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Toluca Lake NC Supports Bike Lanes on Vineland

The council's board of directors feels the lack of demand for parking on Vineland Avenue is one of the reasons why the street would be easier for installing bike lanes.

Vineland Avenue between Camarillo Street and the 101 Freeway was determined by the Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council to be the best candidate for bicycle lanes in the community, despite a push from a bike advocacy group for Lankershim Boulevard.

The council voted unanimously to support installing bike lanes on both directions of the six-lane Vineland, part of a much larger citywide Bicycle Master Plan to implement 1,600 miles of cycling-friendly paths over the next several decades.

The council's board agreed that the street was a better option than Lankershim between Camarillo Street and the Los Angeles River or Caheunga Boulevard between Chandler Boulevard and the Los Angeles River.

"Due to the width of the street, the lower volume of traffic, and little need for parking, Vineland Avenue is a vastly superior alternative for bicycle lanes through the [Toluca Lake] community," said Ryan Altoon, president of the neighborhood council, adding: "Vineland would provide the same access between North Hollywood and Universal City with the least amount of impact to the existing transportation infrastructure and built environment."

But the L.A. County Bike Coalition feels Lankershim is the right choice because it could one day connect with bike lanes that could be installed on the same street through the NoHo Arts District.

Alek Bartrosouf, campaign and policy manager for the coalition, said having bike lanes on Lankershim through Toluca Lake would also give cyclists easier access to Metro's Universal City Station. Instead, they would have to make several turns off Vineland to get to Lankershim.

"Vineland doesn't connect anybody to anywhere," he said.

Bartrosouf said he believes the neighborhood council rushed its vote because the deadline to submit public input to the city is March 4.

The L.A. City Council has the final vote on where bike lanes would end up.

The Mid-Town North Hollywood Neighborhood Council tabled its vote on whether to support bike lanes on Lankershim through the NoHo Arts District. A town hall to discuss the issue has yet to be set up as of Thursday.

The city's department of transportation is holding its own public hearing on the Lankershim bike lanes as well as lanes for other parts of the valley. The meeting is being held tonight at 6 p.m. at the North Hollywood Regional Library - 5211 Tujunga Ave.

