L.A. Sees Light at the End of the…Freeway?
It may never be as car-less as Matt Logue’s Empty L.A., but the sprawling city might just see the dawn of more sustainable transport after all. An integrated rail system and bike freeways. Might sound too good to be true, but people are pushing for it. Although the passing of Measure R in 2008 increased the U.S. sales tax to raise $40 billion for public transportation projects, those projects wouldn’t see the light of day for at least 30 years. Which is why Move L.A., backed by the city’s mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is pushing for the “30/10” proposal to shorten the completion of a dozen Measure R projects to a decade.
In addition to this fast and integrated rail system, another group has proposed a “Backbone Bikeway Network“–a system of bikeways that act as freeways for bikes: long-distance routes designed to provide cyclists safe passage between different neighborhoods along heavily-traveled corridors, spanning Downtown to West L.A., Crenshaw to Valley Village, and LAX to Hollywood.
Bike is my blessed mode of transport in Barcelona, but having lived in L.A. for 15 years, it’s still hard to imagine biking such vast and inhospitable lengths with nothing in between. Bike routes in L.A….They had to call ’em freeways!
It’s about time for rail, that’s for sure. And I’m all for bikes, but does it make sense to create a bike network across a sprawling city?