Thursday, October 27, 2016

Figueroa bike lane meeting spins out of control


By Nathan Solis

CYPRESS PARK — A community meeting over proposed bike lanes on Figueroa Street was marked by heated exchanges from persons on both sides of the issue, prompting Councilmember Gil Cedillo to scold the audience for its “cat calling” and “poor behavior.”

The auditorium at Nightingale Middle School was packed Thursday night as participants came to discuss the addition of bike lanes on both sides of the street and the removal of one southbound traffic lane along a two-mile stretch of Figueroa from Avenue 26 in Cypress Park through Avenue 52 in Highland Park.

The proposed bike lanes have won the support of many cycling and pedestrian advocates, who said the measure would improve safety and create a more attractive environment along Figueroa. But opponents said the move would only clog Figueroa, the area’s main north-south thoroughfare, and hurt nearby businesses.

Representatives of the police, fire and parking enforcement departments who spoke at the meeting all opposed the installation of bicycle lanes, citing an increase in response time to emergencies. It was unclear if the officials were presenting their personal opinions or the official views of their respective departments.

Traffic engineer Tim Fremaux from the L.A. Department of Transportation said the addition of bike lanes and removal of a vehicle lane is certainly bound to impact traffic. “There’s no way around that,” he said.

Approved in 2010, the bicycle plan has seen many delays, with Cedillo’s election last year leading to further delays. The proposed project, meanwhile, has been reduced in scope, with the bike lane now going only as far north as Avenue 52 instead of York Boulevard, creating a mile-long gap between major cycling lanes.

Cedillo, who jotted notes in a black book during the meeting, said at the start of the gathering that he would like to hear from all of his constituents before making any major decisions on the matter. He opened the meeting by saying, “Let’s respect different points of views. It’s okay to disagree.”

There was plenty of disagreement. As some speakers exceeded their one-minute turn at the microphones at the front of the auditorium, the audience either cheered or waved their hands for those to step down.

Resident Morrill Garcia said, “Look at the mess on York,” referring to bicycle lanes in Highland Park on York Boulevard. One resident said that it was sad to hear that so many were not in favor of a pedestrian or bicycle friendly community. One Mt. Washington resident remarked, “All of you in favor of these bike lanes are young. I’m 50-something and I don’t think I would use those bike lanes.” Someone in the audience shouted, “Less cars, more bikes.”

Monica Alcaraz asked the audience to consider the bike lanes as a means to slow down traffic in Cypress Park. Bicycle shop owner Josef Bray-Ali said that the conversation in the auditorium should not be an ‘Us versus them’ type of debate. Miguel Ramos sees bicycle lanes as support for those who cannot afford cars.

Resident Rafael Lopez asked supporters of the proposed bike lanes if they were residents of Cypress Park. A majority of the audience resounded with a booming, “Yes!” and the energy of the room began to grow palpable, as more people shouted from the audience.

Jesse Rosas said: “You can’t force trucks onto the 110 Parkway, so those trucks take Figueroa. Bicyclists should take the river path.”

More jeers and cheers followed. Some waved banners in the audience. Senior citizens held their fingers to their ears as the noise grew louder.

“You’re not helping your cause,” Cedillo said at one point.

Figueroa could see bike lanes as early as late July if the proposal wins the backing of Cedillo and the DOT. This would mark Phase I of bike lanes on Figueroa Street, and Phase II would make its way into Highland Park. Phase II meetings are in June.

Alternatives to installing bike lanes included “sharrows,” painted emblems in the pavement signifying that motorists have to share the road. Other streets being considered for sharrows are Marmion Way, Sycamore Terrace and Monte Vista.

After the event, Mt. Washington resident Lin Cher stood outside Nightingale auditorium and shook her head in disbelief.

“The people who attended tonight’s event were certainly passionate. People were also a bit rude at times, on both sides of the issue. “


Councilman Gil Cedillo (right) and city officials at meeting | Nathan Solis

Councilman Gil Cedillo (right) and city officials at meeting | Nathan Solis

View North Figueroa Bike Lanes in a larger map

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 Smashed Chair.

