WESTSIDE EXPO LINE
Thread started by barleye
at 05.9.08 - 9:22 am
I receive a newsletter periodically from SUSTAINABLECLUB.ORG
it's somewhat long but has interesting info about the future rail lines and bike lanes/paths on the westside:
Bicycle Issues and the Expo line Phase 2
The Expo line phase two will have a major impact on transportation between Culver City and Santa Monica. We are taking about a monumental project with overpasses, bridges and tunnels that will change the way that bicycles function in the area. Some of it will help and some of it can hurt our ability to use bicycles. We can still impact the details of this to make sure that bicycle issues are handled as best as possible.
The important thing right now is to make sure bicycle issues are spelled out correctly in the Environmental Impact Report. The Bicycle side is not being put forward and in most cases is not even being mentioned at the public meetings.
Details needed for the part EAST of the 405
The details in Santa Monica and West of the 405 are reasonably clear to me but I do not spend much time EAST of the 405 so please help provide the details of those concerns.
Here are the issues that have been identified so far. Please review and see what impact you think these would have as well as checking to see if any more impacts need to be added to our list of concerns.
There is already funding and a plan in place to put a bicycle path from Centinella to 17th and Colorado. That path is scheduled to be built with the light rail. There are a few issues about how that will be handled that may make a big difference in how well that path actually works.
Cloverfield and Olympic
A big safety and effective use issue comes up around the intersection of Cloverfield and Olympic. The Expo line is planned to go over that intersection from 26th street until it comes to ground past the Olympic connection. That means that the bike path is on its own through that stretch, The right of way is right next to Olympic at Bergamot Station and crosses Olympic between Cloverfield and 22nd at a really bad angle on a curve in Olympic. The current plan for getting across this stretch is to have the bicycles use the pedestrian crosswalks at Olympic and Cloverfield. That means going through not one but two crosswalk cycles in one of the busiest, and longest cycle intersection in town. Cars will have to wait for only one cycle and trains get a bridge of their own.
An alternative that has been put forward by a number of bicycle advocates is to have a bicycle lane from Bergamot down Michigan to 21st Street. That would connect to the right of way by putting a bicycle and pedestrian only traffic light at 21st street and Olympic to cross to bike path at that point. This would be a reasonable option if the Expo goes down Colorado. It would not be so reasonable on the Olympic route given that the Expo bridge would come back down to grade in the median on Olympic at that point.
Other Concerns from Bergamot Station to 17th street
If Expo line goes down Olympic then the bicycle path would be the only thing going from 20 to 17th street on the right of way. Using that stretch of the right of way will have some opposition from the businesses renting that for storage and parking. Bicyclists may need to help keep that part of the project in tact.
No matter which way the Expo line goes there is only a plan in place to take the bicycle path to 17th and Colorado. That would be good as far as it goes and there are other issues that come up if the train goes down Colorado,
Protect our East West Bicycle Routes
The Colorado route calls for traffic to be diverted onto Broadway and Olympic. Since Colorado is the fastest East West road from 26th to Ocean and since Olympic is useless from 11th to Ocean that would mean a lot of traffic going to Broadway.
Broadway has some of the best bicycle features of any bike route in town. These include:
* Clearly marked lanes from 6th all the way to Centinella
* The slowest vehicle speed limit available at 25 mph
* It has the least grade change of any east west bicycle lane
* Not a single stop sign from 6th to 26th Street
* Fewer stop signs from 26th street to Centinella than any other east west bike lane except San Vicente
* It is centrally located so it can be used equally by the entire city
* It is located with more multifamily units around it than any other route and is in the center of the multifamily zoning.
Diverting traffic from Colorado to Broadway would have a substantial negative impact on the bike route. The increase in traffic would increase all the problems that bikes have with cars. IF we assume that hazardous driving behavior happens as a constant percentage of the number of vehicles then it would follow that there would be more numbers of everything including:
* More vehicles exceeding the speed limit going past the bicycles
* More violations of the bicycle lane with cars crossing into the lane for various reasons
* More times when bicycles cannot change lanes to turn left
* More drivers thinking that bicycle should not be allowed out of their lane.
* More cars crossing and turning on to Broadway at uncontrolled intersections that violate and threaten the bicycle lane
* More cars on our left when we have to avoid car door openings etc.
These impacts would be a real blow to the future development of safe routes for bicycles in Santa Monica. These can be off set by having a bicycle lane extended from 17th all the way to the 2nd street station on Colorado. The Olympic route would not have this impact.
From Culver City to Santa Monica
There are other issues with the stretch from Culver to the Santa Monica City Limits. We should accumulate information about these issues and ways to deal with them for future issues. Here is a brief listing of the issue that are currently known.
* The alternative that goes down Venice and up Sepulveda could impact the Venice Bike lanes
* Going down the Expo right of way has an issue about how to get bicycle under the freeway - the tunnel is not wide enough.
* The Tunnel under the freeway could be used for the bicycle path if the Venice alternative is used.
* There are concerns about crossings between Sepulveda and Westwood.
* The bike path is only funded up to Sepulveda and Expo from Culver City
* That leaves a gap between Sepulveda and Centinella with zero bicycle accommodations.
There may be other concerns we need to deal with but getting these handled could make a big difference in how well bicycles will fit into our area. Please get involved and make sure that the people doing the planning know about your concerns.
You can communicate your concerns by writing to:
Community Relations Manager
Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority
707 Wilshire Boulevard. 34th Floor
Los Angeles CA 90017
Please send copies of your concerns to be included in this newsletter. We have over 1200 people on our mailing list with a large percentage on the Westside. There is also a solid group of bicycle advocates and planners tied to the list that can help us to get this done right. This newsletter can help those advocates to be organized around this issue.
to receive this newsletter go to www.sustainableclub.org or call 310-450-7419 or by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org