Addressing the Concerns of Local 4th Street Residents

Update: There has been some confusion regarding the draft concept treatments. Again, these images are concepts, only. To date, no design work has been completed as DOT continues the public outreach process. We have created a new draft concept for Highland/4th that we feel more clearly represents the intersection(s) at Rossmore and Highland. This new image highlights the signal head for the bicycle/pedestrian actuated signal on 4th Street. Regarding turn movements onto 4th St. from Highland or Rossmore; there will be no restriction on turn movements (right or left) onto 4th Street from either Highland or Rossmore. The only restrictions will be for through movements on 4th through Highland or Rossmore (motor-vehicles will be forced to make a right while bicycles and pedestrians are unrestricted).

A New Concept

Since Bicycle Friendly Street’s are a new concept for the City of Los Angeles, local residents may have some questions about the effects of various treatments. We here at the LADOT Bike Program are happy to address any questions and concerns that residents may have concerning the Bicycle Friendly Street pilot project. We encourage residents to attend local meetings, or if you can’t make those, feel free to leave us a comment on the blog and we will be sure to pass your concerns on to the appropriate staff. Below the fold we discuss the rationale for bike friendly treatments and present concepts for 4th/Highland and 4th/New Hampshire. Also, before we continue, just a friendly reminder that these concepts do not represent final designs and are merely intended to help visualize potential treatments.

Current conditions on 4th approaching Highland from the east via Google Maps

A Bicycle Friendly 4th Street

The 4th Street Bicycle Friendly Street pilot project will look to transform 4th between Cochran and Hoover into a more accommodating street for bicyclists and pedestrians. The goal of a Bicycle Friendly Street is to offer bicyclists a continuous, calmer, safer alternative to major thoroughfares. In order to accomplish this goal, bicycles and pedestrians must be able to cross major intersections with ease. The proposed bicycle and pedestrian activated traffic signals at Rossmore and Highland will do just that. These signals will be synchronized with the existing traffic signals at Wilshire, 3rd, and 6th to ensure continued efficient throughput throughout the corridor. This basically means that the pedestrian/bicycle call will be in sync with the other traffic signals along Highland and Rossmore, respectively. Bikes and pedestrians will benefit from being able to safely cross two heavily trafficked streets, while not adversely effecting motor-vehicle traffic on Highland and Rossmore.

Highland / 4th Concept

NEW DRAFT CONCEPT for 4th Street approaching Highland from the west

With respect to turn movements at these intersections, Bicycle Friendly Streets require slower vehicular speeds in order to create a calmer, safer environment for bikes, pedestrians and other neighborhood users. Traffic calming measures (roundabouts, chicanes, diverters, etc) may help ensure that cars do not speed on 4th Street. By restricting through movements for vehicles on 4th Street (requiring right turns), proposed BFS treatments will discourage drivers from using 4th as a cut-through street. To find out more about Bicycle Friendly Streets, we encourage everyone to check out the L.A. City Bike Plan’s Technical Design Handbook, and to review our past BFS series titled “Anatomy of a Bicycle Friendly Street.”

Draft concept for a round-a-bout at 4th and New Hampshire

0 replies
  1. damienn
    damienn says:

    Have you guys thought of putting together some video of people in Long Beach’s Vista Street talking about the Bike Boulevard on their street? The love it! Even the ones that don’t ride bikes…

  2. Ross Hirsch
    Ross Hirsch says:

    Those are great illustrations showing infrastructure improvements. Thanks for posting them.

    Why has LA has yet to paint any of those large green and/or blue bike markings on the pavement (whether to designate bike lanes or intersection bike boxes) as has been done in cities such as New York, London, Long Beach, etc. See here for some good illustrations:

    Also, someone should include a link to this post in the comments section of this survey created by certain residents here: This information would be helpful in that debate. (I would but I’ve already taken the 2-question poll, so I’m locked out.)

    • JoJo Pewsawang
      JoJo Pewsawang says:

      Hey Ross,

      We are happy to report that LA may be getting colored bike lanes in the not to distant future! Colored bike lanes have just received “interim approval” from the Federal Highway Administration and the California Traffic Control Devices Committee is considering approval at this time. The agencies must approve treatments before they can be used in a non-experimental way. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as we move forward with colored bike lane projects.

      • Ross Hirsch
        Ross Hirsch says:

        That is great news–thanks for the update. There has been a lot of progress lately here on LA’s streets, and this would work well to further that progress. Very much looking forward to its implementation.

  3. JenniX
    JenniX says:

    It would be trivial to mark 4th Street as “bicycles and local traffic only” at major intersections. That in and of itself would have a significant effect on traffic without requiring physical changes, even after allowing for vehicles which ignore such signage.

  4. Carter R
    Carter R says:

    Recognizing that the top image is just a potential treatment, I’d still like to note my strong disapproval if any treatment that only provides one crosswalk accross Highland and thus forces pedestrians on the south side of 4th Street to make *three* crossings.

    Otherwise, things look good!

  5. Justin
    Justin says:

    Thank you for the updates on the 4th St. Bike Boulevard project. I like these plans and think that the solution for Highland/Rossmore fairly addresses the needs of bicyclists, motorists, and neighborhood residents. I like the idea of adding color bike markings where appropriate, prominent signage for the boulevard, and finally hope that the landscaping on Highland could include drought-tolerant plants, if possible.

  6. C
    C says:

    Dear Sirs,
    How will residents who live between 3rd and Wilshire and Highland Ave and Rossmore be able to get home ie turn into the neighborhood? If you are traveling south down Highand, you will not be able to turn at 3rd, now 4th, 6th or Wilshire? This will effect for hundreds of homes?
    Your reported survey showed only 15 cyclists per hour traveling down 4th at rush hours. Perhaps a lighted crosswalk is a better alternative, one that will allow cyclists to cross but also allow people to get to their homes instead of being forced to cut into the interior streets at 1st or 2nd and then try to cross over 3rd to get home…

  7. Nate Baird
    Nate Baird says:

    Hi C,

    Thanks for contributing to the conversation. The treatments as they are currently proposed would not restrict left or right turn movements from Highland or Rossmore onto 4th Street.

    The only restriction would be to through movements on 4th (you would be required to make a right).

    Additionally, the signals at Rossmore and Highland would be Bicycle/Pedestrian Signals that would only be activated when people walking or riding bicycles need to cross. There will be a neighborhood meeting in September/October to discuss the particulars of this project, and to answer any other questions


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] and followed up with a petition that attracted over 200 signatures in an effort to beat off bicycle and pedestrian signal lights at two dangerous intersections, 4th and Highland and 4th and Rossmore. Their combined effort spooked Councilman LaBonge’s […]

  2. […] proposed bike/ped signals were to address the two toughest intersections for bicyclists to cross on 4th St. between Cochran Ave. and Hoover St.; the intersections would have been designed to […]

  3. […] The Dept of Transportation has visual renderings of the proposed changes on their blog: LA DOT Bike Blog […]

  4. […] it looks like someone else is going to win that Streetsblog T-shirt, dammit. LADOT attempts to address the concerns of local residents regarding the planned 4th Street Bike Boulevard. The LACBC’s City of Lights partners with LA […]

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