NBC Universal Agrees to Fund Bike Path, LanesSeptember 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 5 Comments
Bicycle projects in vicinity of NBC Universal to be funded through development agreement.
A week ago, we blogged about the NBC Universal Evolution Plan, a $1.6 billion investment in our region’s film and entertainment industry. LACBC, along with our allies in the River Family, was greatly concerned about the project’s failure to include the LA River Bike Path along its northern edge. LACBC was also concerned about the lack of on-street bicycle infrastructure in the project’s traffic mitigation program. We issued an action alert and you responded. Earlier today, the Planning Commission heard you loud and clear. The result is that NBC Universal will invest $3,875,000 to study, design, and construct bikeways in the vicinity of Universal City, including the following:
- $3,000,000 for LA River Bike Path construction to the County Flood Control District (who controls the right-of-way along the River). This money will become available when the County has designed and environmentally cleared the bike path project, but no earlier than June 2016. While we will pursue opportunities to accelerate this project, we are in this for the long haul.
- $500,000 for a LA River Bike Path study also to the County Flood Control District to do a feasibility analysis and preliminary design for the bike path from the existing endpoint in Griffith Park to the 101 Freeway.
- $375,000 to the City’s newly created Bicycle Plan Trust Fund for study, design, and implementation of on-street bicycle infrastructure on the Bicycle Backbone Network in the project vicinity. This money would be used for lanes on Cahuenga and Lankershim currently under review and to study lanes on Barham.
While the project is not perfect, we were heartened to hear the Planning Commission passionately discuss the need to integrate bicycles into our transportation system, even taking Planning Director Michael LoGrande to task for outdated CEQA standards that only address automobile Level of Service. Moreover, the Commission understood the importance of creating a bicycle network, not just a river path, and retained the funding for on-street infrastructure.
Our work is not done. We will carefully watch the details of this mitigation and community benefits package as the project moves forward to City Council. Additionally, while funding for the bicycle lane projects was included, these lanes are independent of the NBC Universal project and will require separate approval from City Council. That approval is far from assured and will require a big push from the bicycling community. If you are interested in making these bike lanes (and others) happen, please join your local Neighborhood Bike Ambassadors group.
A big thanks to the River Revitalization Corporation, Friends of the Los Angeles River, and six other nonprofits in the River Family that co-signed our letter and spoke at today’s hearing requesting more support for the LA River. We are all stronger with one voice.