Tag Archive for Burton Way

Morning Links: A slightly less sucky Westside intersection, victory for cyclists on PCH, and spreading ciclovias

It still sucks.

Although maybe a little less.

Despite the city’s best efforts — that would be Los Angeles, not Beverly Hills — the dangerously convoluted intersection of Burton Way and San Vicente and La Cienega Boulevards near the Beverly Center remains a confusing and dangerous place to ride a bike.

Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg notes that Los Angeles has added a bike lane along northbound San Vicente, with sharrows directing cyclists riding through to Burton Way.

The southbound side, which evidently is within the Beverly Hills city limits, currently has none. Nor am I aware of any plans to paint any bike lanes anywhere within the city other than the two already in existence, including one that matches up with LA’s lanes on Burton Way.

As it turns out, I found myself riding home from a meeting Downtown on Wednesday night, so I gave the newly restriped intersection a try.

To be honest, the bike lane on San Vicente was a significant improvement. While you still need eyes in the back of your head to watch out for speeding drivers on the overly wide lanes, I was able to ride more comfortably on the street than I ever have before — especially since parking is confined to an access road, eliminating the risk of dooring.

The problem comes in attempting to continue through the intersection on San Vicente or navigate the turn onto Burton Way.

Either of which requires contending with busy traffic on the multi-laned intersection, while somehow avoiding vehicles jockeying for position to end up reasonably close to where they want to go.

Meanwhile making the turn onto Burton Way requires crossing over three traffic lanes, then waiting for the light to change on sharrows in the middle of the street — which disappear in the middle of the intersection where you need them most to let drivers know you are, in fact, in the right place, and not just riding in the middle of the damned intersection for the hell of it.

It was bad enough at 10 pm when light traffic allows drivers to turn San Vicente into their own private speedway. I can’t imagine attempting it in the unforgiving traffic at rush hour.

I applaud the city for trying.

But unless and until bike-specific signalization is installed to give riders a head-start before motorized traffic is released, this will remain a dangerous place for bikes to be.

And I will continue my long standing practice of avoiding the intersection entirely by turning left at Colgate, then right on Holt to illegally, but safely, cross over to westbound Burton.

……..

After a cyclist on a group ride is illegally ticketed by LA County Sheriff’s Deputies for the unforgivable crime of riding abreast in an unsharable traffic lane on PCH, Cycling in the South Bay teams with the LACBC’s Eric Bruins to win the right riders should have already had.

And got the ticket dismissed when the officer fails to appear in court.

……..

CicLAvia-style Open Streets events will soon be spreading throughout LA County, including the long-rumored San Fernando Valley CicLAvia and a possible 50-mile(!) CicloSGVia through the San Gabriel Valley.

……..

Local

The LA City Council votes to sponsor a California-wide Medina alert to notify the public about serious hit-and-runs. Hopefully, this one wasn’t serious enough to qualify.

LA’s Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice for bike riders — meets Tuesday at Pan Pacific Park. Meanwhile, the next community meeting to discuss the inexplicably troubled North Figueroa bike lanes is scheduled for June 12th.

A new Facebook group has been formed to Bike the Vote in Los Angeles.

KCET looks at getting your bike ready to ride with a visit the Bicycle Kitchen.

Turns out Angelenos are sort of fit, after all.

The LAPD offers advice on how to keep your bike from being stolen.

Plans to save the old Riverside Drive Bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians goes down in flames.

Beverly Hills’ Parks and Recreation director says local kids have no safe places to ride a bike in the city. Then again, adults don’t have many, either.

Long Beach gets new sharrows by the shore.

 

State

The Newport Bay Conservancy won’t back a ban on cars on the Back Bay; oddly, they didn’t seem to have a problem restricting bike use, though.

San Diego cyclists raise $425,000 for cancer research.

The road-raging San Diego driver who seriously injured a cyclist on a charity ride is bound over for trial. The aptly named Douglas Lane, who failed to remain in his, could face up to three years behind bars.

Riverside County authorities ask for the public’s help in finding the hit-and-run driver who took the life of an Eastvale bike rider.

In attempting to reopen a long-settled matter of law, a professor argues that San Francisco’s bait bikes are a form of entrapment designed to target poor people. As long as those poor people happen to carry bolt-cutters with them.

