This Friday, Los Angeles City Mayor Villaraigosa released the 2010 Bicycle Plan, the latest major milestone in putting the city’s Measure R funds to work. By designating over 1600 miles of bicycle lanes throughout Los Angeles, the plan is designed to promote biking as a sustainable means of transit. The new bicycle system, composed of three main bikeway networks, will increase access to city bikeways for Angelenos, the majority of whom will be able to locate a major bikeway less than one mile from home.
The plan is set to expand the city’s existing bicycle infrastructure, which, compared to the well-planned systems of other major metropolitan regions, isn’t too impressive. A city of 464 square miles and 6,500 miles of roadways, LA has only 378 miles of bikeways, including a total of 64 miles of bike paths, 186 miles of bike lanes, and 124 miles of bike routes. And of those existing bikeways, very few are actually connected. The new framework establishes three new bikeway
networks: the Backbone, the Neighborhood Network, and the Green Network.
- The Backbone Network – Composed primarily of bike lanes, the Backbone will enable access to major employment centers, transit stops, and retail. The Backbone is expected to be used initially by experienced riders who are comfortable riding close to moderate to heavy traffic volumes.
- The Neighborhood Network – Bike-Friendly streets will feature low traffic volumes and slower speeds, allowing access to bikers of all experience levels.
- The Green Network – Enhances access, through bike paths and shared-use paths, to the City’s green open spaces, like the LA River. Multiple types of riders, including experienced or recreational cyclists, along with beginning bikers, will we able to ride long unencumbered distances without fear of proximity to vehicular traffic.
According to the 2010 Plan,
The 2010 Plan includes a commitment to build at least 40 miles of bikeways per year, four times greater than the previous average.