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02/04/2012: "Small Victory"
Another small victory, though one that involved considerable negotiation and even a bit of infighting in LA's fractured cycling advocacy world. Yes, some of our own were bitterly against the facility pictured in the snap I took yesterday:

New bike lanes on Main Street in Venice, California

This is a rare example of interjurisdictional coordination, even if it basically involved shouting between civic silos. Main Street spans both Santa Monica and Venice, the latter being not a city of its own but a distinct, and distinctive, neighborhood of Los Angeles. Santa Monica has had bike lanes on its portion of Main Street for several years now. That city's portion of the street swarms with cyclists of all sorts, and particularly everyday-cyclist types, who ride for pleasure and transportation, not fitness and competition. The numerous bike racks are always crowded, as are the adjacent restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, and shops.

Likewise on Abbott Kinney, Venice's own little main drag, which feeds into Main Street near the border between the two towns. LA recently added sharrows there, and greatly increased the number of racks, with the result that you can barely wedge yourself into Intelligentsia (my own fave coffeehouse on the strip).

But LA's share of Main Street, though it has shops and a number of bike racks, just hasn't had the scene yet. It is far to walk to, tedious to park on, and dreary to ride through--but that has just changed, and I suspect we'll see a jump in street life as cyclists discover the new bike lanes that went in last week.

LA's new stripes run from the Santa Monica border south to Venice Circle, a much-needed addition to the network.

Now I hope the city will eventually see fit to extend them past the traffic circle to Venice Way, Mildred, and eventually Washington Boulevard, where they would take riders through the Marina to points south, including the Ballona Creek bike path and the South Bay beach cities.

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