San Fernando Road, the street students at the Sotomayor Learning Academies travel on to get to school. Image via: Google Maps
The students at the LA River School have a simple request– make the street their school is on, San Fernando Road, safe.
San Fernando Road is an unfriendly street, and students have documented this through a collaboration with the local news outlet KCET. The students even created a twitter account promoting their campaign, appropriately named “Restless Road,” which they have used to contact local city agencies and council members.
More and more, people are riding bikes throughout the neighborhood and the surest sign of this is the growing number of families seen cycling for local trips. Haven’t noticed? See the below collection of photos…
(Screenshot from Figueroa For All’s website– the Cypress Park Neighborhood Council meeting for Tuesday has been cancelled.)
Readers of this blog are probably familiar with Take Back The Boulevard (TBTB) – Eagle Rock’s community initiative to revitalize Colorado Boulevard through transforming the street to create a more pedestrian friendly environment. However, readers may be unaware there is a similar grassroots movement afoot to do the same for North Figueroa Street– Figueroa For All (or fig4all as it is known on twitter).
Figueroa For All, as its recently launched website states, seeks to make North Figueroa a more livable street– this includes advocating for bike lanes on the street between Colorado Boulevard and San Fernando Road. Figueroa For All’s website will be the go-to place for anyone wishing to keep up with or support the initiative’s efforts.
Are you interested in helping Figueroa For All and bringing bike lanes to North Figueroa? Here are four things you can do:
(“Creating bike lanes by reducing the number of lanes available to motorists will hurt businesses,” one of the many arguments presented against bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard. See “Bike Lane Concern #4″ below to find out if bike lanes are really likely to hurt local business)
Bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard, as planned in the Los Angeles Bike Plan, are coming closer to being a reality– a meeting on March 27th hosted by council member Huizar’s office will be held to determine based on community input how to move forward, if at all, with bike lanes on Eagle Rock’s main street.
During on-going opportunities for community input ( including the environmental impact review, and public hearing regarding the results of the environmental impact review) comments have been mostly positive. However, now concerns about the potential impact bike lanes may have are popping up in growing numbers. There is nothing wrong with this, concerns are well warranted for any proposed changes in town and a change to Colorado Boulevard’s public right-of-way will affect daily travel for many.
To gain a clearer perspective of what the current circumstances are, and what may possibly change as a result of bike lanes being implemented, it is beneficial to have the recurring concerns and questions people have regarding bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard actually be addressed. That’s what this blog post will attempt to do– address concerns that have been raised in conversations about bike lanes in the community.
(This is a non-Eagle Rock specific post mostly consisting of thoughts on bicycle infrastructure design standards that dictate bikeway design in Los Angeles)
When bicycling on the streets of Los Angeles I am expected to ‘share the road’ with motorists. On quiet residential streets this is rarely an issue, cars seldom go above 20 miles per hour. But even on residential streets there is the occasional pressure to speed up or move aside when a motor vehicle approaches from behind. However, residential streets are pretty manageable and subjectively safe for myself, and the many people I see who simply enjoy to go for a ride around the block. Intersections are not an issue either as residential streets are usually narrow with little traffic.
However, the comfort utilitarian and recreational bicyclists feel on residential streets quickly disappears when traveling on major, commercial streets. One of the biggest hindrances to people choosing the bicycle for travel is how dangerous larger streets with greater amounts of traffic feel.
On Tuesday I attended a meeting held at City Hall where discussion was to be had about coming projects for the LA Bike Plan. This was the “Bike Plan Implementation Team” or BPIT meeting, which are held monthly. These meetings are opportunities for residents to help shape what their community gets from the LA BIke Plan. More can be learned about the BPIT meetings here.
One of my primary motivators for attending the meeting was that North Figueroa was going to be discussed. At the meeting the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) presented two ways to reconfigure the street to accommodate bicycling.
From powerpoint presented at BPIT meeting
On the street the changes would look like this
These 2 options were presented for all parts of North Figueroa between Colorado Boulevard and San Fernando Road
Unfortunately both options are disappointing.
Note: In my part one post for how to make Yosemite safer I suggested some kind of barrier for private auto use yet still allowing buses and emergency vehicles to pass. If that is wanting too much, I still think there is much which can be done to improve the safety of the many pedestrians that use this street. Simply lowering the speed limit is about the cheapest way LADOT can promote safety for all. Here in part two I would mainly like to address speeds along Yosemite Drive.
What comes to mind when you think of Yosemite Drive?
Eagle Rock High School? Yosemite Park? Bilo’s Liquor Store? The Teen Rock Center? Fraternal Order of Eagles Center? 181 bus route? Rockdale Elementary? Connects North Figueroa Street to Eagle Rock Boulevard? Adjacent to Eagle Rock Elementary? a predominately residential street?
I personally have memories of cross country and track practice, running along Yosemite before navigating other streets to get to ideal streets for running, like Hill Drive or La Loma. I also think of walking or biking to and from a friend’s house.
Do you think of the street as one suitable for a 35mph street limit?