By Nathan Solis
After several months of community meetings and deliberation, Councilman Gil Cedillo has for now indefinitely halted plans to install bicycle lanes on Figueroa Street in Cypress Park and Highland Park, a proposal that would have required the removal of a lane for motor vehicle traffic.
In a letter sent this week to his constituents in Council District 1 Cedillo, says he is concerned about the safety for all those who travel along this corridor – pedestrians, bikers and drivers. “With that said, I will be deferring the implementation of any bike lanes on Figueroa until I can ensure all residents who travel along this corridor will be safe.”
The letter goes on to list several elements that will be focused on by the councilman’s office, including a reconfiguration of traffic signals, installation of crosswalks and more curb ramps. The letter, however, does not say how long Cedillo will defer making a decision on the bike lanes.
Earlier this week a group of concerned residents marched to Cedillo’s Highland Park field office decked in Dia De Los Muertos face paint to prompt a decision on a safer Figueroa Street.
The proposed bike lanes and “road diet” would restripe Figueroa to create bicycle lanes from Avenue 26 to Avenue 52. The bike lanes would also remove a single vehicle lane, which many opponents say would create more vehicle traffic.
The deliberation and debate over the bike lanes included two public meetings over the issue, the first being a chaotic and unorganized gathering in Cypress Park and the second a lackluster event in Highland Park, filled with police officers standing over the audience who were not allowed to speak on the issue.
Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.