Thursday, October 17

UCLA Transportation to paint new bike lanes along Westwood Plaza

The original version of this article incorrectly stated that officials will stripe the lanes this weekend. In fact, officials plan to begin striping on May 23.

This article was updated at 11:15 a.m. on May 12.

Transportation officials plan to paint new bike lanes along Westwood Plaza between Le Conte Avenue and Charles E. Young Drive South later this month, weather permitting, according to an email statement.

UCLA Transportation is funding the project, which will cost about $250,000 to resurface damaged sections of asphalt on Westwood Plaza and institute the lanes. About $90,000 of that total will be used to stripe the lanes.

The new bike lanes, which officials plan to stripe starting May 23, are intended to improve biker safety and promote a healthy transportation option, said David Karwaski, senior associate director of planning, policy and traffic systems at UCLA Transportation, in the statement. They will eventually be extended to Strathmore Plaza.

UCLA Transportation chose to institute the new bike lanes by the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center because it is the main entrance to campus for bicyclists and drivers, Karwaski added.

There have been several calls for more bike lanes, including the Undergraduate Students Association Council’s unanimous resolution in March asking the Los Angeles City Council to install a bike lane along Westwood Boulevard. The Graduate Students Association voted unanimously on a resolution earlier in March to install more bike lanes along Westwood Boulevard.

The Westwood Neighborhood Council denied a proposal to add new bike lanes in February, citing that it would limit already scarce parking space.

Bike lanes already exist on Strathmore Avenue, Sunset Boulevard and Gayley Avenue.

Bryan Ochoa, a fourth-year Chicana/o studies student who bikes to campus, said he thinks the new lanes will help improve safety, but he would prefer a protected lane, which separates bikers from other traffic with a barrier.

Madison Balter, a third-year nursing student, said she thinks the new lanes will be helpful because she feels Westwood Plaza is currently not bike-friendly.

Ivy Nguyen a fourth-year international development studies student, said she thinks having more bike lanes would encourage people to ride their bikes more often on campus. Nguyen said drivers have gotten angry with her when she bikes in the streets.

“We’re supposed to share the road together,” she said. “Davis and Berkeley are really bike-friendly but (our campus) isn’t at all, so I definitely hope they add more bike lanes here.”

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  • Guest of a Guest

    It’s nice to see UCLA moving forward on these types of quality of life issues despite the neighborhood council’s unsubstantiated fears of parking shortages in the village (someone should let them know you can’t hide behind “parking” for every denial of progress and improvement in the area while also restricting other modes of transportation that help alleviate traffic and bring people to the area). UCLA seems to know their constituency and their needs. They also see that Westwood Blvd is an important gateway. So while the campus improves from Le Conte to Strathmore Plaza, we’ll be left scratching our head as to what exactly is happening (or not happening) between Wilshire and Le Conte.

  • Jeffrey Lew

    I’m just afraid that a bike lane (especially a protected lane, as wished for by someone quoted in the article) will increase confrontations between bikers on Westwood Plaza and pedestrians crossing at the light at the RMC driveway, with the bikers who ignore the red light thinking they have the right of way over pedestrians and cross-traffic.