Douglas John February 21, 2013 at 10:03 PM
This was a disappointing decision made by the GTLNC. Lankershim Blvd. doesn't belong to one single neighborhood, but to many. And while Mid-Town NoHo and Studio City have both agreed to table their motions until a town hall meeting can be set up, Toluca Lake has decided to remain independent. Whether you believe bike lanes belong on Lankershim, Vineland, or another alternative street, we should all be able to agree that we need to have this discussion together as a community of San Fernando Valley Residents and not as individual neighborhoods with little regard to who lives next door to us. I hope everyone comes out for LADOT's public hearing this evening.
Kevin Hopps February 21, 2013 at 11:09 PM
According to the city's transportation department, when they determine where bike lanes should go, destination is a major consideration. The fact that there is "little need for parking" on Vineland is not surprising: there are no destinations. On Lankershim, however, you have plenty of destinations, restaurants, bars, dance studios, gyms, a comic book shop, a bike shop and multiple theaters, not to mention the NoHo Metro Station and the Universal City Metro Station. I would imagine that if bike lanes are installed on Lankershim, there would even be the possibility of bike sharing stations at both the Metro Stations. If you put bike lanes on Vineland, the cyclists will still seek out destinations... and, most likely, they will ride to Lankershim, where the destinations are, but where there are no bike lanes, which, in turn, would put their lives at risk. The city's professional planners chose to propose bike lanes on Lankershim rather than on Vineland for a reason. On Lankershim, bike lanes will benefit the community and the local businesses and they will keep the cyclists safe.
Doug Mortenson February 22, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Yet you were going to shove Lankershim down our throats with absolutely no qualms, weren't you Douglas. A blind man running for his life could see that VIneland is the better choice. I would like to know who's sponsoring you.
Doug Mortenson February 22, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Perfect example of how selfish you cyclists are and how little regard you have for anyone else. I'm not aware, Mr Hopps that there are any establishments that will allow you to ride your bike in, so I guess you'll have to park it just like we car drivers do. Park and walk. Vineland is the safest place, far safer than Lankershim whether or not they take a lane, quite possibly the dumbest idea of the year. You bikers are alway whining about not being able to bike long distances, but riding your bike from vineland and Magnolia to Lankershim and Magnolia is just to much! Where do you people come from?
Stephanie February 22, 2013 at 02:03 AM
People are still going to bike on Lankershim because that's where the best places are. I don't think anyone can MAKE one use the bike lane one street over. Most will still bike on Lankershim if that is where their destination is.
StirCrazy February 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM
DJ wrote "Lankershim Blvd. doesn't belong to one single neighborhood, but to many." and "...we should all be able to agree that we need to have this discussion together as a community of San Fernando Valley Residents." The positive or negative impact of this project affects nearby residents more so than people out in the west valley or North Hills, for example. This is why Neighborhood Councils exist; not to divide, but to bring people together. We all want the same things, a clean, safe, prosperous city with high propety values. :) http://done.lacity.org/dnn/Default.aspx?tabid=97
Andrew Westall February 22, 2013 at 02:57 PM
What the Bicycle Coalition takes issue with is a decision contrary to their advocacy position. They wouldn't tell you that the Chair of the Planning and Land Use Committee for GTLNC is a professional planner who happens to work for the President of the City Council. The committee also has several architects, another urban planner, and community activists. They also wouldn't tell you that the GTLNC took up this issue at two Board meetings and two separate committees. Furthermore, they can't tell you how bicycle riders will cross the quagmire that is the Camarillo, Vineland, Lankershim intersection safely. While we thought the Mid-Town North Hollywood Neighborhood Council might choose Lankershim in their neighborhood as the best alternative, we would not want to make their decision for them. They know what's best for No Ho just like we know what's best for the Toluca communities. Anyone can tell you it's a lot easier to turn safely to Vineland at the intersection than to keep going. This all for a guy who graduated from UC Davis, where bicycles out number people.
Bob Peppermuller February 22, 2013 at 06:35 PM
