With the Orange Line Bike Path being the longest bikeway across the Valley, LADOT is moving closer to closing the final segment upgrading the Chandler Bike Lane.
Currently striped as a standard bike lane, this gap begins from where the former Pacific Electric and Southern Pacific rail lines split off at Leghorn Ave in Sherman Oaks.
It continues through Valley Village and past the Metro Station in North Hollywood to Vineland Ave where the bikeway picks up again heading through Burbank.
Through the years, there have been a number of ideas floating, but noting how residents wanted to save the trees aligning the busway, changes will be occurring inside the current roadway.
LADOT’s plan is to add a protected bike lane on the opposite side of the street towards the median which I think works out very well.
First, this avoids a lot of the conflict you would have with people pulling into driveways or getting out of their cars along the pathway.
More importantly, this rids the problem of handling how drivers make right turns at the intersections because either cyclists risk getting hooked by drivers or the turn would have to be signalized which has had a number of issues on other lanes like My Figueroa.
Why it works on the inside, is that while it may expose cyclists to drivers making left turns because of the medians, there are few opportunities for that, every intersection is already signalized and drivers should already be used to this step up.
It may seem unusual, but I think this is an effective solution within the parameters.
Last week, a motion passed unanimously with the Neighborhood Council Valley Village supporting the Chandler Bike Connection and will soon be seen by NoHoNC.
If there’s any notes I’d like to add, it’s the same as most other projects we see in wishing we added concrete protection instead of bollards.
Also, you’ll notice that Chandler will retain two lanes of traffic which I think is a missed opportunity.
Chandler sits a quarter-mile off of Burbank and Magnolia, two parallel streets that sees similar, if not higher volumes of traffic as they lead to onramps onto the 170 Freeway.
What’s interesting is that Magnolia is only one lane and Chandler could greatly benefit from a lane reduction using that extra space for diagonal parking which is needed for the number of apartments along the way.
You can see from the video this morning that during one of the busiest times of the day, this is how vacant Chandler is (at Laurel Canyon):
Since each light phase is two minutes, this would translate into only roughly 300 vehicles passing into the intersection per hour heading eastbound which is not a lot.
Narrowing the number of lanes is not in the current project scope, but since they are restriping the road anyways….
Still, being a resident of the Valley Village, I know this will positively be received as families have been looking for better bike access for their kids to get to park space, not to mention all the commuters looking for a safe option to get to the Red Line.
Construction is slated to begin in April 2022 and looks to be completed by the end of 2023.
I’m looking forward to the Chandler Bicycle Connection and more projects like these in the Gr818!