Maybe Modifying the CicLAvia Route – Part 2: West End

December 9, 2010 at 7:20 am 14 comments

The west end of the 10-10-10 CicLAvia route - mostly on New Hampshire Avenue

Yesterday we explored some possible modifications to the Boyle Heights end of the 10-10-10 CicLAvia route, today let’s take a look at the west end of the route through Koreatown and East Hollywood to the Bicycle District – and explore what we might change for the upcoming April 10th 2011 event.

We definitely want to hear from you, but the yesterday’s article’s disclaimers apply here as well:

This isn’t a vote or a poll… it’s input. Ultimately the CicLAvia non-profit board will be working with various route stakeholders, neighborhood councils, community groups, city of Los Angeles staff, Metro, and others – and using our best judgement to negotiate and finalize the route that can work best. We expect that almost any route chosen (including keeping the exact same 10-10-10 route again) will be great – and will almost certainly have a drawback or two. Please help make us more aware of concerns on the route, but please be aware that, ultimately, we may or may not be able to address all concerns raised.

For the west side of the route, we’re looking into some options that could mimize some conflicts from October’s event. On 10-10-10, the route went from 6th Street to Virgil Avenue, to 4th Street, to New Hampshire Avenue, to Rosewood Avenue, to Heliotrope Drive. