Metro/Caltrans Fails Riders at I-405/Wilshire

In the ongoing saga of hazardous I-405 construction impacts we’d like to file this gem for your consideration: a poorly-filled trench running alongside Sepulveda that seems tailor-made to bust a rear rack. That’s what happened to us anyway: we lost our load of groceries as this sharp-edged beastie knocked us out of the saddle. We did keep our balance but sacrificed a prized quart of Bay Cities pasta sauce. It could have been worse: with a bottom fully 2-3 inches lower than the boulevard surface we could have lost a rim or a nut. We’ll let you know when Metro/Caltrans fills this one properly. Sepulveda trench at I-405

Metro I-405 8/15 Meeting Recap

Metro community meetingPity the poor motorist. At the Westwood Recreation Center tonight, we learned that the eastbound Wilshire on-ramp to the northbound I-405 would close for (count ’em!)¬†90 days. For 405-proximate residents west of UCLA there was plenty of pain too. They learned that the convenient Montana ramps would go away forever. What of our fate, dear cyclists? Metro had little to offer us too. Continue reading

I-405 Over Budget, Behind Schedule

Aside

LA Times today reports on the I-405 expansion running over budget and behind schedule. They could talk about the hazard of negotiating southbound West LA exit ramps (and unpredictable closures) too, but what we’d really like to see addressed pronto is the utter disregard for cyclist safety as exhibited by¬†Caltrans & Metro. Every E-W crossing from Sunset to Pico is a hazard. We’ve posted on it and complained to Caltrans to no effect. So now we’ve dropped Zev a line. With the project now running over by an extra year, there’s time to make it right for cyclists.

Caltrans Can Do Better By Cyclists

Sepulveda and Ohio corner 2012-8-2

Looking west to Ohio from Sepulveda: how things look today.

Streetsblog SF recently highlighted our country’s disregard of cyclist safety in construction zones by showing where machinery is imprudently placed. It drew an explicit and unfavorable contrast with Copenhagen (heaven for cyclists where bike travel is the priority). We can’t agree more. But it’s not just the one-off hazard but the $1 billion slaps that really sting. Like our I-405 construction madness. Motorists feel put upon but in truth it’s the cyclists who suffer the most: we squeeze through portals designed only for cars and now compromised by poor signage, bad pavement and, of course, angry motorists. Continue reading

Crossing the 405 Fwy Puts Your Life on the Line

405 fwy at Ohio signageWe call it walking the plank: merely crossing under the 405 Fwy at Wilshire, Ohio, Santa Monica, Olympic, and Pico boulevards is akin to taking your life into your hands. Or more accurately, it is putting your life into the hands of an under-skilled driver piloting (most likely) a super-sized vehicle. But what choice do you have: with the Caltrans $1 billion 405 fwy expansion, the Westside crosstown cyclist has zero options. Unless of course you walk it on the sidewalk. But pedestrians fare little better. Continue reading