The city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has installed additional bike lane on Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles. The new Vermont Avenue bike lane segment is 2.1 miles long extending from Redondo Beach Boulevard to 120 Street.
This is third section of South Vermont Avenue where bike lanes were installed this fiscal year. Bikas covered recent new bike lanes on Vermont Avenue from Knox Street to Del Amo Boulevard (installed November 2011) and from 98th Street to 116th Place (installed May 2012.) The new lane is just south of and fairly similar to the 98th-116th facility. Vermont Avenue is the edge of the city of Los Angeles there, so the city only has jurisdiction over the northbound side of the street. Above El Segundo Blvd, the southbound lane is in unincorporated L.A. County (Athens); below El Segundo Blvd, the southbound lane is in the city of Gardena.
Unfortunately, similar to the bike lane segment just north, a lack of political will prevents Los Angeles County from doing their part and implementing the complementary southbound Vermont Avenue bike lane. See more city/county explanation and a call to action here.
The new bike lane ends just two long blocks from the Metro Green Line Vermont Avenue Station at the 105 Freeway.
The southern terminus of the lane is just below the Rosecrans Recreation Center, and across from the Hustler Casino.
Just north of Redondo Beach Boulevard, railroad tracks cross the bike lane.
Railroad tracks can be hazardous for inexperienced or inattentive cyclists. If one attempts to cross rails improperly, bike wheels get caught in the tracks and cyclists fall. The safest rail crossing is when cyclists need cross tracks at a perpendicular angle. This is all more easily shown than described in words; for one excellent Seattle rail-crossing treatment see this Streetfilm.
The LADOT has designed the Vermont Avenue bike lane rail crossing well. Markings channel cyclists to veer to the right then turn left to cross the lanes at a safer, more perpendicular, angle. The final design looks pretty good to me, though it looks like it was initially put down incorrectly then painted out and revised to be correct. (And it looks like this is still just preliminary markings – paint – awaiting final more-permanent thermoplastic.)
Bikas thanks everyone responsible for the nice new lane on Vermont Avenue in South L.A. – especially thank you to LADOT, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Councilmember Joe Buscaino. Hopefully we’ll be thanking these same folks again soon for closing the remaining 2-block gap between 120th and 116th… and extending the lanes to Gage Avenue as LADOT engineers designed in 2009. (Maybe someday soon we’ll also be grateful to the county for doing their side of the street – but don’t hold your breath.)
This new Vermont Avenue bike lane was approved in the city’s 2010 Bike Plan. It’s not in the city 5-Year Implementation Strategy (which does show the city implementing new bike lanes on Vermont Avenue from Gage Avenue to Los Feliz Boulevard) but they appear on the 5-Year map in the “existing and funded” category (which means that they were anticipated to be implemented prior to plan approval.) This project was reported as “in the works” in this article at the LADOT website.