WeHo Will Eliminate Some Parking on Santa Monica Boulevard to Extend Its Bike Lane

west hollywood bicycle coalition

Cycling will get a little bit easier in West Hollywood with a decision by the City Council to create bike lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny and Almont Drive.

The lanes would improve the connection with the wide and well-marked bicycle lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills and connect to the lanes that run east on Santa Monica Boulevard to Kings Road.  It would require the removal of as many as 19 parking spaces on the south side of Santa Monica adjacent to the Melrose Triangle project and reducing the north edge of the traffic median by three to five feet.

A report to the City Council from the Department of Public Works notes that the city currently has bike lanes along both sides of Santa Monica Boulevard from Almont Drive on the west to Flores Street and Kings Road on the east.

A view from above of Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny and Almont (Google maps)

Public Works staff had presented several other options to the city’s Transportation and Public Facilities commissions for consideration. One would have reduced the width of the median on Santa Monica Boulevard on both sides. That would have required the relocation of trees, sprinkler lines, electrical and water boxes, and water meters and cost an estimated $482,000. Another option would have been to remove parking spaces on both sides of Santa Monica Boulevard from Doheny to Almont, eliminating 12 spaces on the north side and 14 to 19 spaces on the south side. The report notes that that might be detrimental to businesses on the north side of the street. Also considered was a widening of the path along the median to allow cyclists to use it. However, that would require them to weave around pedestrians also using that path.

The two commissions endorsed the removal of parking spaces on the south side of Santa Monica and installing a bike lane there, which is estimated to cost $264,000.

The Public Works staff report recommended delaying the addition of the bike lane on the south side of Santa Monica until completion of the Melrose Triangle project, whose end date is uncertain. Public Works Director Jackie Rocco said that removing parking spaces before then might be an issue given that contractors would need to get access to the site. However, Council members said they would prefer to see the bike lanes created as soon as possible.

The Council also agreed with suggestions from Kevin Burton of the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, which has lobbied for improving biking conditions, that the lanes be painted green, as are those on Santa Monica Boulevard within Beverly Hills. Burton said that would make the lanes more obvious to drivers and increase protection for the cyclists that use them.

Bicycling is difficult in West Hollywood, which is a car-focused city, many of whose residents have opposed the riding of bicycles on sidewalks in areas where there are no bike lanes, which is legal.


27
Please leave a reply of no more than 300 words, focused on the issue and not fellow commenters.

avatar
2000
14 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
19 Comment authors
WeHoMikeyEricWVigilantGimmeabreakJonathan Simmons Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
EricW
Guest
EricW

Great! A bit late but finally there’s gonna be a bike route without a dangerous weird gap. One can now get from WestHollywood to Westwood by bike! Whowheee without that bad spot I’m [maybe] faster than driving a car now! And since I’ll have a proper space on the road, it’s be much, much safer for all!

Gimmeabreak
Guest
Gimmeabreak

This is another example of the overwhelming majority having to adjust to accommodate the tiny minority who make their demands using the better health/better for the environment snobbish excuse. These people adjust to accommodate no one, and they fell heroic doing it. No, it’s not okay to ride your bike/scooter on the sidewalk because pedestrians are much more at risk than you, the rider, would be. If you don’t have a car, there are buses. Ride them.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Because they are emboldened by thinking they are personally saving the planet they have no consideration for others and can rationalize every point of view.
Their emboldened behavior extends to putting pedestrians of every stripe in danger. Consciousness is skewed or so they think. This is not OK.

Riley Auskelis
Guest
Riley Auskelis

Re: both of these comments: as a cyclist, I absolutely don’t want to ride on the sidewalk and endanger pedestrians; that’s one of the main reasons that expanding bike lanes is good! Moreover, though, I disagree that being actively pro-environment is in any way snobbish. Owning and maintaining a car is far more expensive than cycling. That’s one of the many reasons that I’m planning to sell my car and bike as my main mode of transportation. Bikes and scooters are in the minority now, but I’d argue that’s the result of infrastructure that’s designed with cars as the clear… Read more »

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Hi Riley, Included in the point I was making is that until there is proper bike lane infrastructure, most cyclists will not brave the road but take the path of least resistance, which is the sidewalk rather than creatively loop around areas where the lanes disappear. Please encourage your fellow cyclists to wait for that to happen, continue to advocate for it and tone down the bad attitude and risky behavior. Thanking you in advance.

