Miracle Mile Bike News:

CicLAvia Returns to the Miracle Mile
Sunday • April 6th

On Sunday, April 6th, CicLAvia repeats its Iconic Wilshire Boulevard route from downtown to the Miracle Mile. The popular car-free event allows people to explore the sights along Wilshire by foot, bike, or any other non-motorized means. This will be the last CicLAvia to visit the Miracle Mile until the completion of major street level construction of the Purple Line Subway extension, which is scheduled to begin work later this year.

Once again Fairfax Avenue will serve as the western terminus of the route from One Wilshire Boulevard in downtown. Wilshire between Curson Avenue and Fairfax will be a pedestrian zone featuring activities sponsored by the cultural institutions along Museum Row. The event runs from 9 AM to 4 PM.

Click on map to enlarge.

Last year’s CicLAvia attracted thousands of cyclists and pedestrians to the area and introduced many to the museums and the historic art deco architecture of the Miracle Mile. Here’s a link to a terrific walking guide of Wilshire Boulevard architecture prepared for last year’s event by Catherine Gudis.

Additional information:

CicLAvia.org: Iconic Wilshire Boulevard – 4/6/24

LAist.com: CicLAvia’s Wilshire Takeover Will Be The Last For a Few Years

Councilman LaBonge Delays
Proposed 6th St. Bike Lanes

In January 2014 the Los Angeles Department of Transportation [LADOT] announced Phase 2 of their ongoing efforts to add new bike lanes throughout the city. LADOT will begin traffic and safety assessments on these proposed bike lanes and will then hold public hearings to gather community feedback on the routes.

The city approved the Los Angeles Bicycle Master Plan in 2010. LADOT will evaluate approximately 40 miles of potential new bike lanes each year. The goal is to install 1,600 miles of new bike lanes over the next 30 years.

Two new bike lanes on the Phase 2 list would directly impact the Miracle Mile: San Vicente Boulevard from Venice to Wilshire [2.3 miles] and 6th Street between La Brea and Fairfax Avenues [1 mile]. The San Vicente Boulevard bike lanes would not require the removal of any parking spaces or traffic lanes and have generated little opposition or controversy – but the 6th Street bike lanes are a different story.

Plans for 6th Street involve a “road diet” where one lane of traffic in each direction would be removed and street parking would be eliminated in order to create bike lanes. The Miracle Mile Residential Association [MMRA] has staunchly opposed any plan that would remove traffic lanes or parking on 6th Street and further exacerbate congestion in the area. The MMRA issued a statement in March 2013 detailing our position on 6th Street bike lanes [click here to read].

Councilman Tom LaBonge recently informed the Park La Brea News/Beverly Press that he would not support bike lanes on 6th Street until the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit project is completed next spring. He then went on to state that he thought it would be better to delay the bike lanes until the “heavy construction” is completed for the Purple Line Extension, which would be many years in the future – well after LaBonge is termed out of office.

“Right now, we have been closing the boulevard [Wilshire Blvd.] for a number of nights and there has to be alternative routes,” LaBonge was quoted in the Park La Brea News/Beverly Press. “I want to look at the whole picture. Right now, I want to make sure it’s safe for everybody.”

Increased congestion generated by the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit project – which will create bus-only curb lanes during rush hour periods ­– and by a decade of subway construction are principal reasons why the MMRA opposes the 6th Street bike lanes. The MMRA is pleased that Councilman LaBonge agrees that this is not the time to consider a radical restriction of such a key east-west route.

Additional information:

LADOT Bike Blog: LADOT announces Priority 2 list of planned bikeways

Park La Brea News/Beverly Press: Local streets identified as possible bike lane sites

Mid City West Community Council
Makes Recommendation
 for a New
North/South Bike Lane through
the Miracle Mile

 Mid City West Community Council [MCWCC] has submitted recommendations to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation [LADOT] for two new bike lanes. Their proposal selects Rosewood Avenue as an east/west route and Cochran Avenue, Alta Vista Boulevard, and Formosa Avenue as a north/south route [see map below].

LEGEND
Red: Existing bike lanes on Burton Way and Hauser Boulevard
Yellow: Existing and future bike route on 4th Street
Blue: Proposed Rosewood and Cochran/Alta Vista/Formosa bike route

These proposed routes for “Bike Friendly Streets” will be evaluated by LADOT for possible inclusion in Phase 5 bike lane projects scheduled for 2017.

The Miracle Mile Residential Association [MMRA] has not yet taken a position on these recommendations. Although, the MMRA did oppose original plans to use Hauser and Martel as a north/south bike route on the grounds that it would be too dangerous due to the volume of traffic and the narrow bends in Hauser south of Olympic.

The MMRA will wait to see if LADOT endorses MCWCC’s proposal before taking a position on this matter. The input of residents along Cochran Avenue will be an important factor in any decision made by the MMRA.

To read the full Mid City West Bicycle Friendly Street Proposal click here.

A Perfect Storm

A Message from Jim O’Sullivan, President of the MMRA

The Miracle Mile Residential Association is beginning to analyze a number of upcoming development projects and some basic questions are already being asked. They deal with mobility and the perennial issue of traffic. While the Miracle Mile isn’t alone in traffic concerns, we certainly have far fewer options than many other areas to get in and out of our neighborhood.

