As Los Angeles battles a reputation as a dangerous place for anyone on a bicycle, there are safe lanes opening up to offer hope.
In August of 2020, L.A. celebrated improvements along two busy arteries in the downtown area. LATF reported on the two bus and bike lane projects finally coming to completion along 5th and 6th streets.
Improving Outlook for Los Angeles Bicyclists
The improvements were installed between Flower Street and Central Avenue. They include protected bike lanes to help riders get from east to west faster and safer. Buses will now have their own lanes to hopefully reduce proximity between bikers and public transportation. Currently, 150 buses an hour pass through these corridors. An upgrade on road conditions was an added bonus, with repaving and new lines painted along 5th and 6th streets.
The changes are part of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan for a “Decade of Action” to fight the climate crisis. The idea is to make travel safer when using public transportation or foot and pedal power to navigate the city. This initiative aims to cut down on emissions from motor vehicles, but the plan, introduced in February of 2020, has plenty of benefits for bicyclists and pedestrians.
It promises to “Promote walking, bicycling and micro-mobility with a comprehensive Citywide network of active transportation corridors, including Class IV protected bike lanes, Class I paths along regional waterways, and Class III low-stress neighborhood bike improvements.”
This is a breath of fresh air for Los Angeles where bicycle accident rates are the highest in the state and some of the highest in the country. California Healthline found that in a two-year span, Los Angeles County saw 106 bicycle fatalities. The next closest county was Sacramento County, reporting less than half the L.A. tragedies, accounting for 47 deaths. Orange County was third with 32 bicycle fatalities.
The news of tragic deaths only emphasizes the struggle for anyone wanting to ride in Los Angeles. Confrontations with heavy traffic, distracted drivers, and poor street design can make for a harrowing trip through the City of Angels.
The numbers show that Los Angeles has a ways to go before they can truly claim to be a bicycle-friendly city, but the news in 2020 is a pedal in the right direction.
We Are Los Angeles Bicycle Law
Los Angeles Bicycle Law has spent years advocating for the bicycle community across Southern California. We want safer rides for every cyclist. In the event of an accident anywhere in the area, we also want to help protect the victim. We concentrate our practice on cyclists who have been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of others. We’re dedicated and effective bicycle accident lawyers. If you were injured in an accident anywhere in Southern California contact us right away for a confidential free consultation and case review.