Plan designates 1,680 miles of interconnected bikeways for Los Angeles
By Alan Brandon
March 4, 2011
As the Missing Persons song goes, "nobody walks in LA." But with the release of the 2010 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan, the city hopes to make it easier to ride there. As part of the city's commitment to transform LA from an auto-centric metropolis to a city with a multi-modal transportation system, the City of Los Angeles has released the draft 2010 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan, which designates 1680 miles (2700 km) of bikeway facilities and proposes three new bicycle networks that will crisscross the city.
The 2010 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan is the first major update of the city's bicycle plan since 1996, and has been in development since 2008. In addition to adding more than 900 miles (1448 km) of bikeways, the 2010 plan proposes three new bicycle networks to provide continuous bicycle access across the entire city. The three networks are called the Backbone, Neighborhood, and Green networks.
The Backbone Network will be made up of more than 700 miles (1127 km) of primarily bicycle lanes on existing streets. This network will provide access to major employment centers, transit stations, schools, and retail and recreational sites. The Neighborhood Network will designate more than 800 miles (1288 km) of local streets with low traffic and slower speeds where, the city hopes, bicyclists of all experience levels can feel comfortable. This network will provide access to neighborhood facilities such as libraries, parks, and shopping districts. The Green Network (think "scenic route") will include more than 130 miles (209 km) of bicycle paths and shared-use paths around LA's green open spaces, particularly river channels like the Los Angeles River.
The 2010 Bicycle Plan serves as the City of Los Angeles blueprint for meeting the needs of all bicyclists including commuters and recreational riders. The plan's five-year implementation strategy aims to build 40 miles (64 km) of bikeways per year, which is four times more than the city's previous average. With completion targeted for 2035, the three finished networks will provide access to a bikeway for most residents within one mile (1.6 km) of their home.
In addition to the network details and maps, the 2010 Bicycle Plan includes a Technical Design Handbook that provides standards and guidelines to assist both city staff and residents in the selection and design of future bikeways and facilities, such as bike lane layout and markings, signage, and other considerations. The full 2010 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan document and maps are available on the project website.
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