According to bicycle advocates BikeLA, 85% of cyclists killed in 2023 were riding in areas without bicycle lanes. Yet, in a surprising turn of events, Los Angeles City has been removing them without any prior notice or public reporting.
While the city’s practice of removing lanes may not be widespread, its extent remains challenging to verify due to the lack of transparency in the city’s removal procedures.
Pro-car double standard
The addition of bike or bus lanes involves lengthy community outreach. These efforts often result in diluted projects, as seen in recent developments on La Brea Avenue, San Vicente and Venice Boulevards. However, the removal of bike lanes and the addition of parking seem to bypass any public process altogether, allowing for swift and unannounced changes to the city’s streets.
Changes in two areas
The city erased existing bike lanes to accommodate diagonal parking in the following two areas:
- 48th Street – Beginning at 8th Avenue, LADOT removed four blocks of bike lanes on 48th Street to make way for diagonal parking.
- Neptune Avenue – LADOT replaced a half-mile of bike lanes heading south from Neptune Avenue between Anaheim and C Streets with parking spots.
The changes on Neptune Avenue are within the Vision Zero Anaheim Street Safety Improvements project, which aims to enhance safety.
More parking spaces
Beyond erasing existing bike lanes, LADOT has also expanded parking in areas with planned or proposed bike lanes. For example, it recently added more parking to Slauson, Bellevue and Central Avenues. The city also chose parking spaces over bike lanes in the Reimagine Ventura Boulevard project
As the city continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly important for residents to advocate for transparent and inclusive urban planning processes.