NORTHRIDGE (CBSLA.com) — Northridge is converting a major thoroughfare to make it safer for bicyclists.

Parked cars on a 1-mile stretch of Reseda Boulevard will act as a buffer between traffic and bike lanes so cyclists are next to the curb instead of moving vehicles.

Los Angeles’ first parking-protected bike lines are being built on the west side of Reseda, between Parthenia and Plummer streets.

The project is part of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative to improve traffic flow and safety in the area.

CBS2/KCAL9’s Rachel Kim spoke with CSUN student Malavika Hegde as she was riding her bike to class: “It’s a very good idea, very convenient for bikers.”

“I feel that it’s safe to bike on the sidewalk. But now that we have these things, I think I’ll be using them,” Hegde said.

Northridge resident Weizon Chiang said, “Biking is dangerous here in the 818.”

He got the 411 about the protected lanes from signs that explain the new striping.

“Why the hesitation? Why don’t you think you’ll use it?” Kim asked.

“Because the sidewalk is there. Plus, it’s in the street. Yeah, there’s a barricade but the sidewalk is safer,” Chiang replied.

Avid cyclist Dave Siegel believes the lanes will create more traffic congestion: “There’s gonna double-double yellow lines, so nobody’s going to be able to turn left out of driveways onto the street and nobody’s going to be able to turn into the driveways.”

Rigo Viscarra, the owner of the Cycle Shop on Reseda Blvd, says the lanes will be good for business because they will get more people on their bikes.

“When people want to ride, if they have an old bike they’re going to bring it in and fix it. If somebody wants to get into cycling, they’ll come back and buy,” Viscarra said.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-April and will include spruced up sidewalks and street furniture.

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