Broadly speaking, safe biking in Los Angeles (and everywhere) involves three important components: the state of biking infrastructure, the actions of bicyclists and the actions of drivers, Infrastructure includes biking laws, bike lanes, bike trails and additional factors.
The actions of bicyclists include not only if they obey existing laws but also what they wear while biking and how well they maintain their bikes.
Biking infrastructure in the U.S.
Advocacy Advance defines the concept of complete streets as roadways that provide safety for all users, including bicyclists. The organization lists several things local governments can promote to make roads safer for those who love to bike:
- Conventional bike lanes that separate bicyclists from motor vehicles
- Painted buffer lanes that do not allow vehicles into certain areas
- Protected bike lanes through the use of physical barriers
- Intersections designed to eliminate hazards to bikers
- Traffic calming methods that reduce the speed on shared roads
With bicycle use increasing throughout the country, local governments play a significant role in reducing injuries and fatalities. The incorporation of these methods creates a safer environment for all users of the roads.
Biking infrastructure in Los Angeles
The Guardian reports that Los Angeles remains a challenging environment for bicyclists. In addition to struggles to upgrade bicycling lanes and improve the attitudes of drivers, the city also has a reputation for poor roads. One study rated 46% of urban roads in the area as in poor condition. Without enough bicycle lanes, bikers must take to roads that include hazards such as potholes and cracks.
The city has made investments in biking infrastructure in recent years. In 2020, it added upgrades to more than 61 miles of bike lanes.