Making bike-friendliness official

Yucca Bike Boulevard

Last weekend I finally got to ride the new improvements on Yucca Street that make it the city’s first bike-friendly street. In my story for the LA Weekly, I note how planners and engineers used anecdotal evidence from cyclists like me who had been using the quiet, safe, wholly-unterrifying street (not easy to find in Hollywood) as an unofficial bike route already:

Six years ago, when I decided to abandon my car for a multi-modal cocktail of walking, biking and bus-riding, I lived in Hollywood. The pedestrian and transit parts came easy in my super-dense neighborhood, but biking terrified me — rolling out of my driveway I was confronted with three routes, each of them moderately suicidal: the extended on-ramp for the 101 that is Highland Avenue, the dangerously narrow lanes of Franklin Avenue, or the unpredictable shitshow of Hollywood Boulevard.

But I soon discovered Yucca — sweet, sweet Yucca, weaving a mellow east-west path through the heart of Hollywood that was surprisingly car-light. That’s because the Department of Transportation had installed traffic diversions to keep motorists from using Yucca as a shortcut (and to prevent other unsavory behaviors). At a handful of intersections, concrete bollards and signage directed cars to turn right, while bikes could glide blissfully around them. It made the street a cyclist’s wet dream. And in an interesting twist, the city has recently recognized this informal use with official infrastructural improvements, christening .8 miles of Yucca as L.A.’s first “bike-friendly street.”

Read the whole story over at the LA Weekly. And go ride the route! Take the Red Line to Hollywood and Highland, go north one block to Yucca and ride east to Vine.

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  • meihuang