By Edwin Folven, 3/29/2012
Project Coincides With Improvements at West Hollywood Park
Street parking on San Vicente Boulevard between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard will disappear in April as the city embarks on a construction and repaving project related to the West Hollywood Park Master Plan.
A six-foot wide bike lane will be created on San Vicente Boulevard, extending from Santa Monica Boulevard south to Melrose Avenue. The project is expected to begin in mid-April, but an exact date has not yet been scheduled, West Hollywood City Engineer Sharon Perlstein said.
Some parking in the area had already been removed during the demolition of the former library and the West Hollywood Auditorium. The 20 to 30 remaining spaces will be eliminated and replaced with greenspace. The parking on the east side of the street, in front of the Pacific Design Center (PDC), will be entirely replaced by the six-foot wide bike lane. The repaving and bike lane project is anticipated to cost $180,000, and funding has already been approved by the city.
The loss of street parking is more than offset by the more than 300 spaces created in the parking structure next to the new library, Perlstein said. An additional 400 public parking spaces will be available later this year when the PDC’s Red Building opens.
“[In the area between Melrose and Beverly], there will be no changes to the number of lanes or the street parking, because it was already wide enough to accommodate both the bike lane and the parking,” Perlstein added.
Melissa Antol, long range and mobility planner for the City of West Hollywood, said the new bike lanes will be part of a regional network that is being conceived by the Westside Council of Governments, which include West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles Santa Monica and Culver City. The idea is to eventually create continuous marked bike routes throughout the region, and San Vicente Boulevard is viewed as a major component of the network. The new bike lanes will connect with an existing marked route on Santa Monica Boulevard, Antol added.
“This really puts a good dent in the regional connectivity,” Antol said. “We are looking at many different alternative transportation choices, and this will encourage more biking.”
Antol added that more bike improvements are coming to West Hollywood in mid-May, when new bike racks and “Share the Road” signs will be installed citywide, and additional sharrows markings will be painted on roadways such as Fountain Avenue. Antol added that “bike boxes”, which are box-shaped markings at intersections in which cyclists can wait at stoplights ahead of vehicles, will also be created.
“Statistics show that most accidents happen when people are turning, so that will provide increased visibility,” Antol added.
West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Prang said the project will create more options for cycling, while the park upgrades will bring more greenspace to the city.
“There is plenty of new parking that has been developed, and it is in sync with what we are doing at the park,” Prang added.