Bicycle lanes are undoubtedly safer for cyclists than using the open road or sidewalks. But, Los Angeles bike lanes have plenty of room for improvement.
Here are just a few of the issues with L.A. bike lanes that are being addressed to make California roads safer for riders and drivers.
Adding dedicated lanes
Los Angeles is sometimes called one of the worst bicycle cities. The fact of the matter is that the city of 4 million doesn’t have enough bicycle lanes available to riders. This is in part because some argue that adding bicycle lanes makes roads too narrow.
However, other research indicates bicycle lanes reduce a cyclist’s risk of being injured by 50% to 90%. It also states that most automobile drivers feel safer when bicyclists have their own lane.
A proposed solution to this is the newly passed Mobility Plan 2035. The plan calls for more dedicated lanes for bikes and buses, making roads a place for everyone -- not just cars. This new standard for street design will also aim to make other vulnerable populations safer, such as children, the elderly and those with a disability.
Unlike roadways or subway tracks, bicycle lanes and paths in L.A. haven’t been planned out or organized in any particular fashion. This makes it difficult for bicycles to plan out routes and generally travel by bicycle.
Mobility plan 2035 also addresses this concern through its alignment with Vision Zero. Vision Zero is a road traffic safety project that aims to create traffic systems that can't result in any fatalities or injuries. One way to do this is by creating routes that protect cyclists throughout their travels, all the way from point A to point B.
Proposing new infrastructure
Transforming California’s current infrastructure to make cyclists safer won’t be easy. However, as more and more cyclists speak out, innovations are catching way. For example, downtown LA recently opened its first two-way bike lane and initiatives for bike lane barriers are underway.