Just days after the success of CicLAvia, L.A. cyclists once again have to defend the little bit of infrastructure progress we’ve made.
Drivers long used to using Wilbur Ave are up in arms about the recent road diet that reduced it from four lanes to two through lanes and a center turn lane, along with bike lanes on either side of the street — and they have one of the city’s most car-centric Council Members in their corner.
Angry drivers are blaming a cabal of bicyclists for imposing unwanted bike lanes on the street. The truth, though, is that the reduction was made to stop the all too frequent practice of using Wilbur — an otherwise quiet residential street — as a high-speed throughway to bypass backed-up Valley streets; the bike lanes were just an added benefit once street capacity was already reduced.
Tonight there’s going to be a neighborhood council meeting to discuss the situation on Wilbur Avenue. The meeting will take place at 7 pm at the Northridge West Neighborhood Council at Beckford Avenue Elementary School, 19130 Tulsa Street, Northridge, 91326; cyclists are encouraged to attend.
I know it’s short notice. But if you can make it, wiser voices than mine encourage you to focus your comments on the benefits of the road diet for the local residents of the Wilbur Ave area.
By reducing the traffic capacity, it will reduce the high rate of cut-through traffic and slow down speeding drivers, making the street safer for everyone. And resulting in a more pleasant, livable and walkable neighborhood for the people who live there.
And the fact that bikeways tend to increase property values can’t hurt, either.
Unfortunately, I’ll be home tending to a sick wife tonight. But if anyone who attends wants to share their thoughts afterwards, just let me know. You can find my email address on the About Bikinginla page.
Thanks to Patrick, aka Trickmilla, for the heads-up.