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City's Bundy Drive Bike Lane Proposal Opposed by Brentwood Residents

Brentwood Community Council says traffic congestion caused by the 405 Freeway project, a limited number of access points to the nearest freeways and limited parking spaces make bike lanes a tough sell.

Updated 11:47 a.m., March 15:

Two Brentwood organizations and one resident are pushing back against the city's proposal to add dedicated bike lanes along Bundy Drive and other surface streets along the Westside.

The city's current proposal is to eliminate vehicle lanes and parking on Bundy from San Vicente Boulevard to the Culver City line in order to put in the bike lanes.

In a Feb. 21 letter to city planning, Brentwood Community Council Chairwoman Nancy Freedman said the community has had no opportunity to give feedback on the Los Angeles Department of Transportation's proposal for bike mobility projects west of the 405 Freeway and north of the I-10. These streets include Bundy Drive, San Vicente Boulevard, Barrington Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard and Montana Avenue.

Part of the First Year Bicycle Plan calls to add approximately 40 miles of bicycle lanes in the city.

Freedman said a Feb. 19 public hearing from city planning to discuss the bike lanes was barely publicized and, according to the turnout, had less than five residents from Brentwood and West L.A. combined show up. Freedman added it is her understanding the city will not take any further action on bike lanes until there are additional hearings publicized in advance.

"The Brentwood Community Council and South Brentwood Residents Association
are supportive of improving bicycle safety in Brentwood through a combination
of sharrows, bike buffers as have recently been implemented in Santa Monica on Montana Avenue and downtown, and dedicated bike lanes where space permits," Freedman added in her letter.

Citing that Brentwood's proximity to Metro's I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, the community council opposes any further moves to the city's First Year Bicycle Plan without acknowledging the extremely high traffic congestion in the area, the limited number of routes under and to the 405 Freeway and the I-10 and the severe lack of parking spaces in South Brentwood. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl's office reportedly comissioned a parking study in the area.

According to Marylin Krell of the South Brentwood Residents Association, the city's draft environmental impact report on the bike plan shows that adding a bike lane to Bundy Drive would significantly impact Bundy at Wilshire, at Santa Monica Boulevard and at Olympic Boulevard, and would also create level of service grade "F" at each of these intersections.

Andrew Rees, of Brentwood, is also circulating an online petition asking the city to abandon any bike lane plans on Bundy Drive and Centinela Avenue. It has 31 signatures as of Thursday, March 14.

Alek Bartrosouf, of Glendale, is circulating an online petition from the West Neighborhood Bike Ambassadors asking the city to approve bike lane plans on Bundy Drive and Centinela Avenue. It has 31 signatures as of Friday, March 15.

The environmental impact report is available for review at the Department of City Planning, 200 North Spring Street, Room 750, Los Angeles, CA 90012 and other locations, such as West Los Angeles Regional, 11360 Santa Monica Blvd.