My stand: put all the bike lanes and bike racks you want in but do not remove a traffic lane from Lankershim to do it. Lankershim is a major N-S thoroughfare in the East valley for locals as well as transients. To choke off Lankershim will create another "Magnolia gridlock" situation. (or heaven forbid, West LA) Cars idling or taking an alternate (longer) route will pour additional XX tons of pollutants into the air every year. Lankershim is a "diagonal" from Victory to Ventura and as such is a "shorter" way for some folks in addition to all the other traffic (additional vehicles that would not be there if Lankershim was a straight N-S route). It is an alternate route to the 170. With Universal expansion and additional NoHo housing units coming on line in the next few years I expect the vehicular traffic to increase from what it is today. Lankershim/Cahuenga are bi-directional feeders to Universal. I believe there is an Emergency Evacuation Ordinance that specifies that lanes leading OUT of a city shall not be compromised. Vineland is the ideal solution to add a east valley route from Chandler to Ventura. It is a 6 lane divided road for much of it's distance and could easily accommodate additional bike lanes. I live within 200 ft of Vineland and support Vineland bike lanes.
Alek Bartrosouf February 22, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Andrew, with all due respect, the Bike Coalition does not know the professional titles of each of the planning committee members. How would you expect the Bike Coalition to know that information? We were not invited to the February meeting where this decision took place. I came to January's planning committee meeting and after the board meeting took place it was suggested that the issue go to the Outreach committee meeting, which of course didn't happen. Regardless, we look forward to working with your committee and the board to make bicycling safer in Toluca Lake. Beyond this campaign for Lankershim, lets work together on upcoming bike rides and safety sessions. I had a good time working with the Environmental Committee on coordinating a holiday ride and happy to do it again.
Jonathan Zimmerman February 22, 2013 at 08:21 PM
New bike lanes anywhere are always appreciated, including on Vineland. But I don't ride my bike on Vineland because it doesn't go where I need to go. My bank and the shops I want to use are on Lankershim. I will not ride my bike on Lankershim -- the commuter traffic is too angry and it's simply too dangerous for bikes. So I don't use the Lankershim shops and I take my car to the bank. I ride my bike to shops in Burbank using the Chandler bikeway.
Doug Mortenson February 23, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Jonathan, another example of ridiculousness masquerading as factual discourse. Like Vineland, Jonathan, Chandler goes through neighborhoods, as a matter a fact, Vineland passes more business in its corridor from Whipple on the south to Chandler on the North then Chandler bike lane from Lankershim to where it ends, at Mariposa Street, where you have to exit and share the streets with plastic beasts, again, unless, just like you would off Vineland, you exit and share the street with cars, and go to either Magnolia or Burbank to find a business to patronize. The fact that you will do that for businesses in Burbank, but refuse to go two blocks from Magnolia and Vineland to Magnolia and Lankershim and says it all.
NoHo Native February 23, 2013 at 07:47 PM
I am an all around hater of cyclists and bike lanes. I don't care who knows it. The cyclists I've encountered are rude, entitled, don't follow any laws or rules (stopping for lights, yielding to traffic, staying off the sidewalk, the list goes on) and yet when we are in our cars we are responsible for them in their recklessness. A cyclist in a bike lane once screamed an f-bomb at me for having the passenger door partially open, arranging something in the backseat of my car where I was legally parked, as she rode up in a bike lane from what had been a red light. I guess I encroached too much on her precious "space." Spare me. Never mind the expensive stuff I had in the backseat that was paid for in support of a local business. L.A. wasn't built for bikes, it was built for cars, the businesses won't be helped by more bike lanes and most cyclists still have cars that they will drive to make purchases, there's Chandler and multiple parks and trails for exercise so these are all arguments I use to support my distaste and loathing of bike lanes in city traffic.
Kevin Hopps February 23, 2013 at 08:16 PM
I'm with JS! Why can't cyclists be more like car drivers? I mean, when I'm driving in my car, no car driver has ever cut me off, or flipped me off, or sat in front of me texting when they were supposed to be turning, and they've never slowed down to selfishly look for a parking space, and they never honk their horns, or run red lights. And you never read about car drivers getting into accidents or hitting pedestrians (okay, maybe you do, but who's counting). And car drivers never... ever... drive recklessly. Those dents and dings and smashed fenders you see adorning cars... all caused by bicycles! And why do you cyclists always have to be smiling all the time, looking like you're having a good time? Why can't you learn to clinch your teeth and angrily glare at everyone like us car drivers? What's the matter with you, huh?
NoHo Native February 23, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Nothing the matter, just clearly and calmly expressing my dislike of sharing the road with bikes. It's pretty simple and lots of people feel the same. I don't care if it's an unpopular opinion on this thread; I've lived in NoHo for over 25 years and don't believe adding bike lanes to this area is going to do anything positive. Putting them on Vineland might be less insane than adding them to the cluster-F that is Lankershim anywhere N. of Camarillo, but since there aren't many "destinations" on Vineland for bike riders, what's the point, except to say, "look, we put in bike lanes"?
