By Jennifer Friedman
On March 19, the Westwood Village Business Improvement Association (BIA) voted to recommend an immediate study of the impacts of different bike lane treatments on Westwood Boulevard between Wilshire and Le Conte. LADOT (the Los Angeles Department of Transportation) will conduct the research, and report its findings and recommendations. This decision focuses new attention on a key potential infrastructure improvement just south of UCLA that could benefit all roadway users – motorists, public transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians. Bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard would also help support UCLA Transportation’s continuing efforts to build a more bike-friendly University while enhancing bicyclist safety traveling to and from campus.
How so? All off-campus infrastructure improvements compliment the multiple-pronged approach UCLA Transportation has taken the last several years to improve cycling conditions on campus and encourage more UCLA students, staff and faculty to use their bicycle as a transportation mode, to and from campus. The department has set policies and provided campus infrastructure to support and accommodate bicycling.
In addition, increased use of active transportation (biking and walking) to, from and around campus has been made through enhancements and adjustments in incentives, targeted safety campaigns and a holistic effort to link active transportation to the University’s high level expertise with public health.
UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative promotes healthy lifestyle choices and develops best practices that may help other communities do the same. UCLA Transportation is using the infrastructure-related component of the initiative, ‘Be Well,’ as a springboard for making the campus more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. As part of its traffic-calming campaign, the campus is increasingly being retrofitted with enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities including contra-flow bike lanes on one-way streets, “road diets,” the first ever bike counter on a university campus and innovative green painted bike lanes. In fact, the green bike lanes reduce road space available to automobiles, giving it instead to bikes.
In addition to the many bike-related projects UCLA Transportation has spearheaded, the ongoing collaboration with the UCLA Bike Shop has meant a more bicycle-friendly campus. The shop is both a do-it-yourself and a fee-for-service on-campus repair facility open to the UCLA Community, and facilitates a full schedule of bike maintenance and traffic skills classes and multiple bike rental programs. Did you know that the UCLA Bike Shop has built, rented, repaired or resold over 1,000 bikes for the UCLA community?
Look for more UCLA ‘bikeification’ projects in the months ahead:
- Westwood Plaza Bike Lane (Le Conte to Charles E. Young Drive South) – Summer 2015
- Portola Plaza Stairs Bike Channel – Summer 2015
- CEY North Bike Lane (Westwood to De Neve) – Fall 2015
- CEY South Bike Lane (Westwood to Tiverton) – Fall 2015
- UCLA Bike Share System with the City of Santa Monica – Spring 2016
- Tiverton Bike Path (Le Conte to Parking Structure E) – Summer 2016