Council Member Raman Celebrates New Riverside Drive Protected Bike Lanes – Streetsblog Los Angeles


“Changing our physical infrastructure in this way,” said Los Angeles City Council member Nithya Raman, “can bring real, powerful, positive change… We can choose to make Los Angeles a city to bike, ride, walking, taking public transport and driving are safer, more enjoyable and more joyful. And that’s what this morning is about – more joy.

This morning, in front of a crowd of about 50 people at the Mulholland Memorial Fountain, Raman hosted a groundbreaking celebration for the city of Los Angeles’ new protected bike lanes. Under Raman’s direction, as part of a repaving project, the city added new protected bike lanes on a 0.6-mile stretch of Riverside Drive between Los Feliz Boulevard and Glendale Boulevard, immediately southeast of Griffith Park.

The project removed one lane of northbound traffic to make room for protected cycle lanes – known as the road plan. The Riverside Lanes are the first protected cycleways in City Council District 4.

Protected bike lanes at Riverside Drive - via LADOT fact sheet
Riverside Drive Protected Bike Lane Information – via Technical sheet LADOT

Raman recognized the city entities that made Riverside lanes a reality: the City Department of Transportation (LADOT), the Department of Public Works Office of Street Services (StreetsLA), as well as the Department of Recreation and parks, adjacent A Bridge Home support housing staff, as well as State Assemblywoman Laura Friedman.

Raman noted that this stretch of Riverside needed to be redone and that bike lanes had already been approved in Los Angeles’ mobility plan. She described the three goals of the project: security, access and carbon reduction. “Bike lanes are a climate emergency action – and they are a neighborhood action too,” echoed LADOT chief executive Seleta Reynolds.

Council Member Nithya Raman
Council member Nithya Raman. Behind her are (left to right) LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds, Field Representative Laura Friedman Seamus Garrity and Streets LA Deputy Manager Gary Harris.

Raman said his staff went door to door to “tell people who lived in that area that this project was happening.” When the CD4 staff went to see people, and “[told] tell them that’s the plans and that’s what you could have on this street,” Raman noted, “we didn’t have any opposition actually – we had real excitement. Raman acknowledged “some concerns” received, but “when you go to see people at their doors and tell people there is an opportunity to make the street safer, for the most part, it’s really, really positive.”

Reynolds announced that additional green paint pavement markings are coming soon. She called the project a “quick build, by no means finished.” “Make no mistake, this is a neighborhood street” that families and children use to access nearby parks, Reynolds said. “We’re in the middle of one of the most beautiful, most natural parts of LA, but you’d never know it from looking at the street, and that’s because the street carries people to the 5 Freeway.” (A freeway that Metro and Caltrans are currently widening at the northeast end of Griffith Park.)

Streets LA assistant manager Gary Harris, whose staff was responsible for the $300,000 repaving project, also stressed that safety was of the utmost importance to the work of his office. Harris concluded his remarks by stating “we want to work on the entire road system in the City of Los Angeles, continue the success, and make Los Angeles the most bike-friendly city in the United States.”

Raman cutting the ribbon on the new Riverside Drive protected bike lanes
Raman cutting the ribbon on the new Riverside Drive protected bike lanes

After cutting the ceremonial ribbon, Raman and Reynolds accompanied the assembled cyclists to tour the newly opened facility.

LA City Council Member Nithya Raman
LA City Councilmember Nithya Raman leading the celebration tour of new Riverside Drive bike lanes

Below are photos that Streetsblog took before, during and after the lane was installed.

Riverside Drive in late February as resurfacing began
Riverside Drive with repaving and preliminary lane markings – early March
Riverside Drive with permanent thermoplastic strips in late March
Riverside Drive this morning, with plastic bollards added to cordon off the new bike lanes protected by the parking lot. (Some green pavement markings yet to come.)

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