The Lies that Failed

A Santa Monica business being “destroyed” by road diet and bike lanes

I hate to be optimistic on this matter, but it looks as though the Colorado Boulevard road diet and its attendant buffered bike lanes will be implemented soon! So reports Streetsblog LA, where Damien Newton also takes down a local Fox News outlet’s biased reporting on the issue.

The fact is, that the opponents to the bike lanes were far fewer than the supporters—and were willing to lie, shout, scream, and behave like spoiled children to prevent a much-needed safety upgrade of the street, with changes that will also make it pleasanter to live and shop along and more profitable to its businesses.

Opponents claimed that the road diet woudl take away too much lane space from motorists, but Colorado is presently six lanes wide; the road diet would reduce it to four motor vehicle lanes and two bike lanes, and add better crosswalks and some landscaping. Since it is immediately adjacent to a giant freeway, it will probably still devote far too much precious space to motor traffic, but it will be better than it was.

Opponents claimed all sorts of nonsensical dooms that would surely result from the changes, such as the inability of emergency vehicles to get through imagined traffic jams—though it is obvious that having a clear space at the edge of the road for drivers to move into when they hear a siren will improve emergency access. Certainly in my stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, where there are no bike lanes, it’s crowds of cars with nowhere to go that routinely block fire trucks and ambulances.

Opponents claimed, without the least sense of irony, that they would have to slow down because of the road diet. This, of course, is one big reason for putting it in, since scofflaw drivers have been mowing down residents regularly as they speed along Colorado as if it were an autobahn.

Opponents claimed that the road diet would destroy the street’s businesses. However, every place road diets with bike lanes have been tried and allowed to mature, they have improved business, sometimes extravagantly, while an excessive dependence on cars actually drags them down…here are some links with details on that one:

The Wall Street Journal
The Atlantic Cities
Strong Towns

Finally, the opponents resorted to name-calling, claiming that bike lane supporters were “outside interests”—even folks who have lived in the area ten years or more or own businesses there. Though somehow short-cutting drivers who zoom through the neighborhood from end to end at oppressive speeds are not.

But it appears that, in the end, lies and tantrums did not prevail, and Council Member José Huizar announced that the road diet will proceed.

At least we can hope so.

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  1. […] Campbell offers a timelapse video of the longest game of bike/bus leapfrog ever. Richard Risemberg calls out the lies opponents of the Colorado Blvd bike lanes employed. Boyonabike says that new bike lane is great, […]

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