VIDEO: Why Protected Bike Lanes are Coming to Spring & Main Streets

Wednesday, there was some big news for cycling enthusiasts as Councilmember Jose Huizar(Go Bears) and LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds among others, announced that protected bike lanes will be coming on Spring and Main all the way from Cesar Chavez to Olympic.

While this may not seem like that big of a step, since both streets already have buffered bike lanes, doses of paint here and there only go so far protecting you.


We may think of them as bike lanes, but they also get used as:

  • Taxi zones
  • Car pool lane
  • Loading zone
  • Driver texting margin of error buffer
  • Bus turn without signaling test area

And then maybe you can call them bike lanes. You want an idea why protected lanes makes a difference:


This may be one of the tougher spots to handle, but who wants to put up with this? And trust me, you could ride through here any morning and get the same footage.

The buffered space does give you a little more room, but doesn’t make me feel that much safer.

What a hipster way to block a bike lane
What a hipster way to block a bike lane

In my ten months working downtown, I can tell with the eyeball test that cycling is picking up here. Couple in this summer’s coming bike share program and the 7th Street protected lanes, then we’ll have a nice little framework to start with.

Remember, this isn’t a little piecemeal addition, it’s about a two mile stretch!

Before I officially bless these bike lanes, I do have a couple concerns before going forward:

  1. Will they be wide enough? Right now most lanes carry just enough space for one rider. If these lanes become popular enough(and they will), they better be wide enough to give ample enough space to pass. And then some.
  2. And…action??? A few of us remember years ago the hullabaloo the studios raised at the sight of green paint on the ground. The city caved by using thin verdant markings instead of using the Photoshop paint bucket tool to fill it all in. Since Spring Street seems to have film crews shooting somewhere along this stretch daily, how are they going to react when they try shooting another gangster era flop with hipsters rolling by?

I’ve always said that Spring and Main are the best streets to get you north-south through downtown, so I imagine these improvements will be very welcome. I’m ready to drink the Kool Aid, I just hope there’s plenty of space for that giant pitcher of a man can roll through.