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Sean March 20, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Seeing as I work in the construction industry, particularly in the multi-family, residential sector, I can tell you your line about parking being required in the building code is untrue. In fact, green building measures reward new multifamily buildings with inadequate parking.. Check out LEED. And it actually is the government's responsibility to do a proper job informing the public seeing as this is a major lifestyle change for current residents and a major appropriation of funds to change the makeup of our infrastructure. Painting bike lanes will inevitably lead to higher standards of paving and street improvements, which the city don't have. Finally, the parking congestion on Bundy will only be displaced to the adjacent streets of Westgate, Goshen, Darlington, etc. which are already overcrowded at night. While the two conditions "aren't comparable", they are directly related.
Andrew R March 20, 2013 at 09:48 PM
I am sure my building is not violating any building codes, rather your assumptions in favor of your cause are making you quote irrelevant "regulations". I said my girlfriend and I don't have a space, not that my building doesn't provide parking. At no point did I say that we live in a two bedroom apartment, so why you're concentrating on that so much I have no idea. Regarding the tax payer - Is it the tax payer's job therefore to provide you with a bike lane? If they leave things as they are they don't have to spend any money, and may even make a few bucks from parking tickets. The thing everyone seems to be missing is that cyclists can still use Bundy and Centinela the way it is, YOU'RE the ones asking for change, we just want to keep things as they are until a better plan can be put together. And had there been a bike lane, and therefore no street parking, when my girlfriend and I took the apartment I am sure we wouldn't have. But since we did take it, and have made a life for ourselves near our friends and family, which we very much enjoy, we shall not be bullied out of our home so that the "bicycle boys club" can monopolize our streets!
Matt March 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Sean, The City did inform the public as required. Many of us in Brentwood have known about this for some time. They aren't required to have an individual discussion with every person. Perhaps if Brentwood had a real neighborhood council, people wouldn't have an issue. The current LA City Building Code requires parking for multifamily dwellings and even guest parking in many circumstances. Here's a summary http://cityplanning.lacity.org/zone_code/Appendices/sum_of_zone.pdf If you still don't agree, then please show me a multifamily building built in Brentwood in the last 30+ years that does not have on-site parking. Bottom line, this is about giving other travel modes a chance, especially with the big changes coming with Expo. People can say, my 80 year-old grandparent can't bike, therefore, no one should be able to. Not everyone walks places & some people can't walk, but that doesn't mean we should pave over our sidewalks in favor of the auto. We already provide pretty much a car only atmosphere. Has that worked? How about compared to other cities where people walk, bike, & use public transit more? If you think the status quo is great & you think traffic is improving & will improve in the future, then keeping everything the same is great. If you think traffic has progressively worsened since the red cars were ripped out of Expo & San Vicente 60-70 years ago, then it is probably time to go a different direction & give other modes an almost equal footing.
Matt March 20, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Sean, It is all houses on Bundy and Darlington. You have to go way up East on Darlington like 300 feet or so before you get to any apartment buildings.
Andrew R March 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM
There is nothing stopping cyclists from using Bundy and Centinela RIGHT NOW. Any one of you can get on your bike and go and use these public streets enjoying the protection of law, the same as any car user! This is nothing but a case of an uninformed public and a bully-boy group of cyclists pushing their own agenda with no regard for anyone else, hoping to short-cut and get it done before anyone knows what has actually happened. The City of LA needs to step up and actually inform the affected residents, which would be anyone who resides on or regularly uses Bundy and Centinela and the surrounding areas, of the plans and foreseen repercussions/outcomes etc. This has NOT happened to date, and only when this does happen can a real democratic process prevail in the best interests of the people.
Dennis Hindman March 21, 2013 at 12:03 AM
The much larger mass and speed of a motor vehicle in comparison to a person on a bicycle should not be classified as "nothing stopping cyclists". Safety is a very real concern for bicycling and motor vehicles are the greatest threat to getting maimed or killed while bicycling. Very few people are willing to ride a bicycle on a busy street in mixed traffic. Bullying that is going on is coming from drivers trying to force people to only have a choice of driving or parking on these streets. To say that someone that is moving in a car that is required to have safety glass, seat belts, airbags, crumple zones and a cage construction has no more protection under the law than a person riding a bicycle on a busy street in mixed traffic is disingenuous. Separating people from danger is a fundamental principle of industrial safety and your stating that this does not apply to those riding a bicycle, or that safety improvements for bicycling should be limited to only those streets that are much less useful to get where you need to go. No bikeway that will be put on any of the streets in the bike plan will prevent people from driving on these streets. Not getting safety improvements for bicycling on a busy street does effectively prevent all but a few traffic tolerant people from bicycling there.