Jonathan Simmons
Guest
Jonathan Simmons

Since most all the new massive developments are required to create a certain number of new parking spaces as part of many things which granted the Developers to exceed otherwise fixed zoning limits. With parking, green space, new trees (it the existing zoning law for all) in exchange, Developers get to Build Bigger, Taller, Have Smaller setbacks from the sidewslks/street and have the finished project have significantly more square footage for housing units and a lot for ground level Retail. If the City Takes out 19 parking places, the next 19 new spaces to be built by law, WILL NOT… Read more »

J. T. Anderson
Guest
J. T. Anderson

And, make sure that bicyclists are kept off the sidewalks. They are sideWALKS not bike paths.

Randy
Guest
Randy

It is 100% legal in the State of CA to ride on the sidewalk, unless a specific area has been designated as not legal. i.e., in our city, where there are no bike lanes. I’ve done it, and always with caution, and only when necessary, which would include a major thoroughfare (SMB), where my life would be in danger for staying on the street. Never on a residential street.

WeHoMikey
Guest
WeHoMikey

Randy, for every person like yourself, there is another who feels entitled to ride anywhere they desire. Many times I’ve dodged bicycles riding on the Santa Monica Blvd sidewalks in Boystown because the rider felt they didn’t have to be considerate to the rest of us. There’s been a bike lane there for nearly 20 years, but Ubers, etc. often obstruct them, and nobody wants to deal with that.

Ajax
Guest
Ajax

This is great news! Now that SMB through Beverly Hills has a bike lane, this is the last stretch of road that doesn’t already have bike lanes. I ride this route every day to work and every day I wish there were a bike lane there! Thank you!!!

Harris
Guest
Harris

This is an incredible step in the right direction! Thank you for helping us save the planet!! Alternative transportation doesn’t work if potential users feel unsafe. This is huge. Well done, WeHo!!!

Ally
Guest
Ally

So excited for this improvement! With roughly 40% of Los Angeles county’s emissions stemming from transportation, this seems directly in line with West Hollywood’s progressive and future focused legislation- always leading the pack!

Kristopher Elder
Guest

I’m all for this. The world is (and should) be moving towards greener transportation and other initiatives. Yes the elimination of parking spaces is not ideal but overall the impact will be positive. Making it safer for alternative means of transportation increases the likelihood of people moving in that direction which would in turn take cars off the road. Change is uncomfortable but it’s necessary for progress.

Jason Bowers
Guest
Jason Bowers

I hope people realize that this is simply finishing an incomplete part of the existing path that currently just ends without warning. It’s a great first step, painting them green is an even more important step towards making people feel safe enough to actually ride in our beautiful year-round weather.

Riley Auskelis
Guest
Riley Auskelis

Very happy to see this pass! I bike through WeHo daily, and these extra lanes will make a real difference in my life.

Todd B.
Guest
Todd B.

Well, in theory, the lost 19 spaces will be picked up whenever the Melrose Triangle project is finished (years from now). For now, leave things as they are. Contractors will need those spaces for a long time. But that stretch of SMB, just east of Beverly Hills, is jammed with traffic most hours of the day and into the evening. Will this help bike riders? Maybe, but only marginally. Will it make traffic worse? Probably not. It’s already at a standstill. Is it worth time, money and effort to rearrange the street? No. As far as I can tell, the… Read more »

Riley Auskelis
Guest
Riley Auskelis

Todd, as a frequent rider on Santa Monica, I do think that this expansion will be more than just a marginal improvement for us. When the bike lane just ends in the middle of the road, it forces us to either hop on the sidewalk and contend with pedestrians (which no one wants) or into car traffic. Bridging these small gaps will encourage people to stay in the green lane all the way down SMB. Plus, scooters could use these lanes too if they were complete, and then maybe I wouldn’t get hit by people on scooters when I step… Read more »

Danny
Guest
Danny

Andrea, we deserve to be safe and so do you. we are all equal… we are sorry we are biking/scooting on the sidewalk but biking on the roads is super dangerous at times. we are working on building safe green lanes for scooters, bikes, skateboards, etc. that way you have a safe place to walk, we have a safe place to commute in a sustainable way and cars have their space. Please work with us, we are trying to do the right thing here. again, our apologies for biking on the sidewalk, we’re working on changing that. best,