Competing Plans for L.A.'s Cycling Future
But, according to the bike-advocating Westside Bikeside blog, the city’s proposed bicycle plan is a convoluted mess that’s too detailed and small-scale for such a huge metropolitan area. Instead, the bloggers maintain, the city needs a system of arteries along heavily traveled thoroughfares to take cyclists across town.
That’s where L.A.’s grassroots Bike Working Group (BWG) comes in. The group is critical of the city’s bike plan, but instead of just complaining, they took it upon themselves to create an alternative one, called the Backbone Bikeway Network, designed in conjunction with many Angeleno cyclists to allow them more access to major streets thus allowing them to get across town faster.
The specifics of the major-thoroughfare bikeways are similar to those in the city’s bike plan: extended bike lanes, repaving projects, and shared bike/car lanes called “sharrows.” What sets the Backbone Bikeway Network apart, however, is its simple grid concentrated on heavy-traffic roads (such as Wilshire and Venice Boulevards) instead of a confusing maze spread across the sprawling city. The city, though, has yet to lend any support to the Backbone project.