Doug Mortenson February 23, 2013 at 08:46 PM
JS and Mr Hopps, Nothing either of you has added has anything to do with creating a safe and sensible bike policy for Los Angeles. As a driver and a cyclist, I understand the need for more bike friendly routes. As we move forward, we need address the need to remove any bike lanes from streets like Lankershim. It is simply too dangerous. The trade off is there needs to be bike, skateboard and pedestrian traffic only areas as well. I am not happy about what I saw on Thursday night at the DOT coming out party. Either the DOT needs to go back to the drawing board and start this process again, this time giving proportionate representation, not exclusive authority to 1% of the population, or the department needs to be replaced from top to bottom. The city of Los Angeles has gotten way to big for its britches.
S. Duncan February 24, 2013 at 03:30 AM
You can't keep treating bicyclists like three-fifths of a person. You can't put them at the back of the bus, make them ride on streets like Vineland that have no services or destinations. The bicyclists are rising up, they pay their taxes, they vote in elections. Yet the don't get infrastructure or equal treatment. The bias and prejudice against them will be vanquished, one way or another.
Stephanie February 24, 2013 at 06:00 AM
I understand how you feel. But bicycle riders are going to be on the road with you, weather there is a bike lane or not. So wouldn't a bike lane make it easier for you as a driver? Also, it's not illegal for bicycles to ride on the sidewalk, most do it because there is no bike lane! People use bikes to get around and not just for exercise. Your vitriol is useless, there will always be bikes in your way.
Dennis Hindman February 24, 2013 at 06:25 AM
Andrew Westall, you and members of the public should not have the right to stop safety improvements from being made for bicycling on streets. You do not have the right to take that action against pedestrians nor motorists. Manually operated push buttons to activate walk signals for pedestrians disrupt traffic. Would you suggest that these be taken away to speed up the flow of traffic for the majority? I live in Toluca Lake and I am insulted by your total disregard for the safety of others by saying "we know what's best for the Toluca communites." Not getting safety improvements for bicycling on Lankershim Blvd is increasing my risk of injury and death. You and others should have no right to do that to those that depend on a bicycle for transportation. Its as if this decision is being done in a collisium in ancient Rome with the public voting who gets maimed or killed. There are several different ways to improve the safety for bicycling at the "quagmire that is the Camarillo, Vineland, Lankershim intersection". I've figured out several myself and traffic engineers have the ability to improve the safey there. The idea that this is a unsolvable problem is absurd. Much more difficult problems for improving cycling safety are routinely implemented in several European countries. The statement the head of the Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council made that "we are for bike lanes, but we are concerned about where they are put" sounds like something right of the 50's in the south.
Dennis Hindman February 24, 2013 at 06:51 AM
The "better choice" would be to have the motorists that are typically driving 200+ hp cars make the more out of the way trip down Vineland Ave to get over the Cahuenga pass rather than trying to force the tenth of a horsepower bicyclist to do this. To reduce the demand for driving requires that alternate transportation choices are created that are faster and more convenient than driving. The reason that there is congestion on the freeways and streets in the area is that they are operating at over-capacity during peak hours. Making driving the fastest and easiest way to get over the Cahuenga Pass will only encourage more people to make that their number one choice and that in turn will increase the level of congestion. Taking away safety improvements for others is not something the public should have a right to do. This is not allowed in regard to pedestrians and motorized traffic, nor should it happen towards people who ride bicycles. A person on a bicycle cannot get to the Universal subway station without either traveling on Lankershim Blvd or Campo De Cahuenga. By stopping any safety improvements for bicycling on Lankershim Blvd you are limiting the bicycling rate on this street to the traffic tolerant less than 1% of the adult population. You are also encouraging people to drive over the Cahuenga Pass instead of making it more time consuming and less convenient to access the Universal subway station as a alternative to driving.
Dennis Hindman February 24, 2013 at 07:19 AM