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  1. Eagle Rock Hawk

    Bike lanes are the future. The sooner you accept this, the better.

    • You are an idiot.

      • In my opinion, Cedillo’s so-called Bike Meeting was staged! A HOAX! A DOG ‘n PONY show! Cedillo and his staffers essentially wasted everyone’s time with this joke of a meeting. Whether you are young or old, it’s not about us against them. Figueroa Corridor has become a vehicle route for drivers from South Pasadena, Pasadena, 210 commuters, truck route, expressway, and downtown commuters. This is our community and it’s not an expressway! I’d prefer to see bicyclist in my community, slowing down the traffic! A few minutes to my commute will not hurt me any more or less. Regarding presentation statements made by City Officials; such LAPD, LAFD, and others…proved NO data! I would have liked a comparison to be presented to illustrate past City Services response times on York and Colorado before Bike Lanes and now with Bike Lanes. Then and only then would I have been inclined to give crediability to Cedillo’s stance on this matter. FYI – Fossil Fuel is limited!!! Alternative energy resources are a must sooner or later! For the old, which I consider myself among them…we can no longer continue to abuse our limited fossil fuel resources!

    • “Gil Cedillo used the Flying Pigeon LA shop and Josef Bray-Ali’s image to get elected in 2013 – promising to install N. Figueroa bike lanes.” Was posted on http://flyingpigeon-la.com in January. But when it came time for the pro bike lanes, “Fig 4 all”, bike lane supporters to speak face to face they said NOTHING directly to Cedillo! They didn’t even call him out on his so-called campaign promises. So who’s the politician now? I smell a RAT!

  2. Naturally. It’s always the same story on both sides of the issue: Too many babies crying and not enough adults working together. I’m a devout car driver, but I’m always willing to listen with an open mind whenever people talk about making Figueroa St. a better place for everyone.

  3. York saw a 27.6% decrease in traffic related injuries after the road diet went into effect (http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/york-blvd-road-diet-traffic-safety-analysis/)… and the bike lanes and calmer traffic flow certainly haven’t hurt business, quite the opposite. Just look at all the new businesses opening up these days.

    • Thank you for reminding us of this. What’s remarkable to me is that so many of us don’t see the connection between streets that are more accessible to all modes and the positive feedback loop that creates for local business. Meanwhile we’re all complaining about how hard it is to support local business while we zip up and down our local freeways, I mean streets, from Target to Rite Aid to Ralphs.

      When people slow down even just a little bit, it transforms the streets from scary places for everyone, including us drivers, into places that people want to be and where we are all safer. Will my commute take a few more minutes? Maybe. But then maybe I don’t have to drive as far for things when more of what I need is around the corner from me. Will the emergency response time take a bit longer? Doubtful, but perhaps. But then there’ll be fewer emergencies to respond to with fewer people getting injured on our streets.

      We gotta look at this more wholistically.

  4. Wait a minute… Is that Gil Cedillo at a meeting with actual constituents in the room? Well, I’ll be darned!

  5. All you anti car bike lane Nazis wont be happy until you have all us car commuters in the camps.

  6. I really don’t get all the venom (calling people idiots, Nazis etc) from the folks who don’t want the bike lanes. Like it or not, car culture is not endlessly sustainable. The world is changing. Get on board or get left behind.

  7. As an avid driver and less avid, though frequent-enough, cyclist, I’d much prefer cruising up the river by bike. The problem is that downtown is not connected to Highland Park (or Pasadena) via the path, so street riding is unavoidable. I do think it’d be a much more pleasant and safer commute by bike away from the cars. In reality though, lanes on Figueroa are the cheapest and most immediate solution to getting more people on bikes. And it’s hard to argue that that would be a bad thing. The city I want my children to live in is not the city that Los Angeles is today. I hope my kids can drive out of pleasure not out of necessity. But by that time cars will be driving them.

  8. I love riding my bike…
    But think about the mess it will create in the morning from 7 AM to 9 AM. It is already a mess, so reducing it to one lane will make it horrible. The bike route should be Marmion way to Pasadena ave, to Broadway…..
    I’m so glad they did not add a bike lane when they resurfaced the street on the north of York portion of Figueroa…

    • Curious– would you ever consider changing your mind on the issue or are you 100% determined that things are better off the way they are now?

