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.