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Los Angeles To Build 1,680 Miles Of Interconnected Bikeways


LA Bike lane

For the past few years L.A. has been trying to shed its car-centric image and move its population towards public transportation and more eco-friendly means of travel.

Now, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new plan that will give the city a network of 1,680 miles of interconnected bikeways. This would include more than 200 miles of new bicycle routes every five years.

This is a huge move considering the city currently has fewer than 400 miles of bikeways that aren’t really connected to each other.

About $1.75 million each year for bike infrastructure could come from Measure R, a transportation sales tax approved by county voters in 2008. Additional funding will come from state and city transit agency sources, City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said.

The city is also making an effort to start education campaigns to make motorists aware of sharing the streets.

L.A’s bike community provided significant input towards the new plan, noting that L.A’s streets are currently too dangerous for cyclists.

Their Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also became a big advocate for bike lanes, after he was injured in a bike accident last year.

“We are investing in bicycling as a viable transportation option and in the process encouraging Angelenos to lead healthy, active lifestyles,” Villaraigosa said in a statement after the Council vote. “Los Angeles is on the path to becoming a world-class city for bicycling.”

The city’s population is estimated to double in the next 10 to 15 years and great biking infrastructure will be a great option for the public.

Clearly readers of this blog don’t need us to tell them about the several advantages of biking — they don’t pollute, keep our population fit and during rush hour traffic, they often go faster than cars in most urban cities.

If enough cities made riders feel safe enough to ride on the streets, biking culture could exist in the U.S. like it does in Europe right now. It’s going to take a while, but thankfully enough cities are making the effort.

Just yesterday, Chicago announced that the city was getting a new kind of bike lane that would greatly increase the safety of cyclists against vehicular traffic.

Called a cycle track, the bike lane will have a physical barricade to the left of the bikes-only lane, while a curb or sidewalk will be to the bike lane’s right. All cars — parked or moving — will be to the left of the barricade.

Chicago’s incoming Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, also said that one of his main transportation priorities in the city will be to build 25 miles of new protected bike lanes annually.

That will leave the city with at least an additional 100 miles of bike lanes by the end of his first mayoral term.

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  1. 01/04/2011 at 07:49
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