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New bike lanes rolling into Atwater Village

Bike lane outline on Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village.

City crews are in the process of restriping Glendale Boulevard in the heart of Atwater Village to make room for bike lanes in both directions. The lanes will be installed between Glenhurst Avenue to just north of Seneca Avenue near the Glendale city limit, said Nate Baird, Bicycle Coordinator with the city’s Department of Transportation.

The installation of bike lanes through the busy commercial area has not generated the opposition or complaints that proposed bike lanes have generated in Eagle Rock or Highland Park. That may because the bike lanes on Glendale Boulevard won’t require the removal of traffic lanes. “The vehicle lanes will just be slightly more narrow than before; there will be no loss of vehicle lanes or parking,” Baird said.

However, the lack of response to the new lanes may also be a result of the lack of notice to the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council or the Atwater Chamber of Commerce, which were not told the Glendale Boulevard bike lanes were coming, according to members who contacted The Eastsider when they noticed the restriping under way.

One board member noted that bike lanes are not called for under the Glendale Boulevard Street Plan, a document created by community members and city officials to guide improvements and changes to the street and sidewalks.  “I’m stumped by this,”he said.



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28 comments

  1. Hopefully these will extend past the underpass under the train tracks. That is a particularly scary area to traverse on a bike.

  2. I wish they would have taken out one of the three lanes of traffic. I would guess most of the business owners would have been fine with this as well. The only time all three lines are needed is during rush hour traffic and that’s only for people using it as a side street freeway. Speeding by as quickly as possible avoiding the actual freeways.

    Not sure if they’ll be able to squeeze three traffic lanes and a bike line thru the train underpass. Not to mention the death trap that is Hyperion Bridge or Glendale boulevard going into Silverlake for that matter.

    • i’m a little confused at the phrase “side street freeway”. unfortunately, i (+ other commuters) HAVE to use the streets to get to the freeway. and seeing as there’s a freeway entrance + exit right at glendale blvd people will take that road to + from. is there another way to get to a freeway other than using “side streets” (per your phrase)? also, it’s quite possible that the freeway doesn’t go where certain commuters are headed. i’m not going to take a freeway from my atwater home to hollywood for example. btw, my job requires me to have a car so i can go to site meetings with heavy materials, etc AND i have a child so there’s no biking option for me.

      anyway, i just wish people would realize what works for some isn’t always something that works for everyone. and i can never speed on the “side street freeway” because i’m sitting at one of the red lights slowing traffic down. i’m all for better/new lanes for bikes + other modes of transportation but car shaming in a city with poor public transportation needs to stop.

      • I drive my car on Glendale Blvd every single day but I’ll take safety over convenience any day.

        Also, if they dropped a car lane on the eastbound side they could change parking to angled parking giving more parking spaces for the local businesses.

        • Angle parking with a seperated bike lane would be ideal, ie putting the bike lane on the pavement side of the parked cars.

    • “I wish they would have taken out one of the three lanes of traffic. I would guess most of the business owners would have been fine with this as well. The only time all three lines are needed is during rush hour traffic and that’s only for people using it as a side street freeway. Speeding by as quickly as possible avoiding the actual freeways.”

      If that’s what you’ve observed then why take out the lane of traffic in the first place? I’m all for bicycling as an alternative to driving for ecological purposes. But, it would be nice though if bicyclists at least waived or made an effort to acknowledge that I and the rest of the driving population are purposefully slowing down or slightly edging their cars to the left if a biker chooses to take up a whole lane of traffic all to ensure their safety while endangering ours. It would also be nice if they stopped for once if I were to merge in their lane or slow down at least but rarely if any of them do that. To each their own but I guess if you own a bike in L.A. and are on the road, you’re entitled to that special treatment.?.?.?

      But I hate to think of how eliminating one lane of traffic that extends from the Hyperion Bridge to the Glendale area would A) increase the impatient tail-gating drivers who already don’t know how to drive properly to even drive faster to and from their destination making Glendale Blvd. making the street even more dangerous to drivers and pedestrians or B) seeing the bike lane rarely ever getting used.

      Let’s take the Rowena bike lane for instance that took the place of a much needed 2nd lane of traffic in that area. I could see if there were a lot of bicyclists using Rowena that would necessitate a bike lane to begin with that a lane of traffic be taken out and a bike lane put in it’s place. But anyone who’s driven down Rowena after the bike lanes were painted knows that it’s so rare to see any bicyclists over let’s say the number of 20 using those lanes. Hence, it was just a waste of tax money that could’ve been used otherwise and it just increases traffic congestion for drivers.

      • “if a biker chooses to take up a whole lane of traffic all to ensure their safety while endangering ours”

        How on earth does this endanger the safety of a car occupant? If you’re paying attention, reading the road ahead of you, and applying your brakes gradually with plenty of time to spare, it’s not dangerous to slow down and follow a slower-moving vehicle for a few seconds while you wait to change lanes. Is it dangerous to slow down for a bus? A garbage truck? A city maintenance vehicle? A loaded 18-wheeler?

