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My Commute From Koreatown to UCLA by Bike

LA Metro Rapid 720 Bus on Wilshire Bus Lane

I live in Koreatown and commute to UCLA. I have a handful of routes that I can take to get there: I can drive, take the 720 Metro straight down Wilshire or ride my bike through residential streets. Now, I can also zip directly to campus on my bike in the Wilshire BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Bus Only lane. Each has its perks, but I'm waiting on a few things for the perfect commute.

I usually choose my bike over driving or taking transit. I like to ride on calm, low-traffic streets. I've found an easy, but curvy route to UCLA taking side streets. I take 8th Street for a significant portion and then jog over to Charleville Boulevard (one of my top five favorite streets to ride in LA). I love this route, but it's not as direct as would like.

The most direct option on my bike is straight down Wilshire Boulevard in the new BRT lane. This lane can almost feel like my own exclusive, oversized bike lane for about 8.5 miles. There are a few issues that don't make this route ideal though—one of which is that a huge number of drivers use this lane as their own straightaway as well. The lane is just wide enough that if I don't ride down the middle of the lane, cars squeeze past me. They also follow behind me a little too closely. Another issue with riding in the BRT lane is that the lane is fragmented along the route; it’s disrupted and suddenly ends in a few places along Wilshire. I feel extra vulnerable and even less safe when this happens.

In my ideal world, I want to ride down Wilshire in a BRT lane that is actually exclusively used for buses, bicyclists and cars turning right. I want to see the lane entirely connected from Western to Westwood Boulevard without any breaks in the paint. This would make my commute and my route direct, quick and stress-free.  

Photo Credit: Steve Hymon/LA Metro