It’s Sylmar Friday here at Bikas. About a mile due north of the Laurel Canyon Boulevard bike lanes there are also new bike lanes on Polk Street. The new Polk Street bike lanes extend 0.8 miles from Glenoaks Boulevard to San Fernando Road (north.)
The new Polk Street lanes were approved in 2011 in the city’s “2010” bike plan. The bike plan designates bike lanes for nearly all of Sylmar’s Polk Street: about three miles from Laurel Canyon Boulevard to Egbert Street. Lanes already exist on Polk from Laurel Cyn to Sunrise Ridge Road. This new stretch of the Polk bike lanes are not in the city’s 5-Year Implementation Strategy.
The southern end of the Polk lanes stops just north of the railroad tracks along San Fernando Road, below which is the San Fernando Road rail-with-trail bike path.
The northern end of the Polk lanes connects with the Sylmar library.
The area is predominantly Latino, with plenty of walking and bicycling… though most of the cyclists there yesterday were riding on the sidewalks. Sidwalk riding is legal in L.A. as long as cyclists don’t endanger pedestrians. Generally sidwalk riding is less safe than riding in streets, because sidwalk riders cross a lot of driveways, where drivers often don’t expect to see fast moving riders on the sidewalk. In many parts of L.A. unsafe streets have helped to create a culture of sidewalk cycling that persists even after bike lanes are added.
These Polk lanes were announced initially via the L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) website, which states they were striped on May 13th 2012.