      • Like I said, things are already not as good as they can be now…Figueroa is too much of a major street to reduce it to one lane!

        • Just so we’re on the same page, let’s be clear the proposal as it stands is just to remove one southbound lane south between York and Ave 28. Northbound traffic would still be two lanes throughout.

          Yes, this would impact morning traffic but do you not see the gains in safety worthwhile to make this trade-off? I recognize Figueroa is a main street but speeding is definitely a dangerous reality at almost any time of day. This proposal seems to accomplish several goals– provide bikes with a safe space, will make obeying the speed limit more natural, make entering crosswalks easier…

          Let’s recall people predicted carmageddon after York and Colorado lost lanes. Yeah, it gets congested during rush hour, but my goodness, the streets feel much safer, especially as a pedestrian or someone exiting their parked car. York and Colorado also remain, by my observations, the most desirable and prosperous commercial streets in North East L.A.

          Do you have any recommendations as to how we can improve safety on Fig and make it a better commercial street? We only hear about road diets but I for one would welcome other measures if they accomplish the same goals.

          • York is constantly congested not just during rush hour. On the weekends trying to turn left is a nightmare. That’s why more and more people are diverting to the residential side streets.

          • Route the bike lane down Marmion Way, then Arroyo Seco Ave. Time lights properly on Fig for traffic patterns and enforce existing traffic laws. Easy, right?

          • @eastsidearts

            Retiming the lights might work if there were enough lights on Figueroa. The southern portion especially has lights spaced apart that it seems such efforts would be futile. If there were lights at every intersection, maybe… Also, too many times drives refuse to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks just so they can race to a red light. Retiming the lights would not change this. A road diet, on the other hand, will make crossing the street easier if experience is any indicator. Colorado Blvd still suffers from law-breaking drivers that refuse to yield to pedestrians but many more stop now as they should at the crosswalks, a welcomed change.

          • york business has increased because of gentrification and the businesses that upper-class people demand… not because the lane changes…. i dont see how adding a bike line would increase safety either, although i am sure traffic jams would slow traffic to a crawl if thats what you mean but that seems like a lame way to increase safety… plus upper-class people don’t get pulled over and if they do they got plenty of money to pay for tickets… working class don’t ride bikes to work…. the ride cars, buses and the metro….the don’t have time for BS.

    • HLP Hood,

      Wait a minute – York Blvd. DID get a bike lane after being re-paved.

      • I was talking about FiGUEROA St….Mr flying pigeon…
        Figueroa is much busier than York…

        • Oh, I agree! Figueroa is so very much busier than York during the morning rush hour!

          Why, just look at this traffic hell I documented last Friday morning at 9 a.m.:


          • jam packed! Also, I don’t get the concerns over emergency vehicle response. They are not physically changing the width of roadway… they are just moving stripes around. When an emergency responder needs to get somewhere, people can simply pull to the side, exactly as they do today. Emergency vehicle response slowdowns are a specious argument.

          • sorry but most traffic is around 7:30 to 8:30 am and concentrated south of marmion way down Fig way past where you’re at in the video… and if you’re caught up in traffic, i would say it’s about 45 min drive from marmion way to the 110 entrance next to homedepot… in fact alot of people drive into lincoln heights to avoid the bottle neck next to homedepot… and part of the reason their is no traffic in your video is because there is no bike lane… duh…

          • @eduardo If you are going that slow from Marmion to the 110 you’re better off biking to work! An 8 mile ride to Downtown LA by bike only takes 50 minutes and you don’t need to worry about parking. Put yourself out of the misery!

        • HLP Hood! OMG, you are so right about Figueroa! Traffic is HORRIBLE! It is a tragedy!

          I filmed this video this morning after dropping my kid off at school between 8 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. from Avenue 50 to Avenue 26 along North Figueroa and MY GOD THE TRAFFIC, THE HORROR, THE TRAFFIC!!!!!!111!!:


      • For York bike lanes could have been routed on Lincoln Ave. or Meridian all the way to Fig.
        I’d much rather be on those streets than navigating traffic on York.

