A little old bike lane is causing some major agita for Santa Monica officials, reports the Santa Monica Daily Press. Agensys, a bio-tech company dealing with cancer research, hopes to build a 153,000 square foot facility on city-owned property on Stewart Street, close to Bergamot Station. The city and cycling proponents want a bike lane built through the facility--they say it would complete a cross-city bike route that would connect an Expo Line light-rail stop with many Santa Monica destinations--but Agensys claims it can't be built without putting riders in danger. The company says even without the bike lane, their new facility will provide benefits like a pedestrian walkway and a public park. A plan needs to be worked out by September 28, which is when the current lessor of the lot, the Lionstone Group, needs to sublease the space--since it's owned by the city, the City Council must agree on the sublease and it's possible they won't because of the bike lane issue. If Agensys pulls out, Lionstone already has city approval to build a production studio there and wouldn't have to offer benefits like walkways or parks. Image of Santa Monica bike lane by GarySe7en via Flickr
Via the SMDP:
"[Agensys] is an important clean-tech project for the city and we ought to be working with them in a manner that helps keep them here and doesn't drive them away," Councilman Richard Bloom told the SMDP. But Parks and Recreation Commissioner Phil Brock says letting the facility be built without the bike lane contradicts the city's recently adopted Land Use and Circulation Element, which calls for an increased emphasis on cycling and public transportation. "This is the first test of our commitment to active transportation, which the LUCE calls for," Filet says.
· Showdown Brewing Over Bicycle Lane [SMDP]
· Bergamot Station Sandwich Proposed [Curbed LA]