Email Regarding La Brea Redesign



Got 60 seconds to spare? Then you can send an email in support of bike lanes on La Brea!

(You can read more details about the project here, but in a nutshell: the city of West Hollywood promised bike lanes on La Brea, but now seems to be backing away from bike lanes in favor of building a wide median instead.)

To send a letter, simply insert your street and your name into the letter below, and email it to the address provided.

If you don’t live in West Hollywood, that’s okay: just explain that you’re a frequent visitor & customer in the city. Even non-residents are stakeholders in this project!

You can also choose to add some of the optional supporting statements below to bolster your case.

Feedback is due by 5pm on Thursday, February 28th, so time is of the essence!


Send your feedback to:

Donn Uyeno, P.E.

Senior Civil Engineer

City of West Hollywood Department of Public Works

8300 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Tel: 323-848-6457

Fax: 323-848-6564

Email: duyeno@weho.org


To whom it may concern:

I am a resident of West Hollywood on [your street] and I am writing to strongly protest the city’s Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration regarding the La Brea Streetscape Project.

Although the project includes many admirable goals, the Notice indicates that the city intends to implement sharrows instead of bike lanes on La Brea. This previously-unannounced change will significantly alter the nature of the project, and creates serious safety, environmental, and traffic consequences.

It is disappointing that this project disregards numerous important West Hollywood planning documents, such as the Climate Action Plan, Bicycle Task Force Report, and Mobility section of the General Plan.

I am aware that it may be possible to add bike lanes at a later date by removing street parking, but this is simply not a practical proposal. Residents and businesses will be highly resistant to the removal of parking. In addition, such a change would run counter to the Notice’s statement that the project would not affect parking capacity.

In short, there is simply no reason to force a choice between street parking and a bike lane while retaining a wide median. By narrowing or eliminating the median, the city can accommodate both parking and bikes.

Retaining the median promotes aesthetics at the expense of safety. In contrast, a more appropriate balance was achieved on San Vicente Blvd. where a median was not extended north to Santa Monica Blvd. in order to provide room for bike lanes installed in 2012.

I strongly urge the City to adhere to the La Brea Streetscape Master Plan RFP, which specifically states that consultants must consider “future bike lanes” when determining the appropriate size of medians. Delaying the installation of bike lanes will incur traffic and environmental impacts that have not been adequately acknowledged in the Negative Declaration.

I strongly urge the city to install bike lanes on La Brea Ave, or at the very least to design the project so that future bike lanes do not require a battle over parking.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Sincerely,

[your name]


** Optional supporting statements:

- The Notice states that the city of Los Angeles will install sharrows on its portion of La Brea. This is incorrect. In fact, LA’s 2010 Bicycle Plan calls for bike lanes on La Brea. By failing to build bike lanes, WeHo’s portion of La Brea will become incompatible with portions to the north and south.

- The Notice claims that the project will have “no impact” on plans “reducing the emissions of greenhouse gasses.” This is also incorrect. West Hollywood’s Climate Action Plan acknowledges that bicycling contributes to a reductions in GHGs and hence requires that the city “improve streets to provide better support for bikes” and “connect West Hollywood bike routes to existing and planned routes” in other cities.

- The Notice claims that the project will have “no impact” on “an applicable congestion management plan.” This is incorrect as well. Bike lanes are proven to improve transportation conditions by separating fast and slow moving road users; reducing speeding; reducing collisions; reducing sidewalk riding; and reducing the number of cars on the road.  Consistent with this evidence, the Mobility section of the city’s General Plan requires that the city “identify areas where better bicycle route connections can be implemented.”

- The Notice claims that the project does not “conflict with adopted policies, plans or programs regarding public transit, bicycle, or pedestrian facilities, or otherwise decrease the performance or safety of such facilities.” This is not true. It conflicts with The West Hollywood Bicycle Task Force Report, unanimously approved by City Council, which specifically calls for bike lanes on La Brea Avenue.

- The Notice claims that the project will not “substantially increase hazards.” Previous studies, including one by the LADOT, have proven that bike lanes significantly reduce collisions — not just for cyclists, but for also motorists, pedestrians, and transit. With the number of bicycle users likely to increase in this area as a result of four large multi-unit residential developments on La Brea Ave. and two more nearby on Santa Monica Blvd.,  an absence of bike lanes on the WeHo portion of La Brea Ave. will put all road users at increased risk.