The Los Angeles City Council approved legislation on March 1, 2011 to implement more than 1,680 miles of bike paths, according to the Miami Herald. The legislation is a huge step forward for bicycle safety advocates.
The 2010 Bicycle Plan also calls for the city to add 200 miles of new bike paths to the interconnected bike path system every five years.
The Los Angeles City Council has been working on this plan for years. The plan is a monumental step in promoting bicycle safety in Los Angeles; the city has added only 377 miles of bike paths since 1977, according to the L.A. Times.
Local cyclists opposed the bill in 2009, saying it failed to meet their needs; the city council consequently rejected it. The revamped plan has the full support of cyclists and local non-profit organizations. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who approved the plan on March 1, is an avid cyclist, as are several city council members, according to LAWeekly.com.
According to Alissa Walker of GOOD.is, the 2010 Bicycle Plan consists of three interconnected systems: The “backbone”, which consists of longer routes on busy roads running across town; the “neighborhood”, which is shorter routes in residential areas; and the “green”, which runs through designated recreation zones.
Not everyone sees the new legislation’s implementation as seamless, however. “Funding sources and negotiations with the L.A. Department of Transportation still have to be determined before the plan can be put into action,” wrote Rosie Spinks of The Green Life.
For now, cyclists in Los Angeles are taking it as a victory for bicycle safety.