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Simi Valley Rejects Bike Lane at Behest of Local Businesses

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Chalk a victory up to the anti-bicycle business lobby (who knew?). The Simi Valley City Council cited opposition from businesses in rejecting a proposal to remove a lane of traffic on Los Angeles Avenue and add a bicycle lane connecting the western end of the suburb to the eastern end. According to the Ventura County Star, 80% of the 127 respondents to a survey by the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce opposed the project, which would have spanned the length of the city along Los Angeles Avenue between Madera and Erringer Roads. According to Marybeth Jacobsen, chamber government relations manager, the chamber has "a general concern that if Los Angeles Avenue is narrowed, development in the not too distant future could make a four-lane avenue unmanageable." The chamber's opinion contradicted the views of Simi Valley Public Works Director Ron Fuchiwaki, who wrote to the council that "A dedicated bike lane in this area would be desirable for bicyclists and complete a direct east-west bicycle lane connection all the way from the east end of the city to the west end." A preliminary review by city staff, paraphrased by the Star, says that the reduced vehicle lanes would allow vehicle traffic to "flow freely for most of the day," but "drivers likely would notice more congestion at traffic signals during peak hours." Simi Valley joins Arcadia as LA-area suburbs that have pushed back against the momentum of bicycle infrastructure projects.
· Simi Valley council rejects new bike lanes [Ventura County Star]