Back in the summer of 2014, the city announced its Great Streets program, which would put 15 streets across the city in line for upgrades making them more friendly for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. A segment of Van Nuys Boulevard in Pacoima made the list, and that’s where Los Angeles’s newest protected bike lane has opened, says Streetsblog LA.
Cars used to park along the curb on Van Nuys and bikes would ride between the parked cars and lanes of traffic. But in this new setup, parked cars and bikes switch places, with the bikes traveling closest to the curb and a row of parked cars protecting bike riders by acting as a barrier between traffic and cyclists.
The new protected lane runs just shy of a full mile along Van Nuys Boulevard between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and San Fernando Road. There’s also a bike lane on the northbound side of the road, says Streetsblog, but it’s not a protected lane, just “a narrow striped buffer.”
Streetsblog points out that this project is the city’s fourth protected bike lane, “and the first in a predominantly low-income Latino community.” More safe bike lanes could be coming to the Valley next year via Lankershim in NoHo, also a Great Street.
The city’s first protected bike lane was also in the Valley, on the stretch of Reseda Boulevard between Parthenia and Plummer Streets that was also on the Great Streets list.