Evaluating LADOT’s Bad Roadway Design
In a report titled “Evaluating Changes in Roadway User Bad Behavior” (PDF), LADOT once again shows that it:
1) does not excel at planning for multiple modes of transport,
2) skillfully deflects all responsibility for its failures.
On page 26 of this report, LADOT speaks of Wrong Way Cycling. I have no idea what the 3 other locations were, but the Jefferson/McClintock intersection is a perfect example of failing at designing for bikes. The problem originates a block West, at Jefferson and Orchard, where the mass of students that lives north of USC is funneled into the terribly-designed, car-centric McClintock gate into campus.
I used to commute through that exact intersection, and I did what was easiest for me as a cyclist – come down Orchard, then ride against traffic in the road (on Jefferson), or ride on the sidewalk and weave through people. It wasn’t always that way, I’m fairly certain that portion of Jefferson was redesigned in the early 2000s. I do recall whatever changes they have made to Jefferson, it made the USC campus more inaccessible.
Let’s see, you put in the uncrossable median to allow car traffic to flow more freely, impeding pedestrians and cyclists, and now you’re complaining about wrong way riders?
True, the average beach cruiser bike rider at USC has no idea what the rules of the road pertaining to bikes are.
Most female cyclists in that area are trying to juggle a cell phone, coffee cup, and look through their bag all while riding. Some males specimens are equally aloof. I can see why there was a move to ban bikes on campus, although that is clearly a knee-jerk reaction by narrow-minded people.
Given this scenario, LADOT (or whomever wants to step up and genuinely claim responsiblity for our roads) should have designed simple, free flowing bike paths to campus and maybe thrown some funds into cyclist education. But it’s easier to shift the blame instead of accepting the responsibility.
If LADOT’s goal truly is to “reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities” as it claims on page 4 of this report, then all it has to do is reduce the speed limit on all thoroughfares and start treating the non-motorist public like they exist.
Here’s some interesting tidbits about Orchard Ave from a USC PolySci alum who currently lectures there.
- Before the median was put in (which forces southbound traffic on Orchard to turn right), that intersection was open, Jefferson Bl just had a double yellow line
- A metal fence was added to the median to prevent pedestrians from “jaywalking” across Jefferson at Orchard
- Supposedly Orchard used to extend into campus in the first half of the 20th century
- According to their 2030 plan, USC is going to gobble up the area North of campus in order to “provide badly needed additional student housing, provide new academic space, and to create a vibrant retail space that will serve both our surrounding community and our academic community”
Of special interest is page 7 of the USC Village Project Overview, which mentions that in the future, Jefferson Bl will have parking removed in favor of a widened sidewalk and a bike lane (!)