What if you could make things safer along Sunset Boulevard by just … repainting the lines?
A group is proposing to reconfigure the bike lanes along Sunset between Dodger Stadium and Fountain Avenue, and along Santa Monica Boulevard from Sunset Junction to the Vermont/Santa Monica Metro Station.
“The current configuration on Sunset Boulevard of ‘door zone’ bike lanes squeezed between parked cars and speeding traffic is simply not safe or useful,” said Terence Heuston, from a group called Sunset4All.
Currently, each side of the street along Sunset has a bike lane between the parked cars and the traffic. Cyclists not only get passed very closely by speeding cars, but are at risk of slamming into drivers’ side car doors being opened in from of them from the parked vehicles - hence the “door zone” that Heuston mentioned.
Under the arrangement that Sunset4All is proposing, both bike lanes would be relocated to the same side of the street. They would run between parked cars and the curb, not next to traffic.
The only thing that would be lost is an average of one parking space per block to accommodate sight lines around driveways, Heuston said.
Assuming the loss of parking would be that minimal, at least one nearby business owner said he had no problem with the plan.
“It could be good. It could be bad. I cannot tell,” said Robert Babish, owner of Millie’s restaurant, which is located on the south side of Sunset where both bike lanes would run based on Sunset4All’s rendering. “If we’re not losing any parking spaces, I don’t think it’s going to affect me.”
Heuston said he has gotten support from City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, whose District 13 covers most of the project’s area. So far, Sunset4All has met with CD13 senior staff, senior LADOT staff, outside consultants, and the mayor's office to confirm the feasibility of the project