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5 Experts For and Against LA's Approach to Bikes

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A year and a half post mayor's-arm-gate (in which Mayor Villaraigosa broke his elbow after swerving his bike to avoid a cab, then found a new renewed devotion to the city's bikers), the LA Daily News looks at how Los Angeles is progressing, bikeification-wise: "Overall the city's bicycle plan calls for about 1,680 miles of various bike paths and networks over the next 30 years, including bicycle lanes on vehicular streets and areas where engineering devices are used to slow car traffic down." The city has a plan to create 200 miles of bike infrastructure over five years and so far there are 20 new miles of sharrows (those biker/arrow lane markings) and 14 new miles of dedicated bike lanes. The critics are split, however, with some planners and activists sounding excited, and others disappointed. Here's what they had to say:

Michelle Mowery, senior deputy planner in charge of the bike plan: "I've worked for the city for 17 years, and this is the most exciting time I have seen."

Glenn Bailey, vice chairman of LA Bicycle Advisory Committee: "Sharrows are fine, but they are really nothing more than a sign saying it is a bike route."

Joe Linton, CicLAvia principal: "The city is doing more than it ever did, but it is still falling short of a number of other cities?Forty miles a year sounds good, but most of it has been with sharrows and not real bike lanes. The city is doing it the easy and cheap way."

Linton again: "What concerns me is they adopted this plan in March, and we are already seeing it fall short of its goals."

Stephen Box, neighborhood activist: "The mayor's directive has resulted in bike facilities where they are not needed and sloppy work that requires repairs. Anything that has a time plan of 30 years is not a plan, it's an opportunity to defer performance."

Alexis Lantz, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition: "There is always more the city could be doing?That is a given, but, in general, this is an exciting time with all the attention being given to bicycles."
· Some see flaws in L.A. bike plan [LADN]