On January 29, 2019 dozens of local residents joined Councilmember Blumenfield and the Department of Transportation (LADOT) at their Open House on the Winnetka Avenue Street Improvements Project. This project would add a bicycle lane on Winnetka Avenue between Vanowen and Oxnard Streets, and connect existing bike lanes on Winnetka and Oxnard to the LA River Path, the Orange Line station and bike path, Pierce College, and the West Valley Occupational Center.
Since the Winnetka Ave. Bridge was widened several years ago, the Winnetka Neighborhood Council has fought to extend bicycle lanes, a discussion that began too late for Ignacio Sanchez Navarro who was struck and killed on the road in May 2017, while riding home from his job at a Ventura Blvd restaurant.
LADOT reported at the Open House on the benefits and drawbacks of extending the bicycle lane into this area. While the project would close a critical gap in the West Valley bike network and provide safety benefits, it could affect traffic at the Victory/Winnetka intersection during morning and evening rush hours. Blumenfield heard loud and clear from a number of constituents who had concerns about the segment between Victory and Oxnard.
At the moment, Team Blumenfield and LADOT are thoroughly analyzing public comments before they make a decision about the project. Road safety for bicyclists is an issue Councilmember Blumenfield takes very seriously and he is looking forward to making a decision that is fair and smart for the entire neighborhood.
Public comment on this project to the City closed on February 3. 2019.