Matt March 21, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Andrew, For the umpteenth time, the City has been fulfilling its obligation through the environmental review process on this. You are asking that they discuss the situation with every person who uses Bundy/Centinela, which is completely unrealistic and an absurd waste of millions of tax dollars. Discuss your problems with Councilman Rosendahl. Not every issue is subject to a residents' vote on a particular issue in our form of government. We just had an election for a new coucilman. What is his position on this? I resent your characterization of bike advocates. I am a 17 year resident of South Brentwood and homeowner for over 14 of those years. I don't even have a road bike, but realize we need complete streets that give pedestrians, bikers and public transit users a fighting chance. If not, we are going to continue down the same awful road. You are completely overdramatic in that you are being forced from "your" home. At the very worst, you'll have to walk another 100-200 feet to park your car (there is almost always parking on Gretna Green around the school). Come on. I suppose you'd support paving over the bike lanes on San Vicente along with ripping down the Coral Trees in the median. We could have a 6 lane quasi-freeway with speeds of 55-60 mph. Just think of the time savings for autos and the traffic relief. That is what is important right, so lets go for it.
Andrew R March 21, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Dennis, you're missing my point. I actually agree with you, bike lanes are a brilliant tool in terms of maintaining the safety of cyclists. I even say that in the info on my petition page. What I'm saying is that at the moment cyclists, whether you like it or not, have the legal right and CHOICE of whether or not to use Bundy and Centinela. If a cyclist chooses to use Bundy and Centinela they are still protected by the law. The people who currently rely on being able to park on Bundy/Centinela and the surrounding streets cannot CHOOSE to park somewhere else if the bike lane proposals go ahead, because there is nowhere else to park! The bike lane proposals are very selfish and servicee the few at the expense of the many, NOT how democracy is supposed to work!
Andrew R March 21, 2013 at 06:05 AM
Matt, you have a laughably wild irrational imagination! You are incredible, literally, NOT CREDIBLE!
Matt March 21, 2013 at 06:37 AM
Andrew, Expo will have 65k riders. Add in the quite a few bikers who already use San Vicente and Venice bikeways and the many more who would use them if you could actually connect between them with a north south route and that is hardly a few people. Compare that to the section of Bundy between Gorham and Montana that actually has apartments and one side if that street there are something like 11-12 parking spots that will be lost. Of course, your argument that you will be forced far from family and friends because of the loss of these 12 spots is laughable, especially when there are literally over a hundred open spots around Brentwood Science School right there. When you argue in front of the rest of the City to fight the bike plan that was part of Measure R that was approved by over 67% of residents and even more in LA City, you are going to have to come up with less hyperbole, more facts, and a lot more empathy to those who don't have cars or who bike other than you can ride in mixed traffic with no room or protection with cars zooming past you at 45 mph. You are going to come across as an out of touch whiny Westsider.
Dennis Hindman March 21, 2013 at 07:49 AM
Andrew R, your argument is basically that there are too many cars being parked in a fixed amount of space, so therefore no space can be reallocated to other forms of transportation. If there is no alternative to driving for transportation of more than a few blocks in the area, then by necessity the amount of cars being parked will increase as the population in the area grows. Similar arguments are being made against the installation of bike lanes installed on other streets in this draft EIR. Two neighborhood councils and the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce are against putting in bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd. The fact that there is a subway tunnel that runs underneath this street and Lankershim Blvd is only one of two streets that you can access the Universal subway, or that there are eight lanes of street on Lankershim Blvd next to Universal Studios did not phase them. How many travel lanes it would take before they would agree to have bike lanes installed is unknown. Would it be ten lanes, or perhaps twelve lanes or more? People that are advocating for a safety increase for bicycling on these streets in the draft EIR have been called Nazi's and bullies. The public is not allowed to decide on whether there should be safety improvements for pedestrians or motorists, yet bicycling seems to be fair game. Its as if we are in a coliseum in ancient Rome voting on who gets maimed or killed and the final decision maker (councilmember) will likely go with the majority.
Andrew R March 22, 2013 at 05:18 AM
Just a little note on Matt's credibility-- on further investigation, as suspected, he stretches the truth to breaking point. The main inaccuracies are as follows: 1) The bike lane plans are for BOTH sides of Bundy and Centinela, not just one side as Matt has previously stated. 2) This will result in HUNDREDS of parking spaces being lost throughout the length of the proposed bike lanes, including the knock-on effect on the side streets, not twelve as stated by Matt. 3) Anyone can go on Google Earth and see parking spaces around the Science Magnet School and suggest people use those spots instead, as Matt did. However if you actually read the street signs, you will see that these spaces are 15mins only between 7am and 5pm and are therefore not viable alternatives.
Andrew R March 22, 2013 at 05:19 AM
