Letter to LADOT GM Rita Robinson regarding Reseda Bike Lane issues

15 August 2009

Reseda Boulevard where the Bike Lanes currently end at Kittridge Street - from Bing Maps

Reseda Boulevard where the Bike Lanes currently end at Kittridge Street - from Bing Maps (North is to the left, Reseda Park is on the upper right, the L.A. River runs vertically through the middle) - (update 8/19/2009: this is where they appeared to end on the aerials in Bing Maps which may be slightly out of date... but when I biked there today, the ground truth is that they end a couple blocks north of this photo - at Vanowen Street.)

Here is a letter that I sent today to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) general manager Rita Robinson, and copied to the mayor and various councilmembers. Though I’ve identified myself as the co-chair of the Green L.A. Transportation Work Group (GLATWG,) this represents my opinion, not necessarily a consensus position decided by the entire GLATWG.

15 August 2009

Rita Robinson, General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
100 S. Main St., 10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Rita Robinson:

I want to bring to your attention what I think is a sad breach of the public trust made by your staff.

In June 2009, LADOT’s Paul Meshkin reported in writing to the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (LABAC) that approved bicycle lanes on Reseda Boulevard had been canceled because LADOT’s West Valley District planned “peak hour lane usage in near future.” The written plan for peak hour lanes was subsequently confirmed in a July phone conversation between LABAC chair Glenn Bailey and LADOT’s Ken Firoozmand.

Subsequently, in July and August 2009, your staff, including Ken Firoozmand, Bruce Gilman, and Carolyn Jackson denied that LADOT had plans for peak hour lanes for Reseda Boulevard. These LADOT staff stated that the LADOT plan for peak lanes was a “rumor” and that it was “not propagated” by LADOT.

It doesn’t surprise me that LADOT would favor a peak lane plan that would increase capacity for cars, indeed this is LADOT’s job and what LADOT has historically successfully focused on. What surprises me is that LADOT staff lied. Governmental agencies depend on the trust of the public to make our city work. When LADOT staff deny something that LADOT staff have already put in writing, this duplicity damages the public trust and makes it difficult for all of us to work together in the future.

I urge you to work with your staff to be honest, clear and transparent and to rebuild the public trust that their actions have strained. I also urge you to immediately implement the long-delayed bike lanes on Reseda Boulevard.


Joe Linton
Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee appointee for CD13
Green Los Angeles Transportation Working Group, Co-Chair
[street address], Los Angeles, CA 90004

Attachments: documentation of quotes herein.
cc: Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilmembers Garcetti, Rosendahl, Smith, and Zine

Attachments include:
1. LADOT’s June 2009 Bike Lane Projects Status – see item 8.
2. LAist’s August 13 2009 article: LADOT Says They’re Caught in Rumor Mill about Eliminating Bicycle Lanes

(FYI to blog readers: for some more background on this, see also L.A. Streetsblog and Biking in L.A.)


2 Responses to “Letter to LADOT GM Rita Robinson regarding Reseda Bike Lane issues”

  1. […] Cyclists Write to LADOT Concerning Reseda Bike Lane (Green LA Transportation Working Group) […]

  2. […] Joe Linton has written an open letter to Rita Robinson, General Manager of the LADOT, as well as Mayor Villaraigosa, Council President Garcetti, and […]

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