    • I have to agree that a Marmion->Pasadena->Broadway route seems like it would be the ideal way to get from Highland Park to Downtown, It would still be pretty easy for cyclists to access the Lincoln/Cypress Gold Line stop via this route.

      That said, I don’t think the traffic on Fig would be that bad if a southbound lane was lost between Ave 50 and 26. Ave 52 is a very busy intersection already, so I worry that removing a lane there would lead to congestion that will make it very unpleasant for everyone, regardless of transportation mode.

  9. preservation patriot

    Dear Mr. Cedillo
    Bicycles are not going anywhere. They are here to stay whether you like it or not. This fact is really out of your control. The best thing you can do to not further embarrass yourself is to actually come and join us all in the 21st century. Cycling is the preferred choice of transportation,globally. The mayor is a great advocate of cycling, as is Huizar, and O’Farrell. Get with it, or get ready to get out. And please take your do nothing staffers with you.

    • You’re right! Bicycles are not going anywhere. Neither are cyclists. Beautiful Sunday, where are the cyclists on Colorado? York? Hyperion? Where the hell are all the cyclists?

      • A lot of us actually support these road diets because of safety, not because of the promise that they’ll increase the number of cyclists. I don’t care if there are any more cyclists on York, the street is now safer. That’s my bottom line. When viewed through this lens the road diets aren’t a failure but rather a success!

        But I am curious, what would it take for you to start biking places? Are the bike lanes not good enough or something? And no, not asking you to trek a million miles to work by bike, but local trips on the weekends.

        • I like the idea of biking, but my house is on top of a serious hill from all sides. Biking would be for a workout, not for recreation. It’s at least a 20-25% grade. That being said, I walk my neighborhood every day and am very aware of the hazards posed by reckless driving. In my opinion this is caused by the road diets pushing people off of major streets into residential neighborhoods. Traffic avoidance apps like Waze are not helping things. I still don’t understand why someone wouldn’t rather bike down Marmion Way or other adjacent streets that be in traffic on York or Fig.

          • If you live on a hill that’s a choice you made… of course biking up it will be difficult.

            As far as people cutting through side streets to beat the rush hour traffic, that problem could very easily be solved with speed bump and traffic diverters that direct cars back onto the main streets.

            People want to bike on York and Fig for the same reason they want to walk and drive those streets… to visit all the shops, schools, amenities, etc. It’s not purely recreation, it’s a legitimate mode of transportation.

          • The main reason for putting bike lanes on “major thoroughfares” and not other roads is twofold: (1) Sidestreets don’t need bikelanes to be safe to cycle on and (2) people on bikes are GOING SOMEWHERE!

            We’re not unemployed, independently wealthy or wandering hipsters. We’re going to the market, to buy clothes, dinner, new drapes and movie tickets. We’re picking up a soda and some laundry detergent. We’re getting things done, and we’re doing it without a car. I know the idea seems incomprehensible to many people, but while cycling down the Aroyo Seco path is one of my favorite things to do, there are no shops, markets, restaurants or other “destinations” either on or on the approaches to that path.

        • Yeah, I probably wouldn’t bike if I lived where you do, but I don’t think that’s reason to oppose making biking an attractive option for those living in flatter terrain. I do not agree that reckless driving is caused by road diets pushing people onto residential streets. Anybody who lives around here knows that the locals have always used the residential streets as shortcuts. Whether or not they should be doing that is a separate issue. And reckless driving, in my experience, has always been a problem, with or without road diets.

          Marmion Way can be a nice scenic route but it certainly is not practical and that becomes very important for people biking. When you’re in a car you just put you foot on a pedal and exert zero energy. But if you’re on a bike, you notice the slightest inclines and if you have to stop every block due to red lights (where the gold line runs down the center) it becomes unpleasant and inefficient to ride a bike.

