LA Paves the Way to Closing Gap in 14-Mile Bicycle Network From Santa Monica to Exposition Park

The Expo Line Bikeway from Santa Monica Pier to USC and Explosion Park has long included a one-mile gap that can now be closed.

A note is shown on the pavement of a separated bikeway in Southern California.

Los Angeles is another step closer to a continuous 14-mile bicycle path network from the Santa Monica Pier to USC and Explosion Park.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to use eminent domain to take portions of eight properties, between Motor Avenue and Overland Avenue, to construct a 0.28-mile bike path as part of an effort to close a one-mile gap in the Expo Line Bikeway.

The move will close a gap in the 14-mile east-west bicycling network.

Carlos Rios, principal transportation engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said the city has already secured five of the 13 properties needed to close the gap, and the eight being voted on Tuesday were the last ones needed. The five already-secured properties were obtained by the city through negotiation settlements, not eminent domain, according to the City Attorney's Office.

"Once we implement this less-than-a-mile segment of the bicycle facility, we will have a continuous 14-mile facility that will allow cyclists to essentially commute from the Santa Monica Pier all the way to the USC/Exposition Park area,'' Rios told council members.

Eminent domain attorney Gary Kovacic, who represents five of the property owners, unsuccessfully requested a continuance before the vote. He added that his clients want the bike path to be narrower and farther from their homes. They also want the city to create a sound wall, he said.

The condemned areas of seven of the properties are ``restricted use utility easements'' where the owners were not allowed to build permanent structures because of a utility company's right to access and control the portion of land.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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