ECHO PARK — Many residents were surprised to find a stretch of Glendale Boulevard closed this past weekend as crews resurfaced the busy road and applied a new layer of blacktop. There was another surprise when the street was restriped, revealing the addition of new bike lanes on both sides of the street. But don’t get too excited — the new bike lanes are only three blocks long, and there’s no plan to add more.
Tim Fremaux, a transportation engineer with the L.A. Department of Transportation, said the standard practice is to add bike lanes when streets are resurfaced — if the roadway is wide enough and traffic and parking lanes don’t have to be removed. That was the case for an approximately 1,000-foot-long stretch of Glendale between Reservoir Street on the south and the junction of Berkeley and Alvarado on the north.
Why not extend bike lanes further south on Glendale to Downtown and north to Silver Lake? Apparently that would involve far more than restriping the road.
“Extending bike lanes north would require Caltrans involvement as [Glendale Boulevard] becomes a State Highway (Route 2) north of Berkeley,” Fremaux explained. “On either end, the existing width would not allow for the extension without removing lanes and/or parking. Exploring such an effort is not in our near-term workplan.”
The bike lane markings have not been added to the pavement yet but some cyclists are already taking advantage of the new lanes. But so are a few motorists. It will take some time – and more signage – before everyone gets used to the new lanes.
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