          Then there are parts of Marmion that don’t directly connect to Figueroa even if you were to use it as an alternative. Between Avenue 50 and Pasadena Avenue, the only street connecting Marmion and Figueroa is Avenue 45. Not to mention Marmion is poorly lit compared to Figueroa so riding at night can be unsettling and make one feel vulnerable.

        • But if we slow the lanes down on Fig, where will the young kids do their street races? It’s always fun to watch these kids and their modified cars racing each other at night.

  10. I still see VERY few cyclists on York and even fewer in the new lanes on Colorado. Seems to me that the “future” bike advocates are crowing about is still a long way off. It also seems ridiculous to purposely further congest streets for the very few who use the lanes. Hyperion is a fine example of this. I find the idea of routing the lanes on less heavily traveled streets to be a better solution.

    • Agreed. Same with bike lanes installed on Rowena. Empty and/or underused if used at all. The bike-lane lobby is an agenda without a need or demand. They’ve declared themselves heir-apparents to all of NELA without a legitimate claim or invitation. Btw, I own two bikes (road and mountain) and have never trusted sharing traffic with automobiles. Particularly these days with chronic gadget-distraction creating unsafe conditions between motorists, never mind bicyclists. Gradual development of the river and alternative paths is the thoughtful and responsible compromise. At least until there is an actual grass-roots demand for revolutionary transformation of all our streets and boulevards.

      • If we plopped down a one-mile long 8-lane freeway that didn’t connect to a freeway grid on either end or anywhere along it’s stretch, would you be as surprised that people didn’t use it as you are about the lack of use of the Rowena bike lanes? I mean, it’s common sense that if you want to create a network, you need to connect the dots. For the moment,the Rowena lanes are much more a function of a road diet than they are of a viable bike network. Sadly, the effort involved to get even those pathetic lanes makes it that much harder to make an actual network come to fruition.

      • When 100’s of people show up to neighborhood council meeting after meeting for several years, volunteer their time to work with the city to design the bike plan, do cycle counts, and protest the dangerous and deadly conditions on Fig now, I’d saw we are seeing “actual grass-roots demand for revolutionary transformation of all our streets.”

        And to be clear, what is proposed for Fig is hardly revolutionary. This is a street that is way OVER designed for the current car traffic for 95% of it’s length and for 95% of the day. There is a small amount of congestion in one short section for about 30 minutes a day and DOT’s estimates are that those delays might go up by 30 seconds or so. The trade off being less speeding, fewer collisions & deaths, safe bike lanes, safer pedestrian access (especially around schools), and better business conditions for local merchants. This is right sizing the road, not radical transformation.

  11. Figueroa, especially south of York, is paralleled by the 110. If you need to get through Highland Park quickly, you should get on the 110. Figueroa from the 5 up to York is lined with shops, restaurants and other businesses. Traffic should move slowly through that section (25 mph tops) to encourage commerce, walking, etc… that section could become Highland Park’s version of Pasadena’s Colorado in Old Town… a walkable, bike-able, desirable place to be.

    • If people prefer speeding we should just get rid of all the shops along Figueroa. Let’s not kid anyone, these people want a 110 version 2.0. They’d probably welcome the removal of parking during peak hours if it meant they could get to work 2 minutes faster. I think the “pro-speeding to work” camp doesn’t realize that Figueroa has more than one purpose, and in fact it’s main purpose is not to funnel people downtown. It’s foremost a intended for commerce, civic engagement, and public interaction.

      • “Figueroa has more than one purpose, and in fact it’s main purpose is not to funnel people downtown.”

        Well put. Regarding slowing of traffic to a sane pace for the benefit of pedestrians, neighbors, and drivers, it’s possible that we will look back with amazement on these days, when traffic deaths are a leading cause of death, and nobody really seemed to notice that much.

        In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of death for Americans aged 5 to 24. It’s something to consider as we think about commute times and other “convenience” factors.

    • “Highland Park’s version of Pasadena’s Colorado in Old Town” is precisely what we want to avoid. We have enough artificial and commercialized “old towns” and prefer the actual old towns that have already fostered tight-knit communities who are NOT demanding bike lanes in their neighborhoods. Leave the “Main Street USAs” in Disneyland where they belong and keep them out of our authentic neighborhoods and urban communities.

