LOS ANGELES (CBS)  — Crews started work on removing one car lane in each direction on a stretch of Main Street in Venice and putting in bike Friday.

The “road diet” will run between Winward Circle and Marine Street at the border with Santa Monica, an area that includes a newly opened Google office and a popular dog park.

The Department of Transportation will re-stripe the road to add about a mile of bike lane in each direction and a new, shared central car lane for turning in either direction. Parking lanes on each side will stay the same.

The project was expected to cost $50,800, according LADOT’s bike blog.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the district and chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, said the project will likely cause some traffic back-ups during rush hour, but will be mitigated by the center turning lane.

The new configuration will be safer for cars and cyclists, Rosendahl said.

“We are laying the foundation for a truly multi-modal system here in Los Angeles that will offer people a choice to travel by bike, bus or automobile, or even on foot,” Rosendahl said. “Whatever your mode of transportation, the road diet will aid in congestion management and build, safer healthier communities.”

The bike lanes will be a welcome addition to the already bike-friendly community, said Josh Harper, a manager at the Firehouse Restaurant and Bar on Main Street.

A recent LADOT bike count tallied 730 cyclists on the road during a six-hour period.

Harper said he is not worried there will be negative effects to the restaurant’s business during peak hours. “I can’t imagine traffic will really back up too much here,” Harper said.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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