City of LA Takes a Green Step Forward with Spring Street Bike Lane

November 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 4 Comments
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Valerie Watson of the DLANC addresses the crowd on Spring Street. Photo: Andy Rodriguez/LACBC

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.

A mix of public officials, press, cyclists, downtown residents, and downtown workers came out for today's press conference. Photo: Andy Rodriguez/LACBC

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.”

Councilmembers Perry and Huizar cut the ribbon on the Spring Street Bike Lane. Photo: Andrew Wong, WYTe Studios

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!

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4 Comments »

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  1. These are great steps. We have paths down here in Long Beach, and I can tell you it’s been awesome for me. I would love to see LA start to embrace the bike. I have been working out indoors lately however with the rip 60 because of a sore knee. Let’s keep pressing the city on this.

    -Jason

  2. [...] Riding a bike on Downtown’s newly green-laned Spring Street is clearly nothing new; LACBC recaps yesterday’s press conference. Will Campbell takes a picture of famed L.A. photographer Gary Leonard while riding them. Jose from [...]

  3. Had an opportunity to ride both the Spring St and 1st St. green bike lanes this weekend. Clearly the material used on 1st St is more durable than the already fading paint on Spring St. On the other hand, I find the Spring St. colorization of the entire lane to be much preferable to 1st St colorization only in “conflict zones”. Anywhere a cyclist rides in an unprotected lane is a potential conflict zone. To that end, while I think these efforts are a step up from striped lanes with no colorization (not to mention the ultimately useless “bike route”), I suspect they won’t encourage new cyclists. For that, we have to get serious about protected cycling lanes.

  4. [...] November: Spring Street green bike lanes in Downtown LA and 1st Street bike lanes in Boyle Heights open. (link) [...]


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