      • As if a neighborhood cannot become safer and more accessible without losing all of it’s small businesses and “authenticity”… Old Town Pasadena is full of chains for a few blocks (by choice), but there’s still tons of small businesses and authenticity on the side streets, and throughout the adjacent neighborhoods. And last I checked, North Figueroa has it’s fair share of chain stores too.

        There’s nothing urban about cars zipping through the heart of the community at 35-40mph.

      • God forbid we make Figueroa a safe street to be on, that belongs at Disneyland! Highland Park is so tightly-knit we kill and injure each other with our cars! We say “&@#$ you!” to the bicyclists and pedestrians of the community while praising our beautiful parking lots… because that’s “urban”

      • Yes True freedom, you don’t need to slow down for bouncy castle shops and strip-mall churches. Keeeep on movin because proper dos would prefer to keep it “real”! Real depressing.

        • he he.. Yeah, you’re right. 99 cent stores, liquor stores, abundance of unsightly grime, Wienerschnitzel, Shell gas, check cashing stores, radio shak, little ceasars, subway, CVS, payless, Smart n Final , check and go.. all pretty authentic home grown stuff.

      • @proper dos : Highland Park’s *version* does not mean bring in the same stores that Pasadena’s Old Town has… rather.. make a version that is uniquely Highland Park. Make the street a place that people would want to go to.. hang out, walk around to many different shops, eat, enjoy.. Currently, the bulk of people just pass through.. or zip into one store and bail… because you’d be hard pressed to find anyone visiting Fig that will tell you it’s a pleasant place to be.

  12. Warily Weighing the Options

    I’m genuinely undecided on this one and wary of each sides’ certitude. I’m generally in favor of road diets but I don’t think it’s a one-size fits all template. Colorado — as a three to two lane reduction with a true freeway alternate — made sense. York, as a relatively short route with a host of parallel, alternative streets — made some sense, too. I supported those.

    Fig, however, is a long, vital commuter route to downtown (and beyond, sadly, for some of us to earn our living) that has at least two schools along its route and doesn’t have many viable alternatives — find me a 710 extension supporter outside of CalTrans, the 110 is not a real freeway, and the alternate streets (Pasadena/Griffin/etc.) are stacked as is during commuting hours.

    I’d love to see a common sense approach that encourages more biking, saner driving, and commercial viability but also recognizes that this particular commuter route has some unique characteristics and that cycling around LA is a privilege that not all can enjoy. I’m not an expert but there has to be a sane middle ground on this one. Could someone devise a means by which the third lane alternates direction to accommodate the dominant flow of commuter traffic in morning versus afternoon? Can we eliminate parking on the dominant side of the street during the commuter rush? Can we encourage more tandem biking to cut down on bike lane clogging?

    • Thanks for approaching the idea open-minded. As you state, Fig is a long and vital route, which is why it needs to safely serve everyone. What was presented by the Transportation Dept. most recently reflected a compromise that takes into account the concerns you raise. Recognizing the traffic that builds up south of Cypress Ave the Transportation Dept. is proposing parking removal rather than lane removal south of Ave 28. This appears it can be done because there isn’t much curbside parking available there to begin with but also because many of the businesses have their own parking lots. This will reduce the impact the bike lanes will have since a southbound lane will only be lost between York and Ave 28. Northbound traffic will be completely unaffected by the proposal since it will retain two lanes throughout.

      And for the record, driving around LA, like biking, is a privilege not everyone can enjoy, either.

  13. How interesting how different neighborhoods respond to bike lanes in different ways. Where I live in East Hollywood, we had a similar public hearing on a proposed bike lane on Virgil Avenue last summer, one that also removed a vehicular traffic lane in each direction. Everyone in the room was for it, and it wasn’t just the bicycle advocates, but even the non-cyclist residents and business owners who welcomed the street redesign as a way to increase safety (accidents/close-calls were common on the street), as well as more parking spaces (the bike lanes eliminated a rush-hour restriction on street parking), on Virgil. None of this shouting business. Some perspectives were different, but the vision was shared by all in the community.

