$30 Million for 2 Miles of Bike Beach Path or 1,000 Miles of City Bike Lanes? [Updated]

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Photo by highervision via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

That's the question Alex Thompson at Westside Bikeside is asking. A proposal by two Los Angeles councilmembers seeks $30 million in federal money to extend the Marvin Braude Bike Path—the 19 mile beach bicycle path between the South Bay and near the Santa Monica-L.A. border—by two more miles to the north. For Thompson, this is a questionable priority.

"Bike lanes cost $28,000 per mile, according to the City’s draft Bike Plan, so for $30 million dollars we would get just over 1000 miles of bike lane for the same price tag," says Thompson. "So, would you rather have 1000 miles of bike lane in the city, connecting people to destinations they want to go to, or $30 million spent on a bike path into the hills of Malibu?"

If the project gets funded, it will extend the path from its current terminus at Temescal Canyon Beach Parking Lot to Coastline Drive. Thompson says that $30 million is nearly half of what the city has spent on bicycles in the last 15 years.

Update: As commenters below have pointed out, the grant appears to be specifically for bike paths, now lanes. Thompson, however, contends it's not a good project. "The County rejected the project in 1995, and I’m sure that CalTrans and the Feds also like to get something significant for their money," he writes. "Secondly, is it responsible to be spending federal money on bike projects at a cost of $15 million per mile when the federal government has a gigantic deficit?"