Thursday, September 08, 2011

Reyes torches last bike marker on downtown L.A.'s first bikeway

(Photo credit: Office of Councilmember Ed P. Reyes)

(Photo credit: Joe Linton)

(Photo credit: Los Angeles Department of Transportation)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Monica Valencia
September 8, 2011 (213) 473 7001

Councilmember Ed P. Reyes today torched the last bicycle marker on the 7th Street bike lanes, the first commuter bikeway in downtown L. A. The 2.2-mile bikeway is striped from Catalina Avenue to Figueroa Street through Downtown, Koreatown and Westlake—three of the most densely-populated neighborhoods.

Reyes was joined at MacArthur Park by about 100 bicycle enthusiasts, including bicyclists, day laborers, City and community leaders at the corner of 7th and Alvarado streets, across the street from the Metro Red Line station. They included the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Council for Watershed Health, Central City Neighborhood Partners and the MacArthur Park Neighborhood Council.

“We are removing a car lane, in favor of a bike lane. By doing so, we, as a city, are changing the way we see bicycles, as not only a recreational vehicle, but as a legitimate form of public transportation,” said Reyes, who spearheaded the Bicycle Master Plan. "In addition to all who joined me today, I'd like to also thank Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his enthusiasm and leadership to help create a more bike-friendly L.A." The next phase involves extending the 7th Street bike lanes an additional 2.9 miles through Downtown to Soto Street in Boyle Heights.

“We are so proud to see through the implementation of our two year long campaign to get a bicycle lane on 7th Street,” said Jennifer Klausner, LACBC’s Executive Director. “This marks a sea change in the City improving the safety and quality of life for cyclists in one of the most transit dependent, working class neighborhoods in LA.”

Jaime de la Vega, LADOT’s General Manager, said: “It’s a great day for all Angelenos who live, work and play in the Westlake/MacArthur Park. For cyclists, drivers and pedestrians alike, these new bike lanes will also help to increase public safety.”

The Bicycle Master Plan, approved by the City in March 2011, lays out 1,680 miles of interconnected bikeways and calls for more than 200 miles of new bicycle routes every five years Citywide, including along the Los Angeles River. The Plan will be implemented in part using funds from Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2008 to fund transportation projects.

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