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Council Considers Adding Bike Lanes to Weho's Major Streets

Bicycle Task Force recommends adoption of bike lanes on Fountain Avenue, San Vicente and Santa Monica boulevards. Council will receive input from various commissions before acting.

West Hollywood took a small step toward becoming more bicycle friendly Monday with City Council's consideration of a new report by the Bicycle Task Force.

Charged with finding ways for making the city more bicycle friendly, the Bicycle Task Force made recommendations that included adding bike lanes to San Vicente Boulevard, swapping parking spaces for bike lanes along Santa Monica Boulevard, and adding lanes to Fountain Avenue by reducing the street from four to three lanes (one lane each direction with a center turn lane).

Originally part of the council’s consent calendar, Councilman John Heilman pulled the item, citing concerns about parking and traffic patterns regarding recommendations for Fountain Ave.

Heilman said he was glad to have the task force’s report, but wondered when they were going to get input from non-bikers in the city. Heilman said the bike lane recommendations would greatly impact non-bikers, so their input was needed before the council could act.

Mayor John Duran said he was concerned about how reducing the number of lanes on Fountain would impact on the already gridlocked Sunset and routinely congested Santa Monica boulevards.

Duran, a biker who bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, also said several times he had come close to being hit by people opening their car doors just as he was biking by. He wondered how situations like that could be avoided.

Members of the Bicycle Task Force spoke during public comment, praising the plan, saying it would encourage more people to ride.

The council voted to receive the report and allow various commissions, including the Transportation Commission, to make their recommendations before adopting any of the recommendations.

In 2003, Council received a similar report about adding bike lanes. With out much community support, nothing ever came of the recommendations.

After the meeting, resident Kevin Burton, who served on the task force and is also a member of the , which plans to lobby for the bike lanes, said he was pleased with the report.

“We’ve still got to go through the various commissions before we’ll see any bike lanes added,” Burton said. “It’s still a long way to go, but this was the first step.”

IAJF parking deck continued

The other major item on the council agenda, on the northwest corner of Crescent Heights and Fountain Avenue, was continued until the Jan. 17 council meeting.

Residents living nearby, who have long complained about noise coming from people leaving the IAJF late at night after events in the banquet hall, requested the continuance so they can have more time to prepare. 

The council also voted to create a task force to determine whether to remove the Werle Building at 626 Robertson Blvd. from the Master Plan for renovations of West Hollywood Park. The current plan calls for the eventual demolition of that building.

The Werle Building is home to the West Hollywood Recovery Center, which hosts dozens of 12-step recovery group meetings each week. Demolition of the building would leave those groups with no place to meet and could severely impact the sobriety of those involved. 

Heilman and Duran agreed to serve on the task force.

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joninla December 08, 2011 at 10:05 PM
Very well said!
joninla December 11, 2011 at 02:38 AM
POINTING FINGERS - ASSIGNING BLAME AND JUST STICKING WITH 'THE PLAN' IS CRACKING AT THE SEEMS, MR. HEILMAN! Referring to "Heilman said he was glad to have the task force’s report, but wondered when they were going to get input from non-bikers in the city. Heilman said the bike lane recommendations would greatly impact non-bikers, so their input was needed before the council could act." REALLY - ARE YOU REALLY 'WONDERING' ABOUT NON-BIKER INPUT? The bicycle task force was advertised to include anyone (resident of all shapes, sizes, wealth & power ... Who were avid bicycle riders, wanted more bike lanes, and to specifically try to look for more place not yet considered to add bike lanes) YOU STATE YOU KNOW THERE WILL BE 'GREAT IMPACT' ON NON BIKERS (the rest of us have known and discussed it for years, good to see you take a stand one issue). WHERE EXACTLY DO YOU BELIEVE THESE PEOPLE ARE JUST SITTING AROUND, WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF A REPORT YOU JUST RECEIVED THAT WAS PRODUCED BY ONLY BIKE ENTHUSIASTS WHO WANTED MORE BIKE LANE AND NO EXPERT OR PROFESSIONAL SKILLS NECESSARY FOR THE TASK FOR TO MAKE THEIR REPORT. When there is finally a dissemination of an actual plan, and what that plan is, the only INPUT ON THE KNOWN NEGATIVE IMPACT will come from well informed residents with 2mins and the time to sit through a city meeting, to bring up MAJOR IMPACTS TO THE CITY! Come on, why not hit the gavel now "I SEE NO OPPOSITION - APPROVED"
David Huntsman December 11, 2011 at 03:30 AM
One doesn't need to be any kind of expert to know more bike lanes are needed.
Rudolf Martin February 17, 2012 at 11:44 PM
bike lanes and bus lanes would slow down car traffic. that's safe to say without a study. however, if well planned they would force transit car traffic which accounts for most of our traffic to avoid going through west hollywood. that might not be popular in other neighborhoods who would bear the brunt but somehow this process has to start. the current driving habits are unsustainable as the entire metropolitan area is getting denser every year. we need viable public transportation.
joninla February 18, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Funny you should comment on this today. Just yesterday (maybe the day before) I was simply walking by with my dog, and with medium traffic, couple talking to a guy on a bicycle and a bus approaching the station in front of City Hall - All I could think was what a terrible mistake here. The Santa Monica Bike lane disappears and the very narrow side walk in front of City Hall is shared by pedestrians, bicycle riders, on occasion a low powered electric bike, a segway and intermittent floods of people exiting the bus as it stops right there. It was an average day, not peak hours, but a confluence of the regular overused sidewalk. Something has to be done about the City Hall intersections - and the 'something' does not include a bike lane or increased traffic the impending $13 Million Robo-Garage or any changes that are not based on a professional traffic management company - and not by the whims and need to feel power by exercising discretionary powers that don't exist. That was not the first time that corner was problematic for both the Pedestrians and the Bicycle Riders, but it was one of the most difficult and dangerous.

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