Council OKs test project to add bike lanes on Fountain Ave.

West Hollywood City Council approved a pilot project to install protected bike lanes on Fountain Ave. in spite of fierce opposition from residents who turned up to their Monday night meeting in droves.

“I own an incredible Rockhopper bike and I cannot wait to take Fountain,” Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne said.

The motion by Councilmember John D’Amico passed 5-0, with Mayor Lauren Meister expressing the greatest concerns.

“My goal is to make Fountain just safer, period — for pedestrians, making the sidewalks wider and and making it so that cars aren’t speeding through and going over the curves and actually going into people’s yards,” Meister said.

She believed that city staff’s failure to include a proper measure of how Fountain Ave. residents felt about the proposal left her with inadequate information to make an informed decision.

“We still don’t have answers on where displaced parkers are going to go,” she said. “And I just would hope that that would be something you would find out and fix before we start this pilot.”

The two plans Council debated would both cause a reduction in parking spaces and might leave the road with only two lanes of vehicular traffic. Embarking on any construction project on Fountain Ave. will force the city to upgrade its sidewalks, almost all of which are noncompliant with ADA standards.

Council’s decision sets the sidewalk improvements in motion. The bike lane additions and parking space removals are part of the pilot project, and so those plans may not be made permanent if the pilot is deemed unsuccessful.

“I’m completely in support of option one (protected bike lanes),” Councilmember John Erickson said. “I understand that change is not easy. It’s hard. But I promise you, if it saves one life, it’s worth the reward.”

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Brandon Garcia is editor of WEHOville. He oversees the website's editorial direction and creates original content such as news reports, photo and video features, digital art work and advertisements. A native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, he now lives in WeHo and is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. @brandoninthebubble on Instagram

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Mark
Mark
33 minutes ago

So you’re going to reduce parking and make an already narrow extremely high traffic road even more narrow? In a city where no one rides bikes because nothing is close by. Get off your green horse and come back to reality and stop this madness.

pat russell
pat russell
1 day ago

Tried to watch the Council meeting last Monday, but it kept fading in and out. It was Channel 10 as there was no problem to the rest of Spectrum. Might want to put some money into that problem.

I live on Fountain and I never got a frigging survey………

Did not hear one person address the dumpsters and the fact they they are staggered on emptying days. Are they going in the bike lane or are they going to be pushed into the one lane of traffic??? I’m sure one of you Big Brains considered that……

Olen
Olen
1 day ago

Can’t wait! Fountain is a freeway. End it.

Edie
Edie
2 days ago

We are screwed. Anyone who isn’t rich or retired is going to be stuck in an even worse parking lot than they already are. That’ll be good for the environment. Thousands of cars at a standstill… just pimping out exhaust for all the residents of weho to inhale. But hey… at least the half a dozen bike riders that pedal down Fountain will be happy.

Davedi
Davedi
2 days ago

Betty Davis must be turning in her grave.

Outraged
Outraged
2 days ago

West Hollywood had the chance to elect John Duran, who opposed changing Fountain, and they blew it. You get what you vote for.

Mike Carter
Mike Carter
4 days ago

It was the “naysayers”, back when Fountain Avenue was changed from two lanes to four, that turned out to be right. Then, Fountain Avenue became Fountain Freeway, the most un-walkable and unworkable stretch of pavement in our City. Disembarking from West Hollywood eastward, Fountain remains two lanes trailing off into the hills, but we became doormat and corridor for through-traffic. Innately, it is a competition for through-traffic to see who can get from one end of the Avenue to the other first as it slices through residential neighborhood. Motorists jockey for position, in and out of lanes, executing some of… Read more »

FED UP HOMEOWNER
FED UP HOMEOWNER
2 days ago
Reply to  Mike Carter

I don’t know where you get your fake news but the Patch posted this fact “23-year-old man was killed Aug. 2, 2007, at Fountain Avenue and Kings Road.” was the last reported fatality so unless you have different info…

FED UP HOMEOWNER
FED UP HOMEOWNER
2 days ago
Reply to  Mike Carter

Please disregard my comment I misread/misunderstood your statement and I apologize. What happened to your neighbor is just terrible but pedestrian accidents unfortunately happen on all East West thoroughfares including wider Sunset, Santa Monica and Melrose. The Patch posted this fact “23-year-old man was killed Aug. 2, 2007, at Fountain Avenue and Kings Road.” was the last reported fatality…

Terry Oleson
Terry Oleson
2 days ago
Reply to  Mike Carter

Mike Carter, I am not sure how old you are, or how long that you have lived in West Hollywood, but I have lived in West Hollywood since 1973, and I grew up on the west side of L.A. since 1950. Fountain Ave. has always been a convenient automobile traffic throughway for the thousands of motorists who use it every day, The whole city of Los Angles is not a bicycle friendly city, and it is totally foolish to think it ever will be. The narrow streets of L.A. were laid out back in the 1920s, and became even more… Read more »

Olen
Olen
1 day ago
Reply to  Terry Oleson

It can be a bike friendly city.

