

West Hollywood is situated in a densely populated area of the Westside, surrounded by major employment centers in Beverly Hills, Century City, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Burbank, and Downtown Los Angeles. Key thoroughfares such as Santa Monica Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Boulevard, Fountain Avenue, and Melrose Avenue experience high traffic volumes and serve as major transit routes for commuters.

Protected bike lanes are intended to enhance safety for cyclists and motorists by reducing the risk of accidents, encourage cycling, improve accessibility for those unable to drive, and reduce environmental impact by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. 

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Historically, the city has made efforts to incorporate bike lanes into its infrastructure. In 1999, during the redesign and reconstruction of Santa Monica Boulevard, new striped bike lanes were added, though these are not protected. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan, approved in 2003 and updated in 2017, aims to make streets safer and more inviting for all users but does not explicitly recommend protected bike lanes. Concept plans for the Willoughby/Vista/Gardner Greenways include protected bike lanes on Vista/Gardner, scheduled for consideration in early 2025. The Design District Streetscape Master Plan, approved in 2013, includes new striped bike lanes on Beverly Boulevard, which are also not protected.

Implementing protected bike lanes will require significant planning, interdepartmental coordination, and public engagement. The proposed changes will impact the Community Development Department  staff, necessitating additional resources and expertise. 

Cost and implementation requirements are substantial. The process involves:

– Amending current mobility and streetscape plans, which will require additional staffing resources and potentially hiring consultants to assist with the updates.
– Conducting extensive community outreach to gather feedback from residents and businesses, which could involve public meetings, surveys, and other communication efforts.
– Providing specialized training for staff on bike lane design, safety standards, and best practices. This could involve sending staff to educational training sessions or hiring experts in bicycle infrastructure.
– Collecting and analyzing data on existing traffic patterns, accident history, and potential routes for protected bike lanes. This may require additional resources for data collection and analysis tools.
– Engaging with legal experts to ensure that amendments to plans and policies comply with local laws and regulations. Environmental reviews or assessments may also be necessary to ensure compliance with environmental laws, requiring coordination with environmental consultants.

Financially, the implementation will require significant investment. Costs will include staff time, consultant fees, community outreach efforts, training expenses, data collection and analysis tools, and legal and environmental consultation fees. The exact financial impact will depend on the extent of the changes required and the resources needed to support them.

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:dpb
:dpb
8 days ago

My input as a resident: SCREW THE BIKE LANES.

Chloe Ross
Chloe Ross
5 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

We are not a city of or for bike lanes. Did anyone ask residents who have lived in college towns and cities about bikes and traffic? I doubt it. I have. Cambridge, Massachusetts is a perfect city to study for bikes on city streets. It is not just as easy as “jump on your bike and go where you’re going”. I suggest when the first bicyclists are taken to. Cedars for injuries from bike riding, the reality will sink in and there will be hew and cry. OUR streets are too narrow. Our drivers are increasingly reckless. Driving a car… Read more »

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
8 days ago

This is social engineering, plain and simple!
They are forcing their version of utopia on us and we will just have to adjust to it or move out.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Your version of utopia is more car lanes, more traffic, more pollution, more guns, more mass shootings, only white people, no trans allowed etc.

Sickening.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
8 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

How do you come to those conclusions from anything I have ever said? I never consider utopia because I know it can’t exist; human nature eliminates any possibility of that, but pie-in-the-sky progressives never take that into account. They just keep throwing more and more money at their version of utopia and regulating everything that works in order to achieve it. Most of this is done by angry, narcissistic misfits (Lindsey, Sepi, Chelsea, Erickson) who desperately want a legacy. They actually regard most of us with disdain but they couch that disdain under the guise of compassion and progress. And… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Gimmeabreak
Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
6 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

The dude’s only narrative is diarrhea of conclusory fallacies. It’s rather quaint and adds nothing to civic discourse. He seems to fancy himself as the conscience of a community. I can almost predict his response to this comment.

Jja
Jja
6 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

My version is monorails or other fast transit instead of ridiculous bike lanes that few will use.

Davedi
Davedi
7 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Yep, it’s all from the mind of our little Marxist vice mayor.

Steve
Steve
9 days ago

@Mickie: Rally? I think you’re exaggerating a bit. It was a few folks who just heard about the plan which had been discussed for a reasonable amount of time.

JF1 (and others)….You don’t see bike riders because it’s too dangerous now. Given safer bike lanes you’d see a large influx of people bike riding on shorter trips and giving up those short car trips.

Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve, While I’m trying not to respond to anonymous commenters, I will respond to you in that, first of all my name is not Mickie. It is Mikie. And then to tell you that it was indeed a rally. There were more than just a few people there. They were probably at least 50 people there! I was there. Were you?
Also, although they might have been told about the plan, they definitely were not told about the loss of parking spaces that they would have to suffer!

