Bike lanes versus no bike lanes

With all that is going on with the City Council and the residents of Montrose versus the bikers on Honolulu Avenue, everyone has forgotten about the bike lanes on North Verdugo Road.

A few years ago, when the stretch of North Verdugo in the Woodlands and Montecito Park/Sparr Heights area was resurfaced, the road was re-striped. The resulting roadway was cut back to one lane in each direction north and south, with single turn lane in the middle and a bike lane on each side, before the curb/parking lane.

While the re-striped lanes were in use, the bike traffic on North Verdugo seemed to improve. I know for a fact that the bikers enjoyed their own lane on this part of North Verdugo. My wife’s uncle was an avid bike rider that used that road and Sparr Boulevard. There appeared to be fewer car-versus-bike encounters.

Unfortunately, the re-striping didn’t last very long. I am not sure of the source of the brouhaha that was caused by this, but it did cause some concern. The city made it known that this re-striping was accidental. The concern was that the re-striping should not have been done by the street painting crew(s).

We were led to believe that to re-stripe the roadway, it would take several planning and review steps, include community outreach, which was not done. As a resident of the area, I liked that the roadway was re-striped. The bike traffic stayed in the designated lanes and most of all it slowed down the North Verdugo raceway.

No one from the city asked if there was a problem with the re-striped lanes. Had they asked me, I would have said to leave it alone, it’s better now. The city had the roadway re-striped, again, returning it to multilane without bike lanes. As far as I am concerned, the city should have left the roadway striped for both cars and bikes. Within a matter of a few days of changing the roadway back to its original configuration, the re-striped North Verdugo raceway was back in operation, as it is today.

Jim Sokoloff

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