        The only danger to a car occupant I can conceivably see in this situation would come from the driver’s own impatience as he/she attempts a panicked, ill-advised merge into the next lane to save a few seconds. It doesn’t come from the person riding a bike straight ahead in the same lane. The driver changing lanes is responsible for changing lanes safely.

        “It would also be nice if they stopped for once if I were to merge in their lane or slow down at least but rarely if any of them do that. To each their own but I guess if you own a bike in L.A. and are on the road, you’re entitled to that special treatment.?.?.?”

        Huh? Again, it’s the responsibility of the driver who’s merging (and thus changing lanes) to not change lanes until its safe; the driver in the other lane has no obligation to yield to you, though it’s certainly courteous to do so. This is true whether it’s two cars, a bike and a car, or two bikes — the rules are the same. Who’s asking for special treatment here? http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21658.htm

        • “The driver changing lanes is responsible for changing lanes safely.”
          The problem with that is that most do not. There was one time when I was on the Hyperion Bridge and there was a biker taking up the full lane, well he decided to go left without signaling or any hand gestures, nothing. How am I suppose to know that he is going to change lanes without them telling me anything until the last minute, there is are lanes headed to Silverlake then lanes headed to the freeway entrance, he decided to change right before the lanes to Silverlake was obscured by the bridge wall, forcing me to brake hard, had there been a driver/s behind me, for sure they would have crashed into me. Thats where the whole ““if a biker chooses to take up a whole lane of traffic all to ensure their safety while endangering ours”” comes in.

          I am all for people riding bikes and not using cars but there are rules that many bikers do not follow or care about. The DMV says that they have the same responsibilites as a driver things such as stopping at a red light (for the whole duration). Bikers stop at the red light but then continue on after cars have passed by while there is still a red light, they think that these rules dont apply to them when it is against them but when they are arguing about drivers cutting them off or not treating them as equal as another driver, they try bringing these rules up. Funny how they dont like it when things are against them huh?

          • “there is are lanes headed to Silverlake then lanes headed to the freeway entrance, he decided to change right before the lanes to Silverlake was obscured by the bridge wall, forcing me to brake hard, had there been a driver/s behind me, for sure they would have crashed into me.”

            I agree that this was a dangerous and irresponsbile move on the part of the guy riding the bike. He should have clearly indicated his intentions, and either waited for you to pass by or obtained your permission to merge into the lane in front of you.

            Again, I thought ‘more cowbell’ was saying it’s somehow dangerous for a driver to slow down for a bicyclist *already in the lane,* not a bicyclist attempting a last-minute merge in front of a driver going significantly faster. That’s a dumb move, and it is indeed dangerous to all parties involved.

            “they think that these rules dont apply to them when it is against them but when they are arguing about drivers cutting them off or not treating them as equal as another driver, they try bringing these rules up. Funny how they dont like it when things are against them huh?”

            This doesn’t apply to me, as I follow all the rules when I ride a bike. Not everyone who rides a bike rides the same way, and those who ride responsibly don’t deserve blame or punishment for the behavior of those who choose to ride irresponsibly.

        • If you even bothered to read what I wrote before the statement you paraphrased in your comment Niall, “if a biker chooses to take up a whole lane of traffic all to ensure their safety while endangering ours”, you’d see I already cited instances where bicylists using a full lane of traffic causes the driver behind them to slow down or edge their car into the lane to the left of them. That’s where the statement endangering our (drivers) safety while ensuring theirs (bikers) comes into play. The car following the bike could easily get rear-ended by the car behind them or crash into the car next to him if the driver veers to the left trying to avoid the bicyclist taking up the full lane.

          It would’ve been one thing if I wrote something like I like to speed up behind bicyclists in order to tailgate them or make them bike faster or merge into their lane without signaling for you to have the audacity to include a link from the dmv instructing me how to drive. But, I didn’t say those things. If anything I already wrote that I follow the rules of traffic stated in the dmv link so save it.

          Just like Sergio said, bikers have the same responsibilites as drivers do. Maybe the fact that the chp can’t pull a bicyclist over makes you think you’re above the law or something or whatever it is. But if you’re just expecting everyone else in a car to just follow the rules of the road while you don’t have to when you’re on your bike, maybe it’s you that needs to do a little more thinking on your part as a bicyclist and what those responsibilties are before telling me I’m the one seeking special treatment.

          • Where did I say that bicyclists don’t have to follow the rules of the road? I don’t think people on bikes should be able to dart out into traffic and make drivers slam on their brakes; if they need to ride out into the lane, they should wait until it’s clear or until a driver clearly slows down to let them in.

            Your comment made it seem like the bicyclist would be endangering the motor vehicle occupant’s safety simply by *being* out in the lane (i.e., having already established a position in the lane before any traffic approaches from behind); I didn’t realize you were talking about bicyclists abruptly merging out into the lane and cutting off cars without warning. That’s dumb and dangerous, and I don’t condone it.

