On any given day in the San Fernando Valley, you can find a multitude of cyclists using the much lauded inaugural Great Streets Project on Reseda Blvd. In 2015, this corridor – which stretches between Plummer and Parthenia streets – saw the installation of parking-protected green bike lanes, enhanced sidewalks, and other complete street improvements.
As somewhat of an infrastructural flagship here in LA, the Reseda bike lane serves a variety of community members. From CSUN students and faculty to commuting professionals to, local families, this project represents an unfortunately rare example of a project on a major thoroughfare that prioritizes safety for a diverse set of road users.
Part of our crew gearing up for the ride.
For these reasons, our Valley Neighborhood Bike Ambassadors (NBA) have prioritized their advocacy efforts around this stretch of road. They’re working to ensure that the 1-mile stretch of bike lane is kept clean by a special street sweeping machine that the city has on hand for the especially narrow space of pavement between the bollards and curb of a protected bike lane.
“Some of the bike lanes, like this one, have lots of trash and debris in them, so I have to bike directly on Reseda Blvd. with cars,” said Kayla Kaiser, one of the mobility advocates in our Valley NBA group.
Longtime Valley advocate Don Larson talking about the finer details about the Reseda Blvd bike lane.
This past Monday, October 22nd, the Valley NBA did what we bikers do best and led a ride so folks could experience and discuss Reseda Blvd. itself. Designed and led by members of the NBA, the ride took about 15 locals from start to finish of the protected portion of the bike lane. The ride was preceded by a quick discussion with Don Larson, a man who’s been advocating for safe, clean streets in the Valley for years. Don’s also the founding president of Clean Streets Clean Starts, which helps homeless folks gain work readiness and recovery skills while maintaining our roadways.
To cap off the evening, mobility advocates and community members regrouped at Dunkin’ Donuts for a carb-fueled discussion about the current state of the streets, and up-and-coming safety infrastructure. Their advocacy comes at an ideal time for Vision Zero street safety improvements as LADOT, Councilmembers Mitch Englander (CD-12) and Bob Blumenfield (CD-3) recently unveiled plans to extend the protected bike lane another three miles south to Victory Blvd., where it would carry riders to a major transit hub.
Donut update: these didn’t survive the whole evening.
Monday night’s participants got the opportunity to weigh the pros and cons of different ways of resolving hazardous conflicts with cars, and methods for dealing with debris blockage for this future bike lane. The group finished off by writing postcards to our respective council offices expressing our appreciation for the bike lane, while also requesting regular maintenance to make sure road safety investments are actually effective. We also encouraged riders to report littered bike lanes to the City at myla311.lacity.org
If you’d like to get involved with this group, you can join the Valley NBA on the fourth Monday of every month. Our next meeting will be on November 26 at 6 PM at Groundwork Coffee by the NoHo Red Line Station. Don’t live in the Valley? We have two other active NBAs you can join, including one in West LA and one in Central LA. Find yours here.