Michigan engineers on bikes

Today I took a leg-stretcher from my place in Beverly Hills to the Marina to meet up with some LACBC folks. I had ample opportunity to enjoy the bike lanes on Venice Boulevard through Culver City & Mar Vista, and I can say that they are an unequivocal mess. Broken pavement, faded striping, perilous grooves, and of course that bane of road cyclists everywhere, the magic disappearing lane at the approach to an intersection. Just when cyclists and motorists need guidance most, it’s gone.

It got me thinking: do the people who lay down these lanes ever use them? Last month, Streetsblog ran a piece on Michigan Department of Transportation road engineers strapping on the ‘training wheels’ for some perspective behind the handlebars. I can’t help but feel that this may be an approach that would benefit Los Angeles, Culver City, and Beverly Hills transportation officials too. If there is anything enjoyable a ride to the Marina, it’s certainly not the pleasure ride down Venice. There the poorly planned and maintained bike lanes add nothing to an urban environment that gives West Los Angeles a run for its money as the most monotonous neighborhood in the region.