This is a column I never thought I’d write.
In the past, I’ve questioned the commitment to bike lanes on Vineland.
When you’re starting a bike network in this corner of the valley, the names “Lankershim” or “Ventura” come to mind where adding lanes would be more handy.
Still, you have to start somewhere and last week I found myself riding someplace to follow up on a new report.
Vineland Looking Calm, Cool and Collected
About a month ago, I saw a thread started on the popular “let’s spend a lot of time complaining” app known as Nextdoor.
The conversation started off with those voicing their opinion against losing a lane and the lack of ridership on it. Of course, things devolved into complaints about housing and a recall effort, but what else would you expect.
Somewhere in the middle of all this madness, somebody mentioned something about bollards being installed, but with little info about it.
At the same time, some green paint was laid down on Vineland to help demarcation, which is such an event for the valley, that even Streetsblog’s Joe Linton had to have a look.
Somewhere in the comments section of his article, someone mentioned again about bollards being in place, but that they were removed within a week.
Last week, I got an email saying the mirage is now a reality. I don’t have the patience to continue playing these mind games, but this was from a reliable source, so off I went.
I made my right turn off of Riverside to head southbound on Vineland and was pleasantly surprised by the greenness. When this buffered lane first got added, I saw a number of cars still use the bike lane to cut through traffic, but for this small sample size, it appeared that drivers were staying put.
Oh yeah, I almost got right hooked as the lane transition with those wanting to turn, but more on that later.
As I crossed Moorpark, the oasis of ugly white, plastic bollards looked to be a reality. The first set of bollards seem innocuous, but they not only help protect cyclists, but also for people trying to walk across the street, especially important since Rio Vista Elementary School is right there.
On the other side of the intersection, the next set of bollards appear. I have to commend the placement because before I really had to fight for space when cars arbitrarily decided to merge over. For this section, everyone’s space was clearly defined and it protects cyclists from sudden movement from vehicles.
Look at what the same intersection looked like before when it had just standard bike lanes:
…and a little further down:
Wow. What a definite improvement! Cars clearly know now where to merge instead of just overtaking the bike lane.
I had only wished that there were similarly placed bollards north of Moorpark as a truck blindly tried merging across me.
Outside of the bollards, the green paint looked nice, but in some spots, it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Underneath the 101 freeway, the road surface is horrendous. Even though the paint makes it look smooth, it makes riding in the bike lane tenuous feeling very slippery rolling over a disintegrating road.
Overall, I think these improvements are a step in the right direction. I also noticed more bollards just north of Riverside, so I’m liking this trend.