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Care Must Be Taken Not to Add to Tension Between Motorists and Cyclists

As more people take up cycling, the stress of meeting their roadway needs versus the need for more space to accommodate cars is causing tension in some areas of Los Angeles.

York Boulevard in Highland is a good example of where the addition of bike lanes at the expense of autos has some people fuming.

We recognize that the goal of dedicated bike lanes is to give cyclists more room to travel safely, and to encourage more people to get out of their cars and take up what city and health officials hope will become a healthier and more common form of transportation. But a number of Highland Park residents have told us that they feel the addition of bike lanes to York Boulevard is stressing them out, especially during peak traffic hours.

Rather than promoting a congenial sharing of the roadway, the addition of bike lanes, which for the most part are empty as drivers wait in a long line of cars attempting to travel down the street, is adding to the tension between drivers and cyclists, residents have told us.

It just creates more frustration on the part of drivers that we fear could in the future be a danger to a person on a bike.

We are not at all opposed to cyclists using our streets, but we do wish that the traffic experts charged with coming up with the city’s bike plans would engage more drivers of automobiles in the process. They need a sensible plan as to how to mitigate auto traffic buildup caused when lanes for cars are taken away and given to cyclists.

While we are not traffic experts, we do believe that our traffic officials must be able to spot trouble-making situations, especially since cyclists are the most vulnerable of the two sides.

Public hearings are fine and needed, but nothing clears the air like creative solutions that provide for the safety of everyone using our streets.