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USAC unanimously passes resolution calling for bike lanes around UCLA

By Kendal Mitchell

March 11, 2015 2:46 p.m.

The undergraduate student government unanimously passed a resolution calling for the Los Angeles City Council to install a bike lane along Westwood Boulevard near UCLA.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council worked with Westwood neighborhood groups and the Graduate Students Association to develop the resolution. GSA unanimously passed a similar resolution during its March 4 meeting.

The resolution urges the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to implement a bike lane between Santa Monica and Pico Boulevards, saying residents would benefit from the addition of a protected lane in the area.

USAC President Avinoam Baral said he thinks the bike lane would be beneficial for students because it might make them feel safer while riding to campus and encourage more people to bike to school instead of drive.

On Feb. 23, the Westwood Village Improvement Association, a neighborhood body that aims to expand business in the area, hosted a town hall meeting about a plan to build a new bike lane, said Andrew Thomas, executive director of the association.

The Remove Nothing Plan, which the resolution is based on, was developed by UCLA Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning guest lecturer Ryan Snyder. The plan would not remove any travel lanes along Westwood Boulevard while still adding a separate lane for bikes.

According to You Are Here, a mapping project launched last April, more than 2,000 bikers were in bike-on-car accidents in Los Angeles in 2012. Mappers used data from the Los Angeles Police Department to place all bike collisions on a single map.

Thomas said he thinks a protected bike lane lane would make the Westwood area more accessible and safer for bikers.

The resolution asks Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz to talk to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation about investing in engineering studies aimed to find the best possible route for the lane along Westwood Boulevard.

Koretz said he looks forward to how the resolution’s impact will affect conversations surrounding the bike lane, according to an emailed statement from spokesperson Paul Neuman.

Some plans calling for bike lanes stretching along Westwood Boulevard have failed in the past due to fears that they would increase traffic.

In 2013, Koretz ended a Los Angeles Department of Transportation study that aimed to determine the implications of a floating bike lane on Westwood Boulevard following concerns that the bike lane would increase traffic and lead to more bike-on-car collisions.

After multiple calls and emails over a week, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation could not be reached for comment for this article.

GSA President Michael Hirshman said he thinks the Los Angeles City Council should consider the demands in the resolution because there has been no study to look at the potential traffic, environmental and practical effect of the Remove Nothing Plan to see if it should be implemented.

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