City of LA Takes a Green Step Forward with Spring Street Bike LaneNovember 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 4 Comments
Tags: Spring & Main, Spring Street
Today we celebrated the opening of the buffered green bike lane on Spring Street and the green lane on 1st Street in Boyle Heights with Councilmembers Perry & Huizar at a press conference held at the corner of Spring and 2nd on grounds of the LAPD Headquarters. This 1.5-mile buffered green lane stretches from Cesar E. Chavez to 9th St. on Spring St. and is Downtown LA’s first bike lane. A crowd of about eighty people including many bicyclists, downtown residents, and workers gathered to hear city councilmembers Jan Perry and Jose Huizar, Tim Fremaux of LADOT, Valerie Watson of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council (DLANC), and our own Jen Klausner.
Councilmember Perry spoke about how the new bike lane fits into Downtown’s role as a transportation and jobs hub as well as its increasing residential population. She also emphasized that the green paint used on the lane was specially treated to provide traction in all weather. Councilmember Huizar praised LACBC’s role in pushing for this and other bike infrastructure improvements and spoke about the work being done in his district including the green pavement treatments with the 1st Street bike lane, the city’s first bike corral, and other improvements he hopes to see implemented.
Valerie Watson of the DLANC said that the bike lane had support from downtown businesses-owners many of whom display badges showing their support. She also backed the implementation of additional bike lanes on 2nd, 7th, 11th, Main, Figueroa, and Flower by next year and looked forward to the Parklets that the DLANC is working to implement on Spring Street in 2012.
LACBC Executive Director Jen Klausner, sporting a shock of purple hair, joked, “I appreciate many of your suggestions that I dye my hair lime green to match the color of the lane.” On a more serious note, she expressed hope that the lane would lead to more politeness between all users of the road saying, “Courteous riding, polite driving, I dig it.”
Many of the speakers also noted how the Spring St. lane had been inspired by the ThinkBike LA workshop back in September. Dutch bicycle planning experts visited LA to make recommendations on how to improve LA for cyclists. We are really pleased that LADOT worked so quickly to take an innovative approach on Spring based on the efforts of the ThinkBike LA workshop. While LADOT was able to implement this project quickly, the rain over the weekend definitely didn’t help, so they’ll be back out on Spring Street in the coming days to touch up the green paint.
After the speeches, the lane was inaugurated with a green ribbon-cutting and a ride down Spring St. from 2nd to 9th St. led by Councilmembers Perry and Huizar and the many bicyclists in attendance. If you haven’t already ridden the bike lane, we encourage you to do so–the lane passes right by Olvera Street, LA City Hall, LACBC headquarters, and a bevy of other great eateries and shops!
Many thanks to councilmembers Perry and Huizar, Mayor Villaraigosa, the DLANC, and LADOT for making this all possible! And thanks to everyone who came out to the press conference today, the volunteers who did outreach leading up to the bike lane’s implementation, and the Downtown businesses and residents who supported turning Spring Street into a neighborhood street!