We have great news for everyone who cycles in Downtown Los Angeles– the construction of a protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street (from 1st Street to Alameda Street) has been completed. Woo-hoo!
On June 16, a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Los Angeles Street Improvement Project was hosted by CD 14 Councilmember Jose Huizar, LA Public Works Commissioner Kevin James, Deputy Mayor Barbara Romero, and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. During the ceremony, a group of people rode Metro Bike Share bicycles on the newly enhanced Los Angeles Street.
The protected bike lane, featuring the city’s first side boarding islands and bicycle signals, will make bicycling safer and more comfortable from the city’s civic core to Union Station. The following image slider show the “Before and After” scenarios of the project area.
Special Design Features of the new Los Angeles Street
As the first street in Los Angeles to implement design elements from the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Los Angeles Street brings several unique roadway design features that are new to the city:
Bus platforms that “float” in the middle of roadway are named side boarding islands. Those who bike in urban environments know how frustrating it is to navigate the bike lane while buses weave in and out to reach their bus stops. According to NACTO , side boarding islands eliminate “conflicts between transit vehicles and bikes at stops.” Like the sound of that? Well, these bus platforms will also be implemented on Figueroa Street after the construction of MyFigueroa Project .
Two bicycle signal heads are now installed, with one at the Temple Street intersection and another at the Aliso Street intersection. These signals dedicate a separate signal phase to bicycles, which will reduce conflicts between right-turning vehicles and bicycles that travel through the intersection.
At the intersection of Los Angeles Street & 1st Street, and the intersection of Los Angeles Street & Temple Street, there are Two-Stage Turn Queue Boxes . This street treatment allows people on bikes to make safer left turns. As the name suggests, when trying to make left turns, bicycles should proceed to the bike box area first and then wait for another green signal to bike to the left leg of the intersection.
Image Source: NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide
Upcoming active transportation projects will continue to make DTLA more bicycle-friendly
The Los Angeles Street Improvements Project is only one part of the larger scheme to improve the connectivity of Union Station and Civic Center. Metro finalized the Connect US Action Plan in 2015, which provides guidance to implement better pedestrian and bicycle facilities connecting Civic Center, Union Station, and neighborhoods such as Little Tokyo and Chinatown.
And, there are a lot of active transportation projects to be implemented this summer. The Metro Regional Bike Share Project has begun to install its stations and will formally launch on July 7. The long-expected MyFigueroa Project, which features similar roadway improvements to Los Angeles Street (bus platforms, bike signal heads, etc), is beginning construction this summer as well.
As more and more active transportation enhancements get implemented, DTLA will become a better place for people to enjoy walking and cycling!
Exciting things keep happening for the future of mobility in Los Angeles! Some of you who have been following mobility planning and implementation in the City may be wondering when Mobility Plan 2035, the primary planning document that guides planning and implementation of mobility for the City, could take effect. Well you are in luck! On Tuesday, August 4th, the LA City Council Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management Committees will consider the decision to adopt the Plan at 2:30pm in Council Chambers.
If urban planning and government are not your profession, you might be wondering what a plan is, why we use them, or how you can learn more. Planning documents are developed (this one has been in development for nearly 4 years!) with an extensive process of outreach, studies, socio-economic forecasting, visioning, and strategic planning in order to guide unified decision making in the future. Plans are not set in stone, but they provide goals (aspirations in vision) and objectives (ways of achieving the vision) that the City can pursue to achieve a desired future. Once adopted, Mobility Plan 2035 will become part of the City’s General Plan and provide policy and implementation guidance for LA streets for the next 20 years.
Mobility Plan 2035 is especially dynamic and groundbreaking in that it represents the first time Complete Streets policies and guidance will be reflected in the City’s General Plan! Complete Streets are considered streets that provide safe access for all users. Mobility Plan 2035 includes a Complete Streets Design Guide that provides decision makers, departments, and the broader community a number of options for public rights of way (streets!) to achieve safe mobility access for people of all ages and abilities.
