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Photos: Community Celebrates Bike Lanes on Colorado Boulevard

Councilmember José Huizar hosts "Ride Colorado" as scores of bicyclists enjoy the fruits of the Colorado Boulevard Safety Improvement Plan.

Councilmember José Huizar gives a speech outside Eagle Rock City Hall. (Photo credit: Ajay Singh)
Councilmember José Huizar gives a speech outside Eagle Rock City Hall. (Photo credit: Ajay Singh)

Photos by Herb West and Ajay Singh

About 150 people, including dozens of children, joined Councilmember José Huizar at Eagle rock City Hall Saturday to celebrate new bicycle lanes and crosswalks installed along Colorado Boulevard recently as part of the Colorado Boulevard Safety Improvement Plan.

In an City Hall event titled Ride Colorado, scores of bicyclists went on a half-mile family ride from Maywood to Argus and back. Others pedaled five miles on a group ride. And as if that wasn’t enough fun, children participated in a bike rodeo, and children and adults alike went around popping in and out of Colorado Boulevard stores, where just showing up entitled them to a sticker that qualified for a raffle.

In a speech, Huizar outlined the steps that led to the creation of the Colorado Boulevard Safety Improvement Plan, starting with Eagle Rock’s homegrown Take Back the Boulevard initiative, a collaboration among various organizations, including TERA and the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, and Huizar’s office.

“One component of TBTB’s plan was to slow traffic to a reasonable speed on Colorado Boulevard and make it more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists alike,” Huizar said, adding: “This fit in well with initiatives that I’ve been working on throughout all the major thoroughfares in my district—I believe in the ‘complete streets’ model of planning.”

Slower traffic goes hand in hand with such community projects as parklets, parks and green spaces “to get people out of their cars and walking, riding a bike,” Huizar said, speaking from a podium facing Maywood Avenue.

Besides adding medians and turning lanes on Colorado, Huizar said his office worked with the Department of Transportation to add Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, that is, pedestrian-activated warning lights for two new crosswalks on El Rio Avenue and Glen Iris Avenue.

“These flashing lights will be installed in the next few months at our two new crosswalks and at one existing crosswalk on Hermosa Avenue,” Huizar said.

How to support local businesses is one of the key elements of the Colorado Boulevard Safety Improvement Plan, Huizar said, adding that “complete streets” are integral to creating a business-friendly atmosphere.

“Enhancing commercial corridors so that they are well-kept, walkable and ride-able, and for everyone, safe—that creates an inviting atmosphere that supports and promotes our local businesses,” Huizar said.

Improving commercial corridors has been one of his priorities across CD 14, Huizar said, pointing out that this has been done elsewhere by installing bike lanes on Broadway in Downtown, 1st Street in Boyle Heights, Huntington Drive in El Sereno and York Boulevard in Highland Park.

“Bike lanes don’t just benefit bikes,” Huizar said. “They benefit pedestrians and drivers as well.”  The councilmember listed the following observations in light of the recent installation of bike lanes on Colorado:

• Traffic is still flowing well, even during peak hours.

• It’s easier to parallel park.

• Drivers don’t have to worry about their “door being ripped off when you open it on the street.”

• “Walking down the street doesn’t feel like you’re walking next to the 101 freeway anymore.”

• Calmer traffic makes crossing the street safer.

“So today really is about celebrating a huge victory for us all—for business, for pedestrians, for bicyclists and most importantly for the great community of Eagle Rock,” Huizar said.

Correction: The initial version of this article incorrectly stated that purchases had to be made in Colorado Boulevard stores to get stickers for a raffle. Just showing up was, in fact, enough.

Jonathan October 29, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Right on Marcus!!!
nonoise October 30, 2013 at 11:20 AM
What we really need are the lights sync. Traffic limit on Colorado and on North Figueroa should be 40 miles a hour. On Cypress Ave it should be 35. Traffic studies have been done to support this. Ask your city councilmember about traffic studies that have been done. They support an increase in the miles per hour.
Hooper Humperdink October 30, 2013 at 01:10 PM
You can make the speed limit 50 miles per hour on either of those streets and cars will still only be able to go 8 to 20 mph on average because this is a built-up urban area with lots of curb cuts w. driveways, crosswalks, commercial access points, etc. If you want uninterrupted 50 mph driving use the freeways at night or rural roads any day. It is inappropriate to design urban streets for anything faster than 20 mph - and any survey of LA's streets will show that we rarely average speeds higher than that on surface streets. Pointless speeding only leads to more injuries, deaths, and property damage. To really get average car speeds up we'd need to wall off intersections, close off driveways, and be cool with destroying property values just to bump up your average speed to 25 mph. And for what? It will not make anyone feel happier. It will not bring in more city revenue. It will not help bring the community together. So I think we are stuck with a push for slower designed speeds on our surface streets because they make a lot of sense for everyone but the rare psychopaths with cars who "need" to go 40 or 50mph on average for every trivial trip in their car.
Jonathan October 30, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Well said Mr. Ali! I wasn't even going to comment on nonoise's post because of its epic stupidity but if I did I'd say exactly what you did.
Marcus October 30, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Josef Bray-ali makes interesting observations about speeds. I agree that if ER citizens were so obsessed about speed, then we really would have to wall off every intersection on ER and Colorado Blvd, shut down any crosswalks so that fast uninterrupted travel could exist through ER. Then we'd really get to work on time! Btw, I like how "nonoise" says that 'traffic studies' have been done to support increasing road speeds. Please provide links etc etc yada yada yada..... You want public reaction? You certainly would get a huge turnout if road speeds increased in ER. We're trying to reduce injuries, death, accidents not increase them. Oh boy.....

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