            Neither do I condone bicyclists running red lights or changing lanes without signaling, Silvio.

          • I’ll add that I’m my own individual, and I’m not responsible for anyone else’s behavior. I strive to follow all of the rules of the road when I ride a bike, and I am constantly re-evaluating how I can ride more defensively in different situations to make my interactions with motorists go more smoothly. Yet I still occasionally encounter drivers who endanger me with irresponsible behavior and fail to respect me as a legal road user. The fact that other people misbehave while riding bikes doesn’t make this OK; those people’s behavior isn’t my fault.

            If you’re looking for a scapegoat for your frustrations with lawbreaking bicyclists, look elsewhere.

          • Perhaps going back and reading my statement: “it’s the responsibility of the driver who’s merging (and thus changing lanes) to not change lanes until its safe” would be enlightening. I follow this principle whether I’m on a bike or in a car, and take responsibility to make sure I can merge safely.

    • Of course, you exaggerate. “Speeding by” on Glendale Blvd. at rush hour is a speed decidedly well below the speed limit! You’re trying to falsely suggest otherwise.

      And they are not bypassing any freeway, they are taking the only route to the freeway or away from it after exiting. Your entire allegation is completely fabricated.

  3. What would be really cool is if they took a lane of traffic and added angled parking and bike lanes along both sides of the whole street (kinda like the block or two of shops on the other side). And lower the speed the limit to 25mph like it is once you hit Glendale.. racing from light to light at 40mph just creates bottlenecks and accidents.

    • I would love to be able to “race” at 40 mph on Glendale Boulevard. But that is an impossibility as the traffic is always too thick, and generally not even going the speed limit.

      On the other hand, you propose breaking the law by lowering the speed limit from 35 to 25. It is illegal to post a speed limit at anything below the scientifically determined safe speed, and 25 is below that for that street.

      Angled parking? So you are promoting encouraging more cars to drive over there, even as you encourage fewer lanes for them because you want people to use bicycles instead? Are you even hearing what you are saying?

      • “It is illegal to post a speed limit at anything below the scientifically determined safe speed, and 25 is below that for that street.”

        ^ I would love to see a source for this.

      • I never mentioned that less people should or shouldn’t drive to Atwater, just that there’s no reason they need to be traveling faster than 25.

        Besides, urban traffic engineering in America is a crude pseudo-science at best… Plenty of cities in Califonia have found a way around those arbitrary speed suggestions – why do you think the speed limit is so much lower once you get to Glendale?

  4. Yes, drop a car lane. These bike lanes are extremely dangerous being right in the car door zone.

    I was happy to hear about potential bike lanes on Glendale as I live on Glendale Blvd at the river and ride my bike up and down it constantly. We don’t need three lanes of cars here.

    Again, bike lanes in the door zone are a horrible idea.

  5. Is this the Glendale Blvd Street Plan that is being referred to?

    http://friendsofatwatervillage.org/blog/glendaleblvdstreetscapemasterplan.pdf

    According to this plan, one lane of car traffic is to be removed from each direction on this stretch. I can’t fully read the diagrams, so I can’t tell if the removal of the general purpose lane is intended to accommodate wider sidewalk, larger median, bike lanes, or something else. Unless that “something else” is a streetcar line, the plan can probably very easily accommodate a bike lane.

    Also, the city bike plan, linked here:

    http://planning.lacity.org/cwd/gnlpln/transelt/NewBikePlan/TOC_BicyclePlan.htm

    clearly indicates that Glendale and Hyperion are both intended to have bike lanes. It looks like a couple blocks of this segment might be intended to have completely separated bike paths rather than lanes adjacent to traffic, but I can’t quite tell.

  6. At any rate, I really hope they’re able to come up with a solution for that bridge. If it were easy to bike from Hyperion and Rowena to Glendale and Glenfeliz, I could deal with the entire rest of the neighborhood having not bike lanes. In that situation, I’m sure I’d go out for brunch and shopping in Atwater as much as I go in Silver Lake and Echo Park. As it is, I almost never venture across the river without a car, and once I’m getting in the car, I might as well go to Glendale or Mid City or the West Side.

    • The bridge is a disaster. It has the potential of being gorgeous if it is ever rehabbed to its past architectural glory!

  7. The Atwater Village Streetscape Master Plan did not include bike lanes. The sidewalks were to be made wider and include bumpouts that would make crossing the boulevard easier and provide a more pedestrian oriented environment. I don’t understand how the inclusion of bike lanes has snuck onto Glendale Boulevard. It is both a serious concern and extremely disturbing that neither the Neighborhood Council nor the Chamber of Commerce where aware of this: the Neighborhood Council was partially created for the purpose of avoiding infrastructural surprises by the City. And it appears that the effort that went into the Streetscape Master Plan, and the work of a number of local groups that participated in its development, is being nullified. This is not acceptable.

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