Last edited 8 days ago by Mikie Friedman
nope
nope
9 days ago

Not only is this a waste of taxpayer money, it hurts the majority of the residents of West Hollywood. The few losers riding their bikes on our sidewalks are not worthy of our sacrifice.

John Arnold
John Arnold
9 days ago
Reply to  nope

I ride my bicycle all the time in West Hollywood and I agree with this.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 days ago
Reply to  nope

Why are bike riders “losers” to you?

Are you that unhealthy? You probably can’t even get up on a bike…

JCB
JCB
8 days ago
Reply to  nope

Is it anyone who rides a bike is a loser?

Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
9 days ago

After the rally in Plummer Park, and after so many of the angry Gardner/Vista residents showed up at the City Council meeting, the city decided that they had better do something to placate all the people that are upset that their parking spaces are being taken away and that they were never notified.. (and if you wanted dispute that, go back to the city Council meeting tape and see that Bob Cheung admits to the council that the residents never were informed) Anyway, the city now, in order to do some damage control, is going to be holding a meet… Read more »

jhld
jhld
9 days ago

By “protected”, do they mean aesthetically incorporated into the design (as how their precious Amsterdam does it), or do they mean hideous K–rails with ugly planters interspersed (as how the restaurant push–outs were during lockdown). I’m guessing the latter. And, another thing. Have any of these politician, who pine for the glory of Europe and Amsterdam actually ever been to these places? Cos I have. Many times. Also have friends In Amsterdam. The bike lanes are not bike lanes. They are outright bike highways… High speed bike lanes with traffic lights and pedestrian crossing lanes with lights. The cyclists there… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
9 days ago
Reply to  jhld

YES! The rules of the load apply equally to all. If we would spend more time encouraging personal responsibility in everyone (drivers, cyclists, scooter riders, pedestrians) and practicing situational awareness we could make everyone safer. Instead, we have politicians who play nanny state as if we needed to be protected from ourselves. They also engage in creating a victim class that they alone can surround and protect. Sadly, people of limited thought process and independence of mind fall for it. Some politicians at all levels excel at playing the benevolent deity upon whom the masses rely for these ineffective, protective,… Read more »

JCB
JCB
8 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

As someone who was hit by a car due to a driver not paying attention please lecture me more on how bicyclists are always at fault.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
8 days ago
Reply to  JCB

I was hit twice on my bike while waiting to cross an intersection on a red light by drivers making right hand turns. But spending $10 to $20 million to create “protected” bike lanes on Fountain while taking away about 200 parking spaces just to increase the number of bike commuters to maybe 50 a day does not seem like a rational use of public resources. I understand that by creating gridlock the City Council believes it can force us out of our automobiles and into public transit, where we only run the risk of being stabbed or shot by… Read more »

Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

it’s interesting, isn’t it Steve, that during the older adults advisory board meeting, a man from Metro got up to speak and to encourage all older adults to take Metro. Meanwhile, the biggest local news story this morning was about the increase of attacks on Metro vehicles. Even LA Mayor Bass commented on how we had to reduce the number of attacks… and yet this man gets up and pushes us to ride on them.

Last edited 8 days ago by Mikie Friedman
Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
8 days ago
Reply to  JCB

Not even remotely close to what I wrote in very plain English. Everyone is responsible to be situationally aware, including me as a frequent driver, including me as a frequent biker, and including me as a frequent pedestrian. The rules of the road apply equally to all, that’s what I said. No amount of money or re-engineering of an entire city can remove the requirement for human beings to be personally responsible being aware of their environment, nor will it every fully remove the dangers inherent in life. Sounds tough, perhaps, but so is life and living in shared community.… Read more »

John Smith
John Smith
9 days ago

You’d have to have a death wish to ride a bike on LA roads. Why are we wasting tax dollars on this?

JCB
JCB
8 days ago
Reply to  John Smith

Yeah LA isn’t like any other place on the planet. Biking should be made illegal here!

JF1
JF1
9 days ago

I can count on two hands the number of people I see riding bikes in any given week. The residents of west hollywood are not pushing for this. It is a very small but vocal (bully types) demanding this. This is not Amsterdam. It will never be Amsterdam. It is unrealistic to do what they’re doing…and at an astronomical price tag to go with it. All without turning to the residents of this city FIRST to see if they even want it. It’s their kingdom and we just live in it. Vote. Them..

Last edited 9 days ago by JF1
Groucho
Groucho
9 days ago
Reply to  JF1

I agree. I rarely see a biker on the main drags, much less on side streets. This simply is a waste of time, money, space & other city misdirected resources. BTW, how’s that 18 million $ “robot garage” thingy workin out for ya?

JCB
JCB
8 days ago
Reply to  JF1

I bike every day 15 miles from WeHo to downtown.

Sorry you never see me.

WestHoBornRaised
WestHoBornRaised
8 days ago
Reply to  JCB

one person does not protected bike lanes make…

Last edited 8 days ago by WestHoBornRaised
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