A comment at one of the mayoral debates caught my attention – it was said that what Los Angeles needed was a tunnel under the Sepulveda Pass to connect the Westside to the Valley. My immediate thought was that the Miracle Mile needs a tunnel under Park La Brea, because it sits like a large man-made mountain just to our north, which effectively gives us only four north-south routes into and out of the Miracle Mile. Fairfax, Hauser, Curson and La Brea are the only streets that can get us to 3rd Street or Beverly Boulevard – where many of us go to purchase a number of items we need to live our lives.

Frankly, if we had more retail services in the Miracle Mile this would not be as big a problem as it is. Wilshire Boulevard is designated by the City as a “Regional Center” – which means it serves as a focal point of regional commerce, identity, and activity for a population of 250,000 to 500,000 persons. In the Miracle Mile we have the corporate and professional offices, the restaurants, and the entertainment and cultural facilities that regional centers are supposed to have, but we are severely lacking in retail stores – which is one of the main reasons why so many of us are in our cars trying to get in and out of the neighborhood. The so-called “mixed-use” projects recently constructed aren’t particularly “mixed” – they have provided hundreds of new apartments and a dozen-or-so new restaurants but that’s pretty much it. We did get a cash-for-gold outfit and a bank branch, but no clothing, furniture, or other retail stores. If you need a pair of jeans or a coffee table you’re not going to find it on the Miracle Mile.

Once upon a time we had the May Company at the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire where I could get most everything I now have to travel to the Grove or the Beverly Center to get. (The May Company tearoom also had great Cobb salads, which I still miss.) In its place we will get the Academy Museum that I’m sure will be incredible – but it will add an extra 800,000 visitors a year to the 1.2 million visitors that LACMA already attracts. On the drawing board at Wilshire and Curson is a quarter of a million square feet of office space with 300-plus residential units to be added to the 1,200-plus units already built in the Miracle Mile in the last eight years.

The City of Los Angeles is about to undertake an Environmental Impact Report for the Mobility Element Update of the General Plan. It’s the old Circulation Element, which deals with everything that moves. Part of that update requires the City to comply with the state mandated “Complete Streets Act” which will fundamentally change how we use our streets. We have to make them accessible and safe for pedestrians, bicycles, autos and the movement of goods. Given that LA is once again the number one most congested city in the United State that will be a real challenge because some of the plans call for removing traffic lanes from service to facilitate certain mobility goals (i.e., bike lanes). Meanwhile, Metro will start construction of the Bus Rapid Transit project along Wilshire this summer which will divert as much as 30% of rush hour traffic onto 6th and 8th streets and the L.A. Department of Transportation and other forces seem eager to snatch traffic lanes from 6th Street for bike lanes.

It is a perfect storm: unchecked development and utopian transportation schemes colliding into each other and rendering our community paralyzed. Advocates and planners tout high density and bike lanes as the one-size-fits-all solution for all that ails Los Angeles. But the residents of the Miracle Mile want specific solutions to their specific problems. We don’t oppose innovation or change, but there are practical things that were working for us – like the DASH bus system that has seen its budget and service slashed. And if the City wants to talk about mobility, how about they fix the sidewalks first? Why isn’t repaving Wilshire or La Brea a priority to all these whiz-kid urban planners?

The Miracle Mile Residential Association is prepared to participate in any and all efforts to keep our streets and sidewalks usable, livable and safe. But we will not surrender our common sense to achieve these goals. We will ask hard questions and demand answers that our grounded in reality. Pie in the sky isn’t on our menu.

[from the May 2013 edition of the Miracle Mile Residential Association Newsletter]

MMRA Position on Bike Lanes on 6th Street:

Save Our Parking!

Preferential Parking District 78
Threatened with Elimination of 6th Street Parking

In July 2012 a tragic accident occurred at the intersection of 6th Street and Hauser Boulevard. A vehicle traveling westbound on 6th Street collided with a eastbound vehicle attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Hauser. The collision forced the westbound vehicle off the road and into a pedestrian, a 74-year-old-woman, who died as a result of her injuries. The intersection of 6th and Hauser has a long history of being one of the most dangerous in our neighborhood. We commend Council Member LaBonge’s quick action in introducing a motion calling for the Department of Transportation to make recommendations for implementing traffic calming measures at 6th and Hauser in order to address safety issues. The motion was referred to the council’s transportation committee which passed the resolution and the city council followed suit on August 15th, 2012.

The MMRA fully supports traffic calming measures, but in the same motion Council Member LaBonge also requested that the Department of Transportation consider adding dedicated bike lanes on 6th Street that would cause the loss of a traffic lane in each direction as well as the elimination of preferential parking spaces. Preferential Parking District 78, like most of the Miracle Mile, includes many older apartment buildings with scarce or no off-street parking. Eliminating permitted parking on 6th Street will make an already bad parking situation much worse. It will force residents to seek parking spots on adjacent blocks creating a domino effect that would adversely impact on-street parking throughout the Miracle Mile.

Installing bike lanes on such a heavily trafficked street defies common sense. There are other less congested streets in the Miracle Mile that are better suited for bike lanes – streets that would be far safer for cyclists. Losing two traffic lanes on 6th will doubly impact the Miracle Mile when the Bus Rapid Transit [BRT] rush hour–bus only curb lane restrictions go into effect. The city estimates that BRT will divert 30% of Wilshire Boulevard traffic onto 3rd, 6th and 8th streets. Removing two lanes from 6th will clog our neighborhood with commuters searching for alternate routes.

The Miracle Mile Residential Association opposes bike lanes on 6th Street. We believe there are practical solutions to calm traffic on 6th Street that will preserve valuable on-street parking.

from the February 2013 edition of the Miracle Mile Residential Association Newsletter