4) The “67% of the public voted in favor of the bike lanes” quote is inaccurate. It was actually 67% of those who knew the issue was being voted on and then actually bothered to turn up and vote, not 67% of the entire affected public as implied incorrectly by Matt. The City still has not notified everyone potentially affected by the bike lanes, and as a public office they DO have a duty to do so. They need to know how many people currently cycle/drive Bundy and Centinela, how many parking spaces will be lost and what the contingency is for those negatively affected etc before a plan like this can be ratified, and they have NOT done so. The “Bicycle Boys Club” are aggressively forcing this through with complete disregard and disdain for anyone not in their “Club” who may be negatively affected. 5) Matt quotes figures like “Expo will have 65k users” to bolster his argument. Is that a day, a week, a month? Who knows, those figures may be completely made up. And who’s to say that the bike lane will increase those numbers at all? I was walking Bundy today and counted 12 cyclists in an hour so people clearly aren’t scared to use Bundy now, is a Bike lane really necessary?
Andrew R March 22, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Essentially this is neither the time nor the place to be hashing these details out, and let’s face it we aren’t elected officials so none of us can speak for anyone else. My point is that this whole project seems to have flown alarmingly far under the radar, without those who actually stand to lose something being consulted or even informed. It’s easy to be pro-bike lanes if you live somewhere with private parking and/or don’t use Bundy as a commuter, and therefore stand to lose nothing and only gain from the project. All I want is for those key stakeholders to actually know what is going on in order to make an informed decision. This is not the case right now and, for whatever reason, there seem to be plenty of people who want to keep it that way until it’s too late for anyone to do anything.
Bundy Resident March 22, 2013 at 05:22 AM
@Matt I'm sorry but I've lived on Bundy for 7 years and have not once heard about this bike lane issue until this month when I saw the flier from Andrew R. Also, what 12 spots are you referring to? There are hundreds of parking spots on Bundy and Centinela that will be taken away resulting in congestion on all other streets in and around Brentwood. Also--do you actually live on or around Bundy? Gretna Green and the Brentwood science magnet school have very strict parking regulations and make it impossible for one to park on it regularly. You honestly seem to be a bully here. We just want our right to park. I fully support bike lanes, but not when they are being put on EXTREMELY congested streets, with lots of traffic. This will be unsafe for the bikers, and will put a huge burden on many of the residents of Brentwood.
Matt March 22, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I am a 17 year resident of Brentwood thank you. Call me names all you want. What streets on the Westside are not congested? Where is your non-congested north south street to put the bike lane to connect Expo, the Venice Bikeway and San Vicente??? Everyone keeps saying they support bike lanes just not near them so where then exactly? Saying you are a big supporter of bike lanes just not on streets with traffic, when there is traffic on every street is just plain phony. All it means is you don't support bike lanes. We had a similar situation in the 70s with the carpool lane on the 10 freeway. People said carpool lanes are okay, just not on our freeway. Same thing in the 80s with the subway - people support public transit, just not on the Westside near them. Now because of these poor past decisions to keep everything as is, we are left with a total mess. Comparing Bundy and Gretna Green with its single family homes with garages and driveways and the few apartments that all have underground parking with my neighborhood on with wall to wall apartment buildings on Westgate/Granville is insincere. Sure some spots on Gretna Green have restrictions. Many spots on Bundy already have restrictions too. If you say Gretna Green spots don't count because of parking regulations, you shouldn't count the ones on Bundy either where in many spots you can't park more than 2 hours from 8-6 without a permit.
Bundy Resident March 22, 2013 at 05:54 PM
@Matt I am not comparing Bundy with your neighborhood at all. I am saying both are one in the same. They are both going to be majorly affected by parking congestion once parking is eliminated on Bundy. And just so I'm clear, what spots on Bundy are you claiming have permit restrictions? I'm certain that from at least Wilshire to Sunset there are no permit restrictions whatsoever. Additionally, most of the parking on and around Gretna Green is 15 minute parking during weekdays due to the Brentwood Science Magnet. I'm sorry but that is just not feasible for most people to park on regularly. I'm genuinely confused as to why you are so in support of this when this will be affecting you tremendously as well. You may have parking in your building now, but good luck when any guests try to come visit you. Also, are you an avid bicyclist? I cycle regularly and am happy with the current conditions. Yes, more bike lanes would be great, but I'm sorry to say I am selfish and won't give up my right to park on Bundy so easily.
Andrew R March 22, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Matt, what name did I call you? Other than "Matt"?
Andrew R March 22, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Dennis, please don't do that politician's trick where someone makes a point or asks the politician a question and they say "Well, I suppose what you're actually saying is..." and then they just continue talking about whatever they want to talk about. It's transparent, people can see it happening, and it's embarrassing that you and Matt don't want to respond to my actual comments.
Austin Brown March 22, 2013 at 07:08 PM
I didn't realize Westwood wasn't considered West LA. So yeah, you're right. The reason I don't like taking side streets is because there are stop signs every block. I don't blow through them, as I still value my life, so every block I have to stop and start back up. Losing momentum like that is very tiring, and adds a lot of time to a trip. I live off of Centinela, and my girlfriend lives in Santa Monica, so a North-South route is something I really need. Right now my only options are to go up to Barrington, or down to Walgrove. Neither option is very good.
Austin Brown March 22, 2013 at 07:11 PM
