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Fury in the Blogosphere Over LA's Bike Master Plan

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LA's growing two-wheeled community is livid over the three recently discovered maps of the Bike Master Plan, which outlines the city's proposed bicycle network. SoapBoxLA reports that the maps—part of the $450,000 plan—were released very quietly last week to neighborhood council members and local libraries, while the biking community, who had struggled to get their input into the plan, were kept in the dark. Biking groups soon came upon the map and greeted it with almost universal derision (see jump). The maps are littered with proposed routes that are deemed infeasible; generally speaking, the only potential new bike lanes and paths are pretty much along 1st Street Downtown, in Eagle Rock, and along the South LA and Culver City route of the Expo Line, though it was already common knowledge that the Expo paths were coming. Streetsblog talked to the LADOT's bike coordinator Michelle Mowery who told them she didn't know why the maps were released how they were, why they were of poor quality, why they had errors, and when new information would be released.

SoapBoxLA says the plan "aims low and still falls short." In regards to the plan's outreach, vision, usefulness, clarity, standards, and vocabulary, SoapBox says, "FAIL." In regard to subterfuge, funded activity with no real impact, and creative use of the word "UNFEASIBLE" in a vision document: "SUCCESS!"

From the bikinginla blog: "Instead of the bold plan that had initially been expected from the famed Alta Planning + Design, we got an underwhelming, water-down map completely lacking in vision. No bold thinking. No bike boulevards — let alone bike boxes or even sharrows. No commitment to complete, livable streets that serve all users, rather than just moving vehicles in and out with ever decreasing efficiency. And most of the suggested new bike lanes, at least here on the Westside, came under the heading of 'Proposed but Currently Unfeasible.'”

Streetsblog has kinder words for the plan: "I think that if the city would actually implement all the facilities shown on the maps, Los Angeles would take a step in the right direction toward being a bicycle-friendly city? only a step in the right direction, though, and there would still be a lot of work left to do. I support what’s proposed in the plan, even though I don’t think that plan goes far enough. I don’t think that the facilities in the plan are stupid, wrong, or undesirable. I just think that, for us to make bicycling safe and convenient in Los Angeles, we will need to do all these facilities and more."

· LA's Proposed Bicycle Network [SoapBoxLA]
· The LA Bicycle Master Plan [bikinginla]
· More on the Bike Plan [Streetsblog]
· LA Bike Plan [Official Site]