City wants to build at a rate of 40 miles per year

To some, a Los Angeles bike lane might sound like an oxymoron, but ABC news reports that the City of Angels has plans to build more than 1600 miles of cycling infrastructure.

The city authorities have agreed a cycling master plan which will create a cycling and walking network in a metropolis where the car has been the dominant mode of transport for nigh on a hundred years.

"Every time somebody's on a bicycle, they reduce traffic, they reduce pollution, so this is about changing our city streets to make it just as friendly to a bicyclist as it is to a driver," said L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti.

The rising cost of fuel is one of the reasons why civic authorities have been forced to create alternatives for citizens to get around the sprawling metropolis. The new master plan calls for the city to quadruple its bike lane construction programme, spending the modest-sounding sum of $3.7 million per annum on new cycling infrastructure.

The city’s mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, believes that where cycling is concerned it is high time Los Angeles caught up with the rest of the world.

He said: "I love to say that L.A. leads the country and the world in a number of areas but this hasn't been one of them.

"This will give L.A. an opportunity to be a world-class bicycling city, a city that encourages people to get out of their cars and onto bikes. The city has pledged to build 40 miles of bikeways in a year. That's four times more than what has been done in the past."