It's important to remember that this was just the initial meeting. There will be more, and nothing is set in stone (or pavement) just yet. Now is the time to contact your city council-member, not to yell at people in comment threads on a news site.
Bundy Resident March 22, 2013 at 09:07 PM
@Austin Have already done that as well ;)
Dennis Hindman March 22, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Andrew R., you and others on this website are getting in a huff and puff about parking being removed on Bundy Dr, when the side presentation for the Westside outreach does not have the bike lanes going north of Wilshire Blvd on Bundy Dr. Check out the slide presentation yourself: http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/rundown-of-the-1st-year-bike-lanes-hearings/#more-10213 You stated in a post earlier that you would sign a petition for installing bike lanes on Bundy Dr. if it didn't involve taking away parking. Since it looks like no parking will be removed on Bundy Dr., then you must be willing to sign that petition in favor of having bike lanes.
Dennis Hindman March 22, 2013 at 09:54 PM
The outreach slide presentation for the Westside did not show that the bike lanes would go above Wilshire Blvd on Bundy Dr. The draft EIR had parking removed above Wilshire Blvd, but that seemed to be changed when the presentation was made. Your getting all worked up about something that is not going to occur. Look at the slide presentation of the meeting to see if I am right: http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/rundown-of-the-1st-year-bike-lanes-hearings/#more-10213
Bundy Resident March 22, 2013 at 10:07 PM
@Dennis I looked through your presentation and it doesn't appear to go past Wilshire. However it does go past Wilshire in the EIR. Is there a way we can confirm what they are proposing?
Dennis Hindman March 22, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Bundy Resident, you can try to get your question answered on the LADOTBIKEBLOG (run by LADOT interns), or if you click on the tab at the top of that website which states 'Resource', then select 'Links'. Under 'City Links' select 'LADOT-Bicycle Services'. On the left column select 'Contact Us.' Tim Fremaux (the guy in the green shirt in the picture at the top of the page on that website) is the traffic engineer on the bikeway staff who would know the details. He will not be available until Monday to answer your question though.
Matt March 23, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Bundy Resident, There are District 18 parking permits signs limiting parking for many blocks up Bundy starting at Wilshire. If you have ever parked here you would notice them. Maybe your immediate section doesn't have them, but that likely means you have never had to search for parking too far away from your place. Not a surprise since I see tons of open spots on Bundy all the time. If we can't put a simple stop sign on Bundy so people including school children can actually cross the street without dodging cars or carve a sliver of a street for non auto transportation safety here or pretty much anywhere else (you couldn't come up with any other north south street for a bike lane) our transportation system is really doomed. Calling people "bully"who disagree with a car only system in favor if complete safer street that offer a choice is not going to play with the rest of the City. The City and many other cities have put bike lanes all over including on streets busier than Bundy. If people only consider the streets for cars and ignore peds, bikes, and transit you end up with a total mess, which is what exactly what we have, while other areas have options. We live in a city but act like we live in Palmdale, when it comes to planning.
Matt March 23, 2013 at 03:53 AM
Andrew, First you say hardly anyone rides a bike and bike lanes are only being pushed by a few bike bullies, despite them being implemented rapidly all over the City recently, and now you say there are plenty of bikers on Bundy now so there is no need for bike lanes. Which is it? What do you say to teenagers without a car who use a bike instead - you guys just ride in the middle of the street as bike lanes aren't necessary - safety be damned? Of course there are no bike lanes on Mandeville Canyon when a biker was violently assaulted by a local Brentwood resident several years ago (who was sentenced to prison) who was upset the biker was in the way of his car as he drove down the street. That was on a quiet residential street. You want that scenario repeated On busier streets. Luckily most everyone else disagrees with you. Bike lanes are popping up all over the City and seem here to stay.
Bundy Resident March 23, 2013 at 08:23 PM
@matt again, as I stated there are no permit restrictions from wilshire to sunset. Yes there are some past wilshire but that is 1.5 miles away from my apartment and so no, I never have to go that far away for a spot. Many times however I do have to park about half a mile down Bundy or on gorham, Dorothy, Montana or Darlington when I am not able to find any spots. I'm a female and work long hours and don't enjoy carrying groceries for 10 minutes in the dark to get back home. Also, I'm confused about the stop sign comment. We did put one in (mayfield and Bundy) and I love it! PS I'm not calling anyone else a bully. I am happy to have a honest discussion with someone but when you are distorting the facts it seems a bit unfair. People deserve to know the truth. Again I am 100% in support of safety and bike lanes (as I mentioned earlier I am an avid cyclist) but not at the cost of my living arrangement (I actually would be forced to move if parking is removed from Bundy) and not at the cost of most brentwood residents' parking. People who don't live in the area dont realize how incredibly tough parking already is in Brentwood. The removal of parking on Bundy will make it very rough for everyone in Brentwood. Guaranteed.
Niall Huffman March 26, 2013 at 12:33 AM
The person creating the petition resides in Glendale, but is also an organizer on the staff of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, which has a committee of local Westside residents known as the West Neighborhood Bike Ambassadors. I know several of these people personally; they live in neighborhoods like Westwood, West LA and Palms.

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