A community meeting tonight will measure public sentiment in Eagle Rock for adding bike lanes to Colorado Boulevard, a proposal that would mean cutting down the number of traffic lanes to two from three in each direction. The proposal has won favor among cyclists as well as many residents and groups seeking to slow down traffic and create a more pedestrian- friendly environment on Eagle Rock’s main street. Not everyone welcomes with the loss of traffic lanes, however. Boulevard Sentinel publisher Tom Topping, for example, has started a Take Back The Boulevard Petition asking Councilman Jose Huizar not to remove those traffic lanes, noting the rise in congestion when traffic lanes were removed and bike lanes added to nearby York Boulevard.
But Huizar, in remarks last week, indicated that swapping bike for traffic lanes makes sense on Colorado Boulevard.
“I think the trade off is very well worth it,” said Huizar during a luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum. “I don’t think it’s going to create any congestion. I don’t think it’s going to affect our ability to move traffic freely throughout the city. It’s good for local neighborhoods when you slow traffic down.”
The councilman emphasized that the reduction of traffic lanes on Colorado between Sierra Villa Drive on the west and Avenue 64 on the east was not intended just to benefit cyclists. Instead, it was part of an effort to improve public safety and create an environment that would support businesses along the boulevard.
Huizar said he would like to see Colorado Boulevard form the northern leg of a bike lane loop that would include Eagle Rock Boulevard, Figueroa Street as well as York Boulevard.
Earlier this year, the city released a draft environmental impact report that showed that adding bike lanes along Colorado Boulevard and Figueroa Street would encourage bike riding and bike safety but will also lead to more delays and congestion for anyone riding in a car, truck or bus because of the reduction in traffic lanes.
Huizar said more public meetings will be scheduled to allow the public to voice their opinion on adding bike lanes to Colorado Boulevard and Figueroa Street . “If people don’t want that on Colorado, we won’t do it.”
Tonight’s meeting, hosted by Council District 14, will be held from 7 pm to 8:45 pm at Occidental College in the Norris Hall of Chemistry Mosher #1, 1600 Campus Road.
- Bike lane forum scheduled for March 27. Patch