Main Street UCLA: A Timeline
May 2008 In his inauguration speech UCLA Chancellor Gene Block outlines a plan to "transform the life of our campus" by building staff and faculty housing on and near the campus to "reduce traffic, cut commuting costs and bring a new vitality to Westwood."
June 2010 First elections held for the Westwood Neighborhood Council. A group called Westwoodbruins (Brozen, Freedman, Matute) does not receive enough votes. Since then the elected NC has aligned itself very closely with homeowner groups in the neighborhood and has repeatedly voted against any bicycle infrastructure on Westwood Boulevard. They say: "We support bicycles, but it is just not safe on Westwood Blvd."
Feb 2013 Ryan Snyder of Ryan Snyder Associates prepares a number of road design options for the LACBC, including one which involves a flexible use of road-space (floating bike-lanes) in same areas.
LADOT public hearing about planned bicycle infrastructure. It has been called "the single most unpleasant bike meeting". The convenience of drivers and the safety of cyclists collide head-on. Since then, the tone and level of understanding at such meetings has much improved.
May 2013 Calla Wiemer puts out the first of her studies on Bicycle Endangerment on Westwood Blvd. She also conducts an analysis of parking on Westwood Blvd which shows that on-street parking constitutes only a small percentage of overall parking supply on this street.
Nov 2013 After much agitation by home owner groups, Koretz "kills" the study necessary to install bike facilities. Such direct intervention by a City Councilman with LADOT has been traditionally tolerated by the city council. Some familiar with administrative policies call this an undemocratic and ineffective procedure. Because strategic transportation decisions require a much wider vision than the limited scope characteristic of localized home owner groups.
Autumn 2013 LACBC starts the Ride Westwood Campaign and organises a series of meetings of the Bicycle Ambassador Program
Nov 2013 Connecting UCLA, a web-site produced by Mark Vanwenendal, highlights the barriers faced by cyclists trying to reach UCLA
Bicycle supporters speak at LA City Hall against Koretz's decision and demand a fair and honest study about implementing bicycle infrastructure on Westwood Blvd.
UCLA Bicycle Academy and Bicycle Coalition at UCLA meet Keith Watson, the Vice-Chancellor for Government and Community Relations, discussing the need for bike lanes for UCLA commuters.
Jan 2014 UCLA Bicycle Academy and Bicycle Coalition at UCLA meet with Jay Greenstein, Transportation Deputy for Koretz, at the office of the Chancellor for Government and Community Relations, again discussing the need for bike lanes for UCLA commuters.
Bicycle Coalition at UCLA conducts Bike Counts
Jan 2014 Letter by Prof David Eisenberg addressed to Chancellor Gene Block requests the establishment of a Healthy Campus Access Committee. The letter has been signed by two UCLA Nobel Prize winning scientists and about 100 additional faculty, staff and students.
Jan 2014 A Public Records request yields documents from Koretz office which throw some light on the pressure exerted by home owner groups on Koretz. Leader of the opposition are Marilyn Cohon (speaking for some residents who are part of the Westwood South of Santa Monica HOA), Janet Reichmann (Comstock Hills), and Lisa Chapman, who holds the UCLA Faculty / Staff seat on the Westwood NC. Some notes on how the bikelane was killed have been presented here.
March 2014 Offer Grembek et al publish Safetrec Berkeley report A Comparative Analysis of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Around University Campuses. It includes data for Westwood collisions involving people on bikes for which no police reports were generated.
June 2014 Mayor Garcetti includes Westwood Blvd (between Wilshire and Le Conte) in his Great Streets Initiative, which represents a broader agenda to activate public spaces, provide economic revitalization, increase public safety, enhance local culture, and support great neighborhoods. Additional funding for Great Streets is made available.
Nov 2014 In response to Koretz' intervention against bike lanes, Ryan Snyder of Ryan Snyder Associates develops the "Remove Nothing Plan." This plan was not commissioned by a local agency. It was "donated" to the Westwood community and has since helped to overcome the absence of an official planning process, since Koretz stopped LADOT from proceeding.
Nov 2014 Deans of the UCLA medical school (Prof Eugene Washington, Prof Linda Sarna) co-publish letter in Huffington Post arguing in support healthy and sustainable modes in the vicinity of UCLA, especially on Westwood Blvd
Dec 2014 UCLA Bicycle Academy requests that the statement by the deans of the Medical School be discussed at a meeting of the Westwood Neighborhood Council. Report here.
|Prof Linda Sarna, Dean of the School of Nursing, addressing Westwood NC|
Jan 2015 Westwood Community Council hosts a well organised meeting around Ryan Snyders proposal ("Remove Nothing Plan"). The meeting remains respectful and collaborative. Objections become more technical, focus on difficulty on how to mix bikes with buses, right turn movements etc
Local Business which support bike lanes in Westwood:(as of 26 Feb 2015)
Gizelle Strohkendl, Muriel Chastanet Jewelers, 1111 Glendon Ave "would like to endorse the marking and creating of bicycle lanes to and from this university town to help alleviate traffic and parking and to make our roads safer for all."
"I think bike lanes are always good to have. I don't see why there should be an issue."
Ben Keith, Manager, Urban Outfitters, Westwood Blvd
"We shall be very glad to have bike lanes everywhere."
Shoba Basabanag, Manager, Ahhs, Westwood Blvd
"I think bike lanes in Westwood and in the city are a good idea. We have a new bike parking corral on Broxton and we encourage cycling."
Emmanuel Bautista, on site manager, Westwood Village Farmers Market
"I don't see why not."
Michelle Rhine, Managing Partner, California Pizza Kitchen. (CPK operates a bicycle delivery service in the village)
"We need bike lanes, yes, but I don't think Westwood Blvd is the best street for it. I think bike lanes are better on Gayley."
Fred Silver, Manager, Bel Air Camera
"A great idea."
Linda Goss, UCLA Blood & Platelet Center, Gayley Ave
"I just wish there was a bike lane."
Joe, Westwood Wireless
"One of our employees comes to work with a bike. He would be much safer with bike lanes."
Luis Benites, Radio Shack, Westwood Blvd
"I see the buses and the cars here and I have to say Westwood Blvd is not an ideal street for cyclists. It sees quite a bit of traffic. The side-roads are probably safer. But the cyclists are not going away, so we better make some bike lanes to make it safer for them"
Andrew Olson, Mayhem Smoke Shop, Westwood Blvd
"We would love any kind of help in Westwood. If it was safer to go down Westwood Blvd with a bike we would also profit from it."
Veronica Clarke, Owner, Capelli Lounge, Gayley Ave
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Velo Club La Grange
Bike Counts: http://www.callawiemer.com/Documents/BikesonWestwoodatLeConte.pdf