Los Angeles neighborhoods may be known for having the worst traffic in the country, but that may be changing for the better as the city’s car culture is slowly starting to shift toward a bike culture. Many communities within LA are becoming more bike-friendly to ease traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions.
Now with a total of 593 miles of bikeways and more than 6,500 bike racks throughout the county, nearly 20,000 residents bicycle to work daily, according to the LADOT Bike Program. If you’re looking for bike-friendly communities, check out LADOT’s interactive bike map and the following Los Angeles neighborhoods:
1. Santa Monica
Bicycling is one of the best ways to get around in Santa Monica, which is a perfect fit for the community’s healthy, active lifestyle. Getting around the area without a car is also a top reason why out-of-town visitors choose to stay here. Many resources throughout Santa Monica make it a breeze to bike through its neighborhoods, including repair shops, parking, lockers, showers, and bike rental and sharing programs. Even if they don’t usually commute by bicycle, people who work in Santa Monica can make local trips using bikes through the Bikes @ Work program.
Neighboring Venice is also a very walkable and bikeable suburb, with access to public transportation and bike-share kiosks that are run by the same system as the one in Santa Monica. Not only does the popular bike path along Venice Beach make way for bicyclists, but new bike lanes along Main Street allow for cars, buses and bikes to share the road more safely.
For those who live and work downtown, which is already considered the most walkable neighborhood, commuting by bike within the heart of the city will soon be more accessible. Los Angeles plans to roll out a bike share program, as well as protected bike lanes on Main and Spring streets. Additionally, bike corrals and repair stations with tools will be available for minor bike repairs and to help support ridership.
The first program of its kind, the Bike-Friendly Business District in Eagle Rock and Highland Park aims to make business corridors along Northeast LA’s Colorado Boulevard, York Boulevard, Eagle Rock Boulevard, and North Figueroa Street more bike friendly. The program will add bike lanes, buffered lanes, bike racks, bike repair stations, bikeway maps and signage to the area. To boost sales and cut down on pollution, local businesses may even be willing to offer discounts and incentives to bicycling employees.
5. Long Beach
While Long Beach may be a fairly walkable city, you’ll have an easier time cruising this beach city on your bike. Long Beach, which is ranked as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S., just launched its bike-share program, which will eventually include as many as 500 bikes and 50 different bike stations. Other amenities, such as bike racks installed in front of local restaurants and shops, protected bike lanes in Long Beach’s downtown area, bicycle boulevards and placing stations where people can connect to the metro Blue Line, will encourage ridership.
Many exciting changes are underway to make Los Angeles neighborhoods less congested and more accessible by bicycle. It certainly helps to live closer to your workplace to cut down on your commute time, and living in a bike-friendly community can make all the difference. If you’re ready to start your home search in one of these forward-thinking neighborhoods, head to Owners.com.