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West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister and City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath joined cyclists from throughout the city on June 9 to celebrate the opening of new bike lanes on Fairfax Avenue.
After a ribbon cutting ceremony at Fairfax and Willoughby Avenues, they hopped on bicycles and joined a group of more than 20 cyclists to ride in the new bike lanes running north and south on Fairfax Avenue. Riders included members of the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition. The ceremony also highlighted the city’s new bike share program – WeHo Pedals.
“We are celebrating the continuous north-south lanes between West Hollywood and Los Angeles for riders looking to make a safe connection to local and regional destinations,” Meister said. “Not only have we filled in the bicycle network gap with these lanes, but the portion between Santa Monica Boulevard and Willoughby are the city’s first separated bicycle lanes. Projects like this separated bike lane are increasing in popularity across the country. Research shows that [dedicated] bike lanes for cyclists separate from motor vehicle traffic lanes attract more riders. Separated lanes are essential to building a full network of bike-friendly roads.”
The new lanes provide a continuous link on Fairfax Avenue between Hollywood Boulevard and Melrose Avenue. They also have a painted buffer zone separating them from traffic lanes. The city is in the process of updating its pedestrian and bicycle mobility plan to determine where additional bike lanes can be installed.
“[The plan] will identify opportunities to build a safe, comfortable and connective network of bicycle infrastructure that meets the needs of people of all ages and abilities,” Meister said. “[It will be] a bicycle network that when built will make riding a bike through WeHo a pleasant and practical way for many people … to make direct trips to their destination of choice.”
Horvath said the bike lanes will make West Hollywood more accessible using alternative forms of transportation. Additional bike lanes in West Hollywood are important in getting people to use Metro buses and trains because they provide another link to bus stops and train stations, she said.
“We are here to make sure that [everyone knows] about this new bike lane and how it connects not just to our city, but to the city of Los Angeles and how it’s really helping to build on the bike infrastructure that we know is so needed and so critical to making sure bike riding is a safe form of transportation,” Horvath said. “This is so exciting. I cannot wait to use this bike lane.”
The event also highlighted West Hollywood’s new bike share program scheduled to launch later this summer. Riders will be able to rent bicycles at locations throughout the city. The system will be linked to the Westside Regional Bike Share program in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, providing access to more than 1,000 bikes. CycleHop LLC will operate the bike share program.
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, 5th District, joined the group on Fairfax Avenue.
“This is a great opportunity for collaboration between the city of West Hollywood and the city of Los Angeles,” Koretz said. “The West Hollywood project connects to a piece we intend to do further with Mid-City West [Community Council] and others. It’s very exciting stuff.”
The Mid-City West Community Council (MCWCC) is working with the city to build bike lanes on Rosewood Avenue from La Cienega Boulevard to La Brea Avenue, and on Formosa/Alta Vista Avenue from Romaine to Third Street as part of the “Bicycle Friendly Streets Plan.” Kevin Burton, of the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, said connectivity is key.
“These are the third set of lanes in West Hollywood, and for this city, they are important,” Burton said. “But what we need is a [full] network of bike lanes.”
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