"You bikers are alway whining about not being able to bike long distances, but riding your bike from vineland and Magnolia to Lankershim and Magnolia is just to much! Where do you people come from?" Magnolia Blvd is not on the bike plan for the installation of bike lanes. Any link within a route a person rides on that goes beyond their tolerance for traffic will stop them from bicycling there. The implementation of the bike plan is not only for an improvement of safety for those riding on these streets now, it is for the purpose of increasing the rate of bicycling by several fold. Preventing safety improvements for cycling on a busy street limits the rate of bicycling to a very low percent of the population. For the bicycle to be useful for transportation, bicyclists need adequate route infrastructure--roads and paths on which to get places. The imperative of separating cyclists from fast and heavy motor traffic seems obvious in light of their vulnerability and their large speed and mass differential from motor traffic. Unlike motor vehicles, bicycles do not benefit from cage construction, crumple zones, seatbelts or airbags. Separating people from danger is a fundamental principle of industrial safety.
Dennis Hindman February 24, 2013 at 07:36 AM
Bike lanes are almost exclusively going to be put on arterial streets in Los Angeles. There are 1,400 miles of arterial streets in this city with an average of at least 4 travel lanes per mile. If parking on both sides of the street are included in this calculation, then there are at least 5 lanes per miles, or 7,000 miles of lanes on the arterial streets. The Census Bureau annual American Community Survey for 2011 has a result of 1% bicycle commuting modal share for Los Angeles. Bicycle trips are not included if a person uses for only two of the five trips in a week, nor if the majority of the distance is on a another form of transportation such as a bus or train. For example, Metro did a count of bicycles to train stations in 2010 and found that they were 2% of the passenger boardings. That does not count in the ACS data. The 2010 Bicycle Plan estimated that about 1.5% of the daily traffic in Los Angeles is bicycling. Bicycles deserve a proportion of the lanes on arterial streets in relation to their modal share. If that is 1%, then that is 70 miles of the 7,000 miles of arterial lanes. At 1.5%, thats 105 miles of lanes. So far, less than 10 miles of on-street parking or travel lanes have been taken away from motorized vehicles on arterial streets to put in bike lanes. The modal share for bicycling will increase as more bicycle infrastructure is put in. To be fair, that would require more lanes to be taken away from drivers for the installation of bike lanes.
Dennis Hindman February 24, 2013 at 07:55 AM
I meant to say in the last sentence in my post below that you are encouraging more people to drive over the Cahuenga Pass by not improving the safety of bicycling to the Universal subway station as an alternative method of transportation.
Dennis Hindman February 24, 2013 at 09:56 AM
There is not enough room to put in bike lanes along Lankershim Blvd without taking away space from motor vehicles. None of the 1,600+ miles of bicycle infrastructure in the bike plan will prevent or restrict motor vehicles from traveling on these streets. Not putting in bicycle infrastructure does however restrict the amount of people who would choose to ride on a busy street in mixed traffic to a very low percentage of the adult population. Lankershim Blvd already has more than one intersection that is operating at over-capacity at peak hours. Encouraging more people to drive at peak hours on this street will only add to the congestion. A person on a bicycle that needs to get to the Universal subway station would not be able to get there riding in a bike lane on Vineland Ave without going into mixed traffic on Ventura Blvd, then again going in mixed traffic either on Campo De Cahuenga or Lankershim Blvd. This severely limits the amount of people who would choose to do this to a very low percentage of the adult population compared to having bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd that would take them directly to the subway station. Vehicler traffic in the NoHo region will increase significantly more if people are not given an increase in safety for bicycling to encourage them to drive less. Lanes leading out of this city are compromised for emergency vehicles by the level of congestion that is generated by car use. Bus only lanes could also be used fire and police depts.
Lightnapper February 24, 2013 at 01:42 PM
CAVC 21200 (a) requires bicycles to follow the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. Riding a bike on the sidewalk is the same as traveling down it in your car. And the sidewalk has its own problems-- right-hooked, cars pulling out of driveways, pedestrians are all worrisome. Same for riding through crosswalks and going the wrong direction. That said-- CAVC 21100. Local authorities may adopt rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution regarding the following (h) Operation of bicycles ..... on the public sidewalks. LAMC Sec. 56.15 Bicycle Riding Sidewalks 1. No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, rollerskates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. (Amended by Ord. No. 166,189, Eff. 10/7/90.) 2. No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle or unicycle on Ocean Front Walk between Marine Street and Via Marina within the City of Los Angeles, except that bicycle or unicycle riding shall be permitted along the bicycle path adjacent to Ocean Front Walk between Marine Street and Washington Boulevard. (Amended by Ord. No. 153,474, Eff. 4/12/80.) So, technically, yes, but who interprets what willful or wanton is should an injury accident occur. A Traffic Cop, a personal liability lawyer, a judge and jury. YIKES! Except in an emergency, I stick to the street. It's safer.
