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Lankershim Bike Lanes Could Arrive by Mid-2013

Removing a traffic lane on the northbound side of the street is an avenue transportation engineers are pursuing in order to create the bike lanes.

Both sides of Lankershim Boulevard in the NoHo Arts District could be getting a bike lane by the end of next June at the cost of losing one of two traffic lanes on the northbound side of the street, according to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

The project is part of a Bicycle Master Plan, adopted in 2011, to implement more than 1,600 miles of bike lanes throughout the city in the next 35 years. The Lankershim bike lanes, however, are part of an effort to have 200 miles of bike lanes in place within the next five years, said LADOT Transportation Engineer Tim Fremaux.

He said the local bike lanes would run between Ventura and Chandler boulevards as outlined in plans drafted by the Bike Plan Implementation Team, comprised of LADOT engineers and community members.

James Gadberry, a manager at Metropolis Bikes on Lankershim, said he looks forward to having a seperate bike lane than having to continue riding along with cars in traffic lanes.

"[Cyclists] would have to have safe cycling to go to work and around their work, lanes are going to promote cycling," he said.

Metropolis owner Brad Wasser added that bike lanes on Lankershim would connect with the existing lane on Chandler Boulevard, which extends through the San Fernando Valley, and benefit the growing number of younger people who visit the NoHo Arts District.

Other options on the table include removing curbside parking on Lankershim instead of a traffic lane. But Fremaux said LADOT is focusing on taking out one of the northbound car lanes to allow businesses to maintain street parking for their customers.

The southbound side of the street would keep both of its lanes, he said.

LADOT conducted a traffic study that found drivers could be spending about two-and-half minutes more a day on northbound Lankershim if one of the lanes are sacrificed, Fremaux said.

"That's not a big number," he said, adding: "You'll wait a little longer at a couple of [traffic] lights."

Fremaux said that's not as bad as other corridors poised for bike lanes, like Cahuenga Boulevard near Barham Boulevard, which could see a delay of up to 15 minutes.

Larry Pearson, owner of at 5018 Lankershim Blvd., said he'd rather lose a traffic lane on his side of the street than parking, but that the change could still pose some problems.

"People who are parking are going to have to hold up everyone as they back into a space where normally when someone is backing into a space, you just go over to the left lane to go around them," he said. "It's going to be an impediment of sorts, but it's certainly better than taking parking away."

The project won't be finalized until the mayor, who may not be Antonio Villairagosa at the time because he terms out in March, signs off on the plans.