Next Tuesday August 4th at 2:30pm the LA City Council Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management Committees will consider the decision to adopt the the Mobility Plan 2035, the key planning document for mobility and streets in the City of Los Angeles. If the Committees vote to adopt the Plan, then the Plan will be heard at full City Council for final Plan adoption, the last step in the adoption process!
We’d like to tell you a little more about the Plan! Planning documents can be policy game-changers, and some of the substantial policy directives found in Mobility Plan 2035 are outlined in its Chapters:
- Safety First
- World Class Infrastructure
- Access to All Angelenos
- Collaboration, Communication and Informed Choices
- Clean Environment & Healthy Communities
Mobility Plan 2035 provides a vision of integrated transportation networks for all road users. The Plan especially focuses on safe, low stress networks that encourage more people to embrace modes of active transportation, whether it be biking, walking, strolling, rollerblading, skating or more.
The plan also establishes objectives to measure success, including objectives to decrease transportation-related fatalities; establish slow school zones; provide frequent, reliable on-time bus arrival; increase vehicular travel time reliability; expand bicycle ridership; expand access to shared-use vehicles; share real time information to inform travel choices; and increase economic productivity by lowering the overall cost of travel.
If Mobility Plan 2035 is achieved, it would take 219,000 trips off of our roads every day, and result in 1.7 million fewer miles traveled every day, which would be great for our health, our commute, and the health of our environment! Full implementation of the Plan would triple the number of Los Angeles residents living within a quarter mile of a Transit Enhanced Network (TEN) facility and would more than double the number of jobs located within a quarter mile of such transit facilities.
Don’t forget, on Tuesday, August 4th, the LA City Council Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management Committees will consider the decision to adopt the Mobility Plan 2035 at 2:30pm in Council Chambers. The meeting is open to the public and speaker cards will be available for those who wish to comment.
Approximately 17 advocates, stakeholders, and City staff were present at the last BPIT meeting on October 1st in the Controller’s Office Conference Room in City Hall East. The workshop included discussion on the prioritization of the Neighborhood Streets Network as part of the new Mobility Plan 2035.
Michelle Mowery from LADOT gave a brief implementation update announcing the successful installation of three miles of new buffered bicycle lanes on Colorado Boulevard. In addition to the ‘Dodgers Bus Lane’ along Sunset Boulevard, this is the first major project to be installed as part of the First Year of the Five Year Implementation Strategy (and recently joined by 7th St). The buffered bicycle lanes installed along Colorado Boulevard are a critical phase in completing the 2010 Bicycle Plan Backbone Bicycle Network in the Northeast Area.
Neighborhood Network Prioritization Exercise
Building off of previous BPIT workshop activities related to neighborhood streets, David Somers, from Department of City Planning presented draft maps of priority backbone and neighborhood streets networks that are proposed to be included in Mobility Plan 2035. The five priority network maps represent five geographies of the City that include Central-East LA, South LA, West LA, the Valley and the Harbor. The intent of the maps is to highlight a subset of the Backbone and Neighborhood Networks that demonstrate high network connectivity, and to select those facilities to prioritize, in addition to the grading criteria, in the Bicycle Plan implementation process.
BPIT members asked questions after the presentation of the prioritized network maps. BPIT participants discussed the feasibility of some of the treatment design options, the importance of connecting to transit stations, if the priority network would present a disconnect between implemented facilities and what is used by bicycle riders, and if the Mobility Plan is the right planning level to select priority lanes given the fine grain details and neighborhood support needed to select the routes that should receive the neighborhood street treatments. Participants also expressed desire for a network performance metric for proposed or installed bicycle facilities.
BPIT participants then divided and gathered around tables organized by the geographies, and added their feedback on priority network maps, adding notes of the constraints and opportunities presented by the specific neighborhood network corridors.
Active Streets LA
Eric Bruins from LACBC announced an upcoming Active Streets LA workshop on October 19th at Budlong Elementary School. Active Streets LA is a partnership with LACBC, Trust South LA and LADOT, whose aim is to work with community members in South LA to create safe walking and bicycle routes along their neighborhood streets.