New Bike Lanes on 120th Street in South L.A.

Posted on 05/15/2012

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New bike lanes on 120th Street in South Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles recently striped 0.5miles of new bike lane on 120th Street in South Los Angeles. The new 120th Street bike lanes extend from Main Street to Avalon Boulevard. 

These lanes were announced quietly by being added to a list on the LADOT website. The 120th Street bike lanes were approved in the city’s “2010” bike plan but do not appear in the city’s 5-year implementation plan. (Note that I think this is great – for bike lane facilities not anticipated in the first five year years to be implemented ahead of the anticipated schedule.)

The new 120th Street bike lanes connect with existing bike lanes on San Pedro Street, striped in mid-2010. They’re about 2/3rds of a mile from the very recent bike lane on Vermont Avenue. All three of those bikeways (120th, San Pedro Street, and Vermont Avenue) are right at the edges of where the city of L.A. comes up against unincorporated areas of L.A. County: Athens, Athens Village, and Willowbrook. While we’ve seen fruitful and encouraging cooperation and coordination in westside bike lane implementation at the border between L.A. City and Culver City, it looks like this isn’t happening in South Los Angeles. (Bikas mentioned some of the city’s difficulties with the county’s suburban street standards earlier here.)

Thanks to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) for implementing these great new bike lanes!

There were plenty of cyclists out riding there today. In addition to folks using the new lanes safely as intended, some cyclists were riding the wrong way in the new lane:

Cyclist riding wrong direction in bike lane – on 120th near Avalon

and some were still riding on the sidewalk:

Sidwalk cyclists on San Pedro Street at 120th

And here’s where I get really esoteric… sticklers and fans of street forensics, read on:

I don’t know the exact date the 120th Street lanes were striped. They appear very recent (and a few small sections are still unfinished), so I’d guess this month, possibly last weekend.

From the markings (existing and scraped/erased ones) on the street and checking google street view, it looks like the city recently erased former (in my opinion, pointless) fog lane markings to create the new bike lanes. What’s interesting is that these fog lanes were put down fairly recently, too… sad. The city re-striped this area recently, then scraped the markings, and re-did it with bike lanes. I am glad to see the bike lanes… but this sort of progression means that the new lanes could have come sooner and cheaper.

Here’s the oldest photos I found easily online – from google street view – no fog lines, no San Pedro Street bike lanes:

Intersection of 120th Street and San Pedro Street, from Google street view, undated but due to no bike lanes on SP it’s taken before mid-2010.

From the google aerials, the fog lanes and the 2011 San Pedro Street bike lanes were added more recently:

Aerial photo of 120th Street and San Pedro Street, from Google maps, undated but due to bike lanes on SP it’s taken mid-2010 or after.

Then, in the last week or last month or so, the earlier markings were scraped and the new lanes put in:

Photo of 120th Street and San Pedro Street, taken today. Diagonal stripe in bottom left of image is the former striping that has been scraped/erased.

It’s unfortunate that the bike lanes couldn’t have been done circa 2011 when the earlier inappropriate markings were put in… but at least the new 120th Street bike lanes did go in this month!

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