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AAA Hates Bike Lanes!

Posted by: Noah Grunzweig @ Feb. 3, 2014, 2:55 p.m.

Hmm...Perhaps "Hate" is too strong...  How about "AAA Feels Bullied By Bike Lanes"

AAA Fights bike lanes Better World CLub Washington Watch

AAA: It's just not fair!  Bike lanes should be wider, and cars should be allowed to use them!

If you haven’t heard, Americans all over the United States have begun to really  to pay attention to how we get around.  And to the surprise of some and joy of many, Los Angeles is moving forward with some great initiatives for bicyclists and pedestrians.

MyFigueroa is a plan supported by Council District 9 as well as the Mayor’s Office as a “signature project” to bring cycletracks, pedestrian improvements and a “road diet” to South Figueroa Street between Downtown Los Angeles and South Park near USC.

This planned “road diet” would not only trim waistlines and improve heart and circulatory health of LA residents and visitors, but also improve economic development along bike lane corridors.

MyFigueroa organizers have also sought out partnership with Green Lane Project’s “Green Lane Project 2”.  If selected as a partner, Green Lane Project would provide technical, financial and strategic resources, opportunities to network with peers on the development of protected lanes (aka cycletracks, aka separated bike lanes).  L.A. would also receive a bunch of cool bonus bike points for leadership and initiative on urban transportation evolution.

Where is the dramatic catch to this story?

The environmental approval of MyFigueroa is being challenged by AAA, the California Science Center, and Darryl Holter, owner of the Shammas Auto Group (which includes the famous “Felix the Cat” dealership. You can read the Science Center’s letter for yourself, but it is clear their concerns surround the economic impact (a fear of any organization) of traffic pattern changes in their area.

While there are no studies to create a scientific foundation for this fear of economic losses, folks like AAA would like you to believe bike lanes are bad (AAA has fought against bike lanes in Washington D.C. for years), and they will question the environmental value such projects – which creates real fears for project organizers concerned a delay will endanger the project’s funding, even as the project team is ready to put construction out to bid.

Sources:
http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/01/27/garcetti-has-skin-in-the-game-on-my-figueroa/comment-page-1/#comment-626408
http://www.peopleforbikes.org/green-lane-project
http://www.myfigueroa.com/
http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/
http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2013/13-1225_misc_1-15-14.pdf
http://la.streetsblog.org/2013/09/24/formal-appeal-filed-against-myfigueroa-streetscape-project-by-auto-dealerships/#more-87425

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