Cyclelicious notes “the sun was in my eyes” is the not-so-secret password of the vehicle code. Oddly, it only seems to work for drivers, though.

 

National

Motor vehicle crashes cost every American an average of nearly $900 a year. And $871 billion to American society.

Bicycling is the fastest-growing mode of commuter travel.

Elly Blue examines what it really costs to ride a bike.

What would it cost to make the whole country as bikeable as Minneapolis.

New York City gets serious about Vision Zero, passing 11 bills to improve traffic safety.

Pro cycling scion Taylor Phinney has a second successful surgery to repair injuries he suffered during Monday’s national road championship.

 

International

A London writer says police inaction jeopardizes every cyclist.

A writer for London’s Telegraph asks if bike racing is the world’s worst spectator sport.

Adelaide cyclists cause gridlock by riding the streets at rush hour; clearly, all those cars had nothing to do with it.

Seriously? An Aussie woman calls the country’s helmet law sexist because it forces women to suffer helmet hair.

 

Finally…

Champion cyclist at 18, international drug kingpin at 32. If you’re riding under the influence, just stop for the damn stop sign. Or at least, for the cops chasing you.

And eHarmony offers 15 reasons to date a cyclist. I’ve always wondered why riders aren’t in greater demand, since anyone who can spend several hours in the saddle isn’t likely to collapse in exhaustion after five minutes of usuallly less strenuous exercise in bed. I’m just saying.

……..

Please forgive the lack of Morning Links yesterday; between Wednesday night’s meeting followed by a bad bout with bouncing blood sugar levels, writing just wasn’t an option. Hopefully today’s extended version will make up for it.

Breaking news: bike lanes come to Beverly Hills

Looking east from just past Rexford Drive

Looking east from just past Rexford Drive

Okay, so it wasn’t a total surprise.

Recent news reports had indicated Beverly Hills would be installing their first bike lanes over the next week or so.

So when I saw temporary no parkings signs on Burton Way on my way to CicLAvia on Sunday, I assumed something was in the works.

Since a meeting of the LACBC’s Civic Engagement committee meant I had to ride through Beverly Hills on my way to Downtown LA Tuesday evening, I made a point of taking Burton Way just to check it out.

And sure enough, as soon as I passed Rexford Drive, after surviving the relative terror that is Little Santa Monica at rush hour, there it was. A sparking, capacious new bike lane — so new, in fact, that other riders were taking to the sidewalk in apparent disbelief of what was right there on the street in front of them.

And who could blame them?

Beverly Hills had long earned its moniker as the Biking Black Hole for being the only city in the area without a single inch of bikeway.

Until today.

Maybe we should call them the Biking Grey Hole now. Especially since the new lanes, along with bike lanes and sharrows due to go in on Crescent Drive, are only being installed on a one-year trial basis.

Still, the lanes felt good, more than wide enough to ride two abreast. And the eastbound lanes connected with the lanes on the Los Angeles section of the street, allowing a smooth, comfortable ride from Rexford to San Vicente.

With the slight downhill, I found myself easily riding at 29 mph; previously, I would have held my speed down for fear of traffic conflicts.

Although I might question the placement of sharrows where the bike lanes end to allow right turn lanes on some of the major streets. While they are placed according to standards in the center of the right through lane, few cyclists are likely to ride there, as there is more than enough room to ride next to vehicular traffic in the few feet before the traffic light.

Looking back at Beverly Hills City Hall, which suddenly looks just a little bike-friendlier.

Looking back at Beverly Hills City Hall, which suddenly looks just a little bike-friendlier.

At least, that’s where I rode, since stopped traffic blocked access to the center of the lane, anyway.

On the ride home, the westbound lanes skipped a block between where the L.A. lanes end just at Doheny, and the Beverly Hills lanes picked up a block later.

After all this time, it seems like a minor miracle that Beverly Hills finally has bike lanes. And maybe a warning sign of the apocalypse.

And of course, they installed bike lanes on one of the streets in Beverly Hills that doesn’t need them, since it was more than wide enough to ride outside of the traffic lane as it was.

But still. They’re actually here.

We all owe a round of thanks to Mark Elliot of Better Bike, who has been leading an almost single-handed, and finally successful. fight for cyclists in the Biking Grey Hole.

Which could take a little getting used to.

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