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The Los Angeles City Council unanimously backed a $50 million plan for seismically retrofitting a bridge over the Los Angeles River, despite opposition from pedestrian and bicycling activists.

The council approved “option 1” for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, which includes four lanes, bike lines in both directions, and a pedestrian path north of the bridge.

The council’s 11-0 vote prompted some members of the audience to “boo” the decision. Critics of the plan were pushing for “option 3,” which calls for bike lanes and sidewalks in both directions, reducing the lanes from four to three, and a crosswalk with a signal on the east of the bridge.

The two council members whose districts include the bridge dismissed the third option and urged their colleagues to support option 1.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said the bridge is heavily used and a required connection for the nearby police station, and “to needlessly create a regional traffic jam five days a week because of a road diet is just folly.”

He said unlike earlier plans for the bridge that did not include bike lanes, the plan approved by the council Tuesday offered “a really good balance.”

Councilman LaBonge, who also supported option 1, said the bridge has always been and continues to be a route for trucks.

“It’s a truck route. There’s all kinds of trucks that travel there,” he said. “And now we are going to have bike lanes made of concrete that will be safe.”

Councilman-elect David Ryu, who will succeed the termed-out LaBonge in July, sided with the pedestrian and bicycle activists, recently submitting a letter to the city stating his support of option 3.

— City News Service

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