THE VIEW FROM HERE - Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez’s support for the LADOT’s plan to put dedicated bike lanes down Hollywood Boulevard from Gower east to Lyman Place merits the crown of Grand Poobah of Wokeville. LADOT calls it Vision Zero - Hollywood Boulevard Safety and Mobility Project “Vision Zero” is a good name for it since LADOT is clearly like a herd of drunken blind men looking in a dark closet for a black hat which isn’t there. Bike lanes are a form of road diet.
Gower, which is east of Hollywood and Vine, is the intersection where Pep Boys used to be located. Thus, the bike lane will end at one of the busiest streets in the world on weekends, Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. What does a cyclist do when the protected bike lanes end? Weave in and out of thousands of cars? Oh, that is really safe. The city has already categorically rejected bike lanes along the Walk of Fame.
Lyman Place is one block west of the mega Hollywood-Sunset-Hillhurst intersection. Yes, let’s funnel bikers into one of the busiest, one of the most dysfunctional intersections in the city. The last thing the streets to the east and west of the bike lane need is bicyclists mixing in with the rest of traffic.
Why Cater to 1%
The vast, huge overwhelming majority of Angelenos do not ride bicycles. In 2014, 1.2% of LA commuters rode bikes and everyone else drove cars, trucks, or took buses. The 1% of bikers get as much road space as the 99% rest of us. That’s what Wokers call equity. (Streetsblog LA, Sept 23, 2014)
In August 2015 at the city council hearing on Mobility Plan, three councilmembers dissented from the Mobility Plan 2035. They were CM Koretz (CD5), Cedillo (CD1) and Ryu (CD4). Cedillo invoked the famed vote trading system, one aspect of which is that each councilmember is the lord of his fiefdom. Mobility Plan 2035 violated the vote trading system since none of them had placed the project, which affected their districts, on the city council agenda. (This aspect of the vote trading system, standing alone, seems legal.) The city council agreed that subsequently it would allow Kortez, Cedillo, and Ryu to amend the plan for their area. A few months later, all three amendments came to pass. Ryu’s CD 4 covers part of Hollywood and Ryu showed that bike lanes were inappropriate especially on Hollywood Boulevard. Thus, all bike lanes on Hollywood Boulevard were deleted from Mobility Plan 2035.
One of Ryu’s points was that at La Brea Avenue, bike lanes coming from the west would dump into Hollywood’s Walk of Fame where there would be no bike lane. Even with a smidgen of analytical ability, one could see that having a bike lane end at crowded Walk of Fame would be a folly.
LA Has Tried and Failed with Protected Bike Lanes
Former Councilmember Mike Bonin CD11), a died-in-the wool Woker, ignored his voters and implemented bike lanes in his district and the uproar was one of the factors for his not running for re-election. Critics frustrated by ‘road diets’ launch effort to recall L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin and June 19, 2023 Bonin Bike lane Backlash: City Votes to Remove Bike lane
Bonin learned the hard way that imposing a far left Woker plan to make Los Angeles traffic congestion worse created a traffic and political nightmare. Ten of thousands of drivers knew whom to blame for the horrible bike lanes which left only one vehicle lane in each direction, while the periodic biker peddled along. While most councilmembers do not care much what their constituents think, few are conceited enough to think that they can stick their finger in the eye of Angelenos day after day without blow back. Bonin was blown away, but now we are stuck with Woker CM Soto-Martinez. His Wokeness is far reaching.
Being an arrogant Grand Poobah, CM Soto-Martinez supports making Hollywood Boulevard from Gower to Lyman into a one lane road. Bike lanes are one form of a“road diets.” The latter term is more honest as the real motive is to reduce the number of cars which can drive the streets by removing travel lanes. This was Garcetti’s thinking – make traffic unbearable, then people will have to use subways and fixed rail transit. Thus, with bike lanes, the 1% of bikers get their own lane, while cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses (the other 99%) get to share one lane.
What About Franklin and Sunset?
When Hollywood Boulevard becomes unavailable to most vehicles, drivers will try Franklin and Sunset, both of which are already at capacity. Franklin Ave, for example, becomes one lane east of Normandie. West of Western Ave, Franklin has to absorb all the Los Feliz traffic coming from Glendale and the 5 Freeway.
What About the Businesses?
The long stretch of Hollywood Boulevard from the Hollywood Freeway to Lyman has gazillions small businesses. Even LADOT admits that these businesses report that 95% of their customers drive. The devastating impact on local businesses was a major factor in the furor over Bonin’s bike lanes. Wokers claim that there will be customer parking between the protected bike lane and the one lane of traffic so that customers can park. They fail to recognize that tens of thousands of customers, who will cease to patronize the businesses along Hollywood Boulevard, do not need any parking.
One should understand the patronizing Woker beliefs that (1) cars are bad, and (2) extreme residential density is a holy cause. Why the Woke War on cars? Wokers believe that people should live in apartments and use only mass transit. Wall Street makes trillions of dollars from financing dense residential high rises and from mass transit projects like subways and fixed rail transit. Renters never gain equity in a home, but instead their rent payments end up at Wall Street as the landlords pay their mortgages. Since people hate subways, trolleys, and fixed rail, Wokers, developers and Wall Street try to force people to use mass transit by making traffic congestion as unbearable as possible. Hence, the Woker War on cars. They have spectacularly failed in forcing people to live in crammed apartments and use mass transit.
Wokers Do Not Care about People
Like religious fanatics, Wokers impose their beliefs on people no matter what. This same mentally was imposed on Ukranian farmers in the 1930 and over 10 million people died. If one wants to grasp the mentality of LA City Council Wokers, one would do well to read Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. You may email him at [email protected].)