    The bike lanes on Virgil were finally painted on in November.

    • The bike lanes on Virgil have been a God send for residents and business owners of Virgil Village. Now, if we can just get aggressive drivers to quit driving in the bike lanes and passing cars via the center lane. I have contacted the authorities, but if they wanted to get a quick racket and get some revenue, all they have to do is sit at Virgil and Marathon for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Between the jay-walking yuppies going to Sqirl, to the drivers trying to pass in the bike lanes and center lanes, they could rack the tickets up and get some revenue. Also drivers heading south on Virgil at Santa Monica, they disobey the Right Turn Only lane and try to race cars in the proper lane there too… witnessed many near-accidents here. In time, hopefully drivers will respect the bike lanes and new lane configurments. Go Virgil Village! Slow down!

  14. What LA needs more than anything is for hipsters to take the reigns of power and run for office. Cedillo is not a king, just a petty tyrant.

    • this exactly why i question this… seems like a bunch of privileged gentrifiers just wanting what they want, when they want it… with clams of doing it for safety and community when all you care about is you and your property values…

      • It’s about safety, stupid. Talk to the pro-bike camp and you’ll find many are longtime residents and/or truly care about safety. If bike lanes are so terrible and undesirable, how on earth could they raise property values?

        • “If bike lanes are so terrible and undesirable, how on earth could they raise property values?” Because it’s what privileged gentrifier$ demand NOT what existing residents are clamoring for. The bike lobby does not consist of NELA natives or even native Angelenos and converts are simply spellbound by this utopian image of something that doesn’t actually exist anywhere in this city: efficient and harmonious co-existence on streets and neighborhoods designed for automobile traffic not uncompromising outsiders obsessed with converting the natives to seeing and doing what they prescribe. Otherwise, Wtf is so unacceptable about thoughtful development of alternative and parallel bike paths other than they not being exactly what the big bike-babies are crying for?

          • Please show some evidence of your claims. Calling us outsiders and non-natives without any sort of proof is insulting. We live here, we have family here, we have been in the community for decades. Many of us went to the local high schools, spent years volunteering with organizations like key club, played sports in the local parks, and are now becoming actively engaged in the community because we actually care and sacrifice time with family to stand up for much needed safety improvements. Cypress Park, Highland Park, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, Mount Washington, Hermon, Garvanza. We are members of the “You know you grew up in Highland Park if…” facebook group. We shop local, eat local, and support historic preservation. We take our kids to the local parks. Stop with the tired and untrue generalizations. Just say you care more about your commute than your neighbor’s safety if that’s the truth.

            You may not be willing to make the commitment to stand up for what you believe in, but we are. Deal with it. We are not looking for a bike route, we are looking for a safer Figueroa. Any alternative that deviates from making Figueroa safer is not an option.

          • “The proposed bike lanes have won the support of many cycling and pedestrian advocates, who said the measure would improve safety and create a more attract [not residents?} attractive environment [according to who?] along Figueroa. But opponents [longtime residents?] said the move would only clog Figueroa, the area’s main north-south thoroughfare, and hurt nearby businesses” . . . “Representatives of the police, fire and parking enforcement departments who spoke at the meeting all opposed the installation of bicycle lanes, citing an increase in response time to emergencies}” . . . “Resident Morrill Garcia said, ‘Look at the mess on York’ referring to bicycle lanes in Highland Park on York Boulevard. One resident said that it was sad to hear that so many were not in favor of a pedestrian or bicycle friendly community. One Mt. Washington resident remarked, ‘All of you in favor of these bike lanes are young. I’m 50-something and I don’t think I would use those bike lanes’. Someone in the audience shouted, ‘Less cars, more bikes’.” . . . “Jesse Rosas said: “You can’t force trucks onto the 110 Parkway, so those trucks take Figueroa. Bicyclists should take the river path’.” If you ask me, THAT is a true sample of how hardworking and longtime residents feel about this issue. That is not to say your position lacks any merit but thoughtful and considerate compromise NOT mandates should be the preferred method for moving forward.