David Rivers November 15, 2012 at 08:30 AM
The more bike lanes the better. Glad they finally realize Lankershim needs bike lanes too.
Joanna November 15, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I love the idea of bike lanes, but I am quite sure they underestimate the length of time it will take to go northbound with a land reduction. The majority of the buildings on Lankershim have off street parking behind the stores.
Kevin MacKelvie November 15, 2012 at 07:50 PM
There is not enough bike traffic on Lankershim to justify this gross expenditure, especially during a time of such fiscal scarcity. Also, would bike traffic move both directions, putting those moving against auto traffic at a greater risk? In China, in India, and other places where they have more bike traffic than autos, there might be some logic behind this idea. There is no logic behind it in North Hollywood.
Frank Mihelcic November 15, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Look around, for Los Angles to rely on automobils as the only means of transportation has not been going that well. You do have lots of time to ponder that as you sit in traffic. Los Angeles support for alternate means of transportion is a valid transportation solution. For more information on the City of Los Angeles street planning for multi mode transportation go to LA2B.org and Bicyclela.org.
Jesse William Fuller November 15, 2012 at 10:23 PM
How much do you think this will cost? Bike lanes are CHEAP and are savings in the end. The more people who travel by bike, the less damage being done to the road by heavy cars and the less money you need to spend repairing them. So fiscal scarcity DEMANDS we invest in cheap, non-polluting, non-damaging transportation. China? India? I think this is more like Denmark and Holland; places with happy, healthy people. Bike infrastructure is a "if you build it, they will come." Many people WANT to bike, but feel it is too dangerous. This is a way to make it safer to bring out the closet cyclists.
Kevin Hopps November 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM
What a terrific idea. I live nearby and would much rather ride my bike to the great restaurants and shops on Lankershim than drive my car. Keeping the parking spaces, which are in short supply on Lankershim, and removing a single northbound lane is the perfect solution. Clearly, if we want to increase bike traffic, which is proven to be financially beneficial to businesses, we need to increase the number of bike lanes. It's just common sense.
Misha Karbelnig November 15, 2012 at 10:57 PM
I agree that we need more bike lanes. There is already a stream of cyclists using Lankershim to go to and from the red line station. A dedicated bike lane will make an existing practice safer. All of LA needs more bike lanes, it's great that North Hollywood is more bike friendly than most of the other regions. This will be one more step in the right direction. I don't see the businesses suffering too much if they lost the street parking since there are plenty of lots. Street parking is problematic for cyclists though with the danger of "being doored"; I think that having a dedicated lane will alleviate that problem too.
Danielle Directo-Meston November 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Hooray! It's so great to see the LA Bike Plan getting implemented across the city. There had been much criticism in the past from the bike community about the city's outreach, but it's still progress that the conversation is happening. As a cyclist, I'm always wary once I leave Chandler Blvd. for Lankershim or even Magnolia because it just doesn't occur to some people to keep an eye out for cyclists when they're driving or getting out of parked cars. It's more of a hassle to ride on the sidewalks (and sometimes unsafe, because pedestrians need to safely travel). And as a driver, though I am somewhat concerned about the loss of lanes, overall the more lanes for bikes the better - it will be much safer for both drivers and bikers.
Dale Fernandez November 16, 2012 at 06:50 AM
Hip Hip Hooray for more bike-ways!! Understanding that 82% of car trips are five miles or less (according to the National Personal Transportation Survey), L.A. indeed can use more bike lanes to make it easier for those ready to get out of their cars seats and onto bike saddles! More bikes on the road ultimately means less cars. Since going car-lite and now experiencing the city at 10 mph on bike, I've lost 10 lbs, saved me $ and time by dropping my gym membership, saved commuting time (commuting on bike actually saved me time from waiting in traffic), saved me money on gas, saved me money on my car insurance (bike commuter discount!) and I generally came to appreciate the local neighborhood businesses better! What's the alternative? Should we just continue on this 'road' of widening waistlines, traffic congestion, road rage, $5/gallon gas, and ultimately losing out on experiencing one's city at a human pace, rather than at a car's pace. Build it and they will come! NoHo is just the place for L.A.'s next great bike path corridor. Help support Bike Lanes on Lankershim by signing the petition and/or joining the bike ride! Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/we-support-bicycle-lanes-on-lankershim-cahuenga-2 Ride: http://northhollywood.patch.com/events/ride-lankershim-for-a-people-friendly-north-hollywood
J. Ryan November 16, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I don't bike on Lankershim because of the higher speeds of cars compared to other north-south residential streets. Build this and they will come.
Cat K. November 16, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Unless you work in one of the many small businesses along Lankershim, then you don't know that A LOT of the buildings only have one or two spaces for parking.
Niall Huffman November 21, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Using low levels of existing bike traffic on Lankershim to argue against bike lanes is circular logic -- the current conditions are inhospitable to normal, everyday, utilitarian cycling; of course there aren't many people riding there. You don't determine the need for a doorway based on how many people are trying to walk through a brick wall.
David Keesey February 16, 2013 at 04:56 AM
I personally think this bike lane should be approved. Walking along the sidewalks everyday you are in constant competition with the cyclists who travel at incredible speeds even running into pedestrians in their way. Lankershim is the best route for this project especially with the Red Line and the Chandler Bike Path just a block away. Many of the cyclists use the transit system to move around our city. People always adjust to their surroundings and feel this would be a win win situation overall. All of us that live in North Hollywood especially the businesses are looking for a stimulus that will keep them afloat, especially if NoHo Arts District wants to continue growing. Loosing a lane is not necessary a bad thing, it will also bring awareness to all the businesses by forcing people in their cars to look around and discover our beautiful community. Shame on our council if this doesn't move forward!

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