L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles Bicycle Plan, Council District 1, controversy: "Halted Figueroa bike lane project riles cycling activists" ....
* Los Angeles Times: "Halted Figueroa bike lane project riles cycling activists" - From the LAT:
More than 200 miles of Los Angeles streets have been remade in the last five years, with city officials adding bike lanes where the car alone had long been king.
In many cases, making room for cyclists has meant reducing the space for motorists, causing grumblings in some neighborhoods but doing little to slow the bike lane march. Until now. Over the last 18 months, political opposition has stalled bike lane projects on Lankershim Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley and Westwood Boulevard on the Westside. Downtown commuters have begun to loudly complain about bike lanes in the 2nd Street tunnel, where two out of four car lanes have disappeared. But the bike lane boom has really met its match in an unlikely place — northeast L.A. It was here transportation planners had hoped just three years ago to complete a looping system of lanes connecting Highland Park with Eagle Rock and other nearby neighborhoods.
Last week, City Councilman Gil Cedillo announced he is halting work indefinitely on northbound and southbound bike lanes planned for a three-mile stretch of North Figueroa Street, despite an aggressive two-year campaign by cycling advocates. Cedillo said he feared the loss of a single southbound car lane would slow emergency response times of police officers and firefighters on Figueroa, which runs roughly parallel to the 110 Freeway. He dismissed cyclists as a tiny but vocal segment of the population. And in a letter to activists, he said he would rather focus efforts on improving crosswalks and traffic signals.
Figueroa, like Lankershim and Westwood boulevards, are part of the city's Bicycle Plan, a document that mapped out 719 miles of planned bike lanes. . . . . . ..
Cedillo contends the bike plan, approved by the council in 2011, was developed by 1,000 people in a city of around 4 million. "That's a very microscopic percentage of people to set an agenda," he said.
Bicycle advocates have long argued that the addition of dedicated lanes can achieve multiple goals: . . . . . . . .
Opponents argue that too few bicyclists are on the road to justify the loss of so many car lanes and the suffering that comes with lengthier commutes.
The debate has been especially intense in northeast L.A. Activists say Cedillo, who was videotaped voicing support for Figueroa bike lanes during his 2013 election campaign, broke a promise to constituents. One accused the councilman on Twitter of supporting "fast cars and dead kids."
Leading the charge for the bike lanes is Josef Bray-Ali, owner of the Flying Pigeon bike shop on Figueroa and a resident of Cedillo's District 1...................................