Craig
Craig
1 day ago
Reply to  Olen

Agreed. 25 years ago a large section of Silverlake Blvd was reduced from 4 lanes to 2 to accommodate bicycle lanes. Residents cried bloody murder at the time — and I, being one, was also opposed — but it actually turned out fine. Traffic was barely affected, parking spaces were preserved, and the activists’ notion of “traffic smoothing” was remarkably on target. Silverlake Blvd is obviously still heavily used for commuting but now it doesn’t feel you’re taking a bodily risk to drive or cycle through it.

Todd
Todd
1 day ago
Reply to  Terry Oleson

@Terry Oleson – I’ve lived in LA all my life and in WeHo since 1990 and thanks for stating what should be obvious. Fountain has always been the faster east-west street for as long as I can remember. I don’t know when it was ever 4 real lanes as the buildings along Fountain have been there for at least 60 year or longer. LA is never going to be a bike-friendly city, no matter how many “road diets” or new stripes are put in. I’ve always taken Bette Davis’ advice. I got admonished by a scofflaw bike rider on Fountain… Read more »

Christopher Roth
Christopher Roth
5 days ago

Thank you for taking this step toward giving Fountain Ave back to the neighborhood. The only other thing I would suggest is to reduce the speed limit to 30 MPH. I’m looking forward to the day that street racing and excessive speeding ends on this residential street.

Linda Cauthen
5 days ago

That sounds promising but old habits die hard and drivers who’ve been speeding down Fountain for decades aren’t going to suddenly follow the rules just because they’re posted on a sign. And what’s to keep the motorists out of the bike lanes? Unless they put up guard rails on both sides from La Cienega to Sycamore, impatient drivers are going to swerve over into the bike lanes to make better time.

Christopher Roth
Christopher Roth
3 days ago
Reply to  Linda Cauthen

The bike lanes in option 1 are protected so cars cannot cross into them. Also there is new speed cushion technology available that allows emergency vehicles to pass but cars and trucks cannot, Here is a similar program for info, https://www.ashevillenc.gov/news/speed-cushions-coming-to-hazel-mill-road-in-west-asheville/

Terry Oleson
Terry Oleson
2 days ago

Christopher Roth, what reality are you living in. West Hollywood is not a quaint little town in Kansas. L.A. has been a car city since the 1920s. It might be nice if you could go back in time and rescue the red trolley car system that you can still see in 1920s silent movies, but I doubt that time travel is one of your intellectual skills. “How do you get to Hollywood> Take Fountain!” is one of Bette Davis most memorable lines, along with “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” No matter how much you… Read more »

FED UP HOMEOWNER
FED UP HOMEOWNER
5 days ago

Who is in charge of this group? Is there a leader here that organized the protest or needs help with stopping this nonsensical woke stupidity? Can this be blocked with a court injunction? Even though there was just an election can we start the process of forcing a special election to allow the residents to decide if such a preposterous bad decision could be allowed? How can Shyne and Erickson be recalled or replaced? I found online it’s estimated that various segments of one major protected bike lane project ranged from $2 million to $4.3 million per mile. Have they both… Read more »

Awake-and-Sing
Awake-and-Sing
5 days ago

The candidate who opposed to bike lanes and ADA compliant sidewalks for Fountain Ave. finished in sixth place. – Moving on…

FED UP HOMEOWNER
FED UP HOMEOWNER
2 days ago
Reply to  Awake-and-Sing

You’re joking, right? There was no public vote on this impossibly stupid fantasy of a bad idea to create massively impossible unlivable congestion and traffic for the masses to please a few. If you want to fight climate change move to Washington DC and if you really must ride a bike East West use Santa Monica Blvd.

Terry Oleson
Terry Oleson
2 days ago
Reply to  Awake-and-Sing

Whoever Awake and Sing is, the last election did not for ask a specific referendum on the use of Fountain Ave. The vast majority of WeHo residents use Fountain Ave. every day to get to the city of L.A. that totally surrounds us. No rational person would believe that after 100 years of use by automobiles that we will now switch to using bicycles. Sepi Shine, and her pawn John Ericson, might like to ride small bikes, but most people who live here have an actual job outside the confines of our small town, and biking there is completely unreasonable.… Read more »

TomSmart
TomSmart
6 days ago

Why is our vision so short-sighted??? Let’s just go ahead and shutdown Fountain altogether like the 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica and plant trees, flowers, add a stream and have bunnies, deer, Care Bears and unicorns frolicking down the lane?????

Edie
Edie
2 days ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Perfect idea. But why start there…. let’s do the same with Santa Monica blvd and Melrose as well. And let’s give everyone free bikes so they can ride around all day. Everyone should just quit their jobs and enjoy Fountain Ave! Woo Hoo!

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[…] weekend is over. ………In a shocking choice, the West Hollywood Metropolis Council voted unanimously to install a pilot protected bike lane project on Fountain Ave, overcoming fierce opposition to the proposal.Mayor Lauren Meister summed up her cause for voting […]

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[…] a surprising decision, the West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously to install a pilot protected bike lane project on Fountain Ave, overcoming fierce opposition to the […]

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