Cool news for bicyclists and bike rider wannabes who have thus far been too nervous — and rightly so — to ride in downtown Los Angeles.
A six-foot-wide emerald green ribbon of bike lane is ready for its inaugural ride at 1 p.m. today. To celebrate the new safer street, there will be a small ceremony at the corner of Spring and Second streets and then a chance for bike riders to try it out.
City council members Jan Perry and Jose Huizar, who is also a Metro Board member, are expected to be among those who take a first ride down the 1 1/2-mile long bike lane that extends from Cesar Chavez to 9th Street.
To create the bike lane, LADOT (city) crews sprayed a layer of green paint on the street and then sandblasted reflective glass sand into it. The glass will make the lane sparkle in car headlights and provide traction on wet days like today.
The uber visible bike lane is one of several installed in downtown Los Angeles this year after Metro Board Chair and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council dedicated $3.2 million in Measure R sales tax revenue to pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements.
So far, a four-lane stretch of Seventh Street has been reduced to two car lanes in each direction, with a center turn lane and bike lanes on each side. The city is also installing some other bike lanes and painting bike sharrows on numerous streets to remind drivers that cyclists have the right to use traffic lanes.
Hop on your bike and let us know if the new lane is helpful. If traffic engineers decide it’s working well, the city may install a similar northbound bike lane on Main Street.