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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cypress Park student may have to learn patience as he makes the case for bike lanes

Jason Anfinsen/Flickr

After Councilman Ed Reyes visited Nightingale Middle School, one of the students from the Cypress Park campus,  Jackson Huang, wrote to the councilman to urge him to support the creation of new bike lanes  near his  school. Huang, according to the Flying Pigeon blog, played up the health benefits of bike lanes:

The LA City bike Plan of 2010 states that bicycle lanes of Ave 28 and Cypress Ave will be added. The reason why we need bike lanes is because there are kids in this area that are overweight or obese. Kids can get exercise while riding their bikes home and lessening the risk of obesity.

The Councilman responded with his own letter to Huang:

I grew up riding my bicycle in Lincoln Heights and Cypress Park and agree that bicycle lanes are critical for the health and safety of our neighborhoods. I have been working very hard with City staff and community members like you to ensure that the 2010 Bicycle Plan is implemented as quickly as possible.

Nice reply but there is no mention of when those bike lanes will ever materialize. In fact, Huang and his fellow bike-loving students might have to learn some patience until those new bike lanes arrive.

Michelle Mowery, Senior Bicycle Coordinator for the city’s Bicycle Program, explains that a nearly approximately half-mile long stretch of Cypress Avenue and Avenue 28 are included in proposed bike projects in the  current five-year plan. However,  at this point, “these [Cypress Park] projects don’t yet have a date for implementation.”   Mowery in an email said:

We thank the Nightingale Middle School students for their enthusiasm and we are happy to work with the Council Office to help prioritize these projects for early implementation.

Sounds like Huang and other Nightingale student better start writing more letters if they want to see those bike lanes created before they graduate. Click here for a list of bike projects that are currently underway.



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11 comments

  1. Chicago’s mayor was able to install a protected bikeway within his first 30 days in office, I sincerely wonder how that was possible yet providing bike lanes on Cypress Avenue isn’t. I haven’t exactly known Cypress Avenue to be congested, so I can’t imagine this requiring an EIR.

  2. If you think that the fat kids are waiting for bike lanes to make them thin, you are only fooling yourself.

  3. I agree with you Joseff and we do need a lot more bike lanes,especially on North Figueroa,there’s a lot of careless drivers in Highland Park,and Cypress Park that don’t give a shit for bicyclists safety,the people running this city need to get up off their ass and and step up to the plate to make these bike lanes a reality.

  4. Councilmember Ed Reyes has been in office for 12 years. If he wanted a bike lane one would be there. Now, he is a lame duck because he is termed out and will be out of office next year. And, who wrote the letter? Probly not the councilmember, but only a staff person that signs his name. And, probly the same person that wrote a letter of support to Divine Saviour Catholilc church on city letterhead “encouraging” them to take me to court. (the church lost, I won!).

    Cypress Ave already has bike lanes from Pepper Street to Division. Only a half mile from Figueroa to Pepper needs them. That is only half a mile!

    North Figueroa is the place that really needs the bike lanes. And, there should NOT be any bikes allowed on San Fernando Road where the speed limit is too high to accomodate bikes and it is extremely danagerous. Especially when Cypress Avenue has safe bike lanes. No bicyclist should be on San Fernando Road.

    Councilmember Ed Reyes put in a million dollar $1,000,000 water fountain at North Figueroa next to Home Depot in the middle of nowhere. He should have used that money for bike lanes or any other project that the community needed. We did not need a useless million dollar water fountain. The council office NEVER asks the community what they want or need.

  5. Blah Blah Blah

    Ride on the sidewalk and look out for cars,what happened to the way we use to ride bikes?

    Oh and after this bike lane,kids will write about not having a bike.

    • Hmm, I used to ride on the street when I was a kid.

      Riding on the sidewalk is slow and a great way to get run over by people pulling in and out of driveways, not to mention the pedestrians you’ll hit.

  6. While I think the bike lane idea is a good one, since I used to drive down Figueroa to get to the I-5 onramp, I know what the traffic is like on that stretch and I wonder how safe a bike lane would really be.
    I also see parents backed up to drop kids off at the school and I’m sure they would be slow to accept that a bike lane means ‘no stopping here’…
    Since the 110 is a no-truck route, there are also a lot of very large trucks that use Figueroa to get to the I-5 or San Fernando Rd, etc–another safety concern for me.
    I am afraid the the City might share some of my concerns–but I would suggest that perhaps as an exercise in understanding the process and other things that some of the students might get permission from a teacher to do an independent study to see how many cars/trucks/etc use that stretch of street at given periods of time. They might also examine the parents driving habits (which could lead to better handling of that–I know other schools have problems with parents double parking and blocking traffic).
    If the traffic is a problem then perhaps that stretch could be designated a no-parking zone (as are many streets in the City) for a specific period of time, with the lane designated bicycles only during that time.
    While the process would be a long, slow one, the students might consider going to the Neighborhood Council to ask for their support and perhaps do some online research about how bike lanes are so designated from the City DOT website. Again, this could be a great ‘civics type’ class project for extra credit if the right teacher/administrator could be found.
    As adults we have a responsibility to NOT SAY “sorry kids, that’s the way it goes” but to say “Sorry it’s not going to be easy, but here are some suggestions/options if you think you’d be willing to try one/them”. We may choose to be cynical ourselves but we don’t have the right to impose that cynicism on our youth.

  7. Gabriele, I absolutely agree. And, you have great ideas.

    Susan Rocha
    Board Member of Greater Cypress Park neighborhood council
    Speaking only on my own behalf.

    Neighborhood council meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:00PM at Cypress Park in the building next to the Basketball courts.

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