Stephanie February 24, 2013 at 08:31 PM
@Lightsnapper, Duh. Did you read what I wrote? I simply said it was not illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk. It's not the most practical or safe way. But if jerks are not going to share the road, sometimes for some portions of one's route, it is safer to get out of their way. I ride my bike to work everyday and some drivers simply aren't having it. So instead of flipping them off, or yelling at them, I would rather coast on the sidewalk for 1/2 a block before re-entering traffic.
Dennis Hindman February 24, 2013 at 08:41 PM
The motion by the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council to recommend that bike lanes should be installed on Vineland Ave instead of Lankershim Blvd or Cahuenga Blvd was used as a Red Herring to divert attention away from the real issue, which is their efforts to try and prevent safety improvements for bicycling on Cahuenga Blvd or Lankershim Blvd. At anytime the DOT/Planning Dept could decide to put bike lanes on Vineland Ave without input from the public. This vote makes no difference whether Vineland Ave gets bike lanes. Lankershim Blvd is considered one of the highest priorities to get bike lanes due its importance for connecting to existing bikeways and also that it gets people to where they want to go. People riding bicycles need to get to the subways to get over the Cahuenga Pass. Not only are these efforts trying to keep safety improvements from happening for bicycling on Cahuenga Blvd or Lankershim, but they also suppress the bicycling modal share on these two streets to a very small percentage of the adult population who are traffic tolerant. A recent University of British Columbia study found from checking with former patients from hospital records in Vancover and Toronto that the rate of collisions for bicyclists with motor vehicles in mixed traffic on a street was significantly higher when compared to riding on a comparable street nearby in a bike lane. Indicating that bike lanes are a lower injury risk than riding on a street without bikeways.
Lightnapper February 24, 2013 at 10:32 PM
I was merely clarifying for those who are unfamiliar with the State Vehicle Code and the local LAMC; commenting on an evidently "Hot" topic; and, offering a personal opinion as well as an alternative perspective, specifically a legalistic one. Feel free to wing a pedestrian and test my theory. God knows there are enough of them with double-wide baby strollers utilizing the sidewalks of North Hollywood. And, as I documented, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is "illegal" in certain jurisdictions throughout CA according to the VC and any particular jurisdictions legislating it. I don’t know all the locations in CA, but they do exist. Additionally, it is absolutely illegal to do so as specified in 56.15 (2) LAMC. Some individuals might be unaware of this. Relax…head down to Venice Beach and test your “blanket statement legality generalization” on Ocean Walk. I could be wrong. Perhaps my reading comprehension is deficient. Personally, I’m taking the bike lane on Strathern, down Whitsett to Stagg to Vineland, heading south to the Chandler Bike Path and into Burbank; then up Magnolia to Glenoaks, Glenoaks to Penrose, heading south along Tujunga back to Strathern heading westbound and to the humble abode and a cold beer—hopefully all sidewalk free.
BB February 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM
I ride my bike from Burbank down Cahuenga and then briefly down Lankershim every work day on my way to my bike locker at the Metro Red Line Universal City Station. The ride through Toluca Lake is wonderful. The farthest right lane (next to the curb) on Cahuenga is supposed to be a right-turn only lane going into the Metro parking lot, but there are usually cars speeding through it, not turning right, and then squeezing into the next lane. I have almost been hit by a car as it did this. There is a pine tree sticking out into the road and so I have to move into the middle of the lane and I can't just stay on the very right edge next to the curb. Sometimes there are pedestrians on the sidewalk, though, and so I don't want to ride on the sidewalk. Coming home down Cahuenga is also quite difficult. The street curves after it branches off from Lankershim and crosses over the LA River, which means automobile drivers can't see a bicyclist until they make the turn. The sidewalk is nonexistent for most of this portion of the street (it's either dirt or grass) and can't be ridden over smoothly, especially not on a road bike. What little concrete exists is not smooth. There is also a parking garage with cars that exit over the sidewalk, which is just one more hazard.
Alek Bartrosouf February 27, 2013 at 02:40 AM
BB will you contact me? my email is alek@la-bike.org. I would love to chat with you about bike improvements in Toluca Lake and North Hollywood. Thanks!

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