Downtown LA unveils bike lane

Downtown Los Angeles debuted a bright new way to streamline bicycle traffic last week on one of the area’s biggest streets, unveiling a lime-green bike lane. The lane stretches from Cesar Chavez Avenue to 9th Street, and is the first full-color lane in the city. Council members hope the new bike lane will bring heightened safety and visibility to downtown traffic.

The six-foot lane allows a four-foot buffer zone and an eight-foot parking lane on the west side of the street, providing ample room for both two- and four-wheeled traffic. Buses are allowed to cross over the bike lane and the buffer zone, but cannot drive for long stretches in the area.

Regular bike lanes cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 per mile, and the green paint on the 1.6-mile downtown stretch is estimated to add around $50,000. However, this investment is part of the city’s master plan, which encompasses a 1,680-mile bicycle lane network and 200 miles of updates every five years.

“We’re looking for—at the same time we expand our transit network — how do we also expand our active transportation network to link up with that?” said Alexis Lantz of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the Los Angeles Times. “It’s about providing more options for people across the city.”

A similar lane was also opened on Boyle Heights’ First Street, stretching 1.6 miles from Lorena Street to Boyle Avenue. However, this lane only has solid-green paint in conflict areas, such as alleys, driveways, and turn lanes. In addition, it is made using green thermoplastic instead of paint.

Other bike lanes are set to open soon as well. More information can be found here.