          • It should be noted many local supporters were denied the opportunity to speak at this meeting. Also, if we can’t force trucks onto the 110, then how about we force all the non-trucks onto it since there is no restrictions on private automobiles? The proposal is already a compromise, plans no longer call for lane removal south of Avenue 28. Please, by all means, present an alternative that improves safety on Figueroa without a road diet or bike lanes. Putting a bike route on Marmion Way does nothing to address traffic safety on Figueroa.

        • Also, why are property values, dining, and shopping always the determining factor with you guys? For others living, working, and playing are the cornerstones of a healthy neighborhood NOT compulsion to spend all your money on pretentious replicas of the sets of “Seinfeld” or “Friends”. None of whom rode bikes, btw.

          • Yes, why would anyone want to support local businesses run by local mom and pop neighbors? Please explain how keeping Figueroa dangerous is “healthy”

          • If you WORK at Folliero’s you depend on people DINING there.

          • “Dine”(?). We call it EATING. Otherwise, it’s precisely the pretentious-spin that is threatening the urban-suburban neighborhood grit that has always been at the core of NELA’s appeal. Btw, I DO and Have patronized the mom-and-pop business along Fig and York and lament that they’re gradually being chipped away at by the chain businesses and pretentious boutiques. If I assume the bike-path missionaries are outsiders it’s because I don’t know a damn person in NELA pushing for that cause(?) and I own two bikes. You also haven’t responded to my question of what is so inherently unacceptable about thoughtful development of alternative and parallel bike paths along Figueroa, the 110, the 5, 134, the 2, etc.? Otherwise, you know you grew up in Highland Park if you remember you parents telling you to “don’t ride your bikes on the streets! Stay on the sidewalk”, i.e., the streets ARE for commuting, not playing. Only babies get what they want. Mature and thoughtful adults learn to compromise for something that is acceptable to everyone. Thee are intermediate steps/phases for achieving your goal. NObody wants to be streamrolled by somebody else’s agenda.

          • Surely you know I was just using your words, sorry “dine” is so offensive in your vocabulary. I don’t use the word in my everyday conversation, but for the purposes of making a point, I used it. To me, it just sounds like you don’t like your new neighbors because they’re different. So you assume because you don’t know any safe street supporters therefore nobody supports a road diet on Fig? Hey, if I don’t know anybody who voted for Wendy Greuel, does that mean nobody in the neighborhood voted for her? Of course not! If only 1 in 4 of my friends voted for her, does that mean she only received a quarter of the votes? Nope. I own a car, by the way, for what it’s worth… since you feel compelled to mention that you own a bicycle.

            Let me respond to your question again, clearly, so you can understand: The people you characterize as “bike path missionaries” are largely fighting for a safer Figueroa (for pedestrians, bicyclists, AND drivers), not a bike route. Consequently, any alternative that does not address safety on Figueroa is not an option.

            Streets are not, contrary to what you believe, solely for “commuting [by car]”. I drive Fig to patronize local businesses, to fill up on gas, or to visit friends. None of those activities have anything to do with commuting. Does that mean I have no right to use my car on Figueroa unless I’m driving? I do commute using Fig, but do so on my bicycle, not in my car, and wish it were safer. I know my family worries about my safety.

            Let’s not dance around the issue. People opposed to the road diet believe carmageddon will ensue. People supporting the road diet believe safety will improve. This is the core of the conflict. Some people are not willing to trade speed for safety.

          • “Does that mean I have no right to use my car on Figueroa unless I’m driving? ” sorry, meant to write “Does that mean I have no right to use my car on Figueroa unless I’m driving to work?”

      • The reason property values were brought up in the first place was in response to anti bike claims of decreased value due to bike lanes. Which is not true. I am speaking as someone who has been involved in this effort from the very beginning. Not just on this thread.

  15. kelly thompson

    We all have the right to use Figueroa safely. Cars, bikes, pedestrians. We all use it for shopping, commuting or just recreation by car or bike. I can’t understand the blatant disregard for human life and safety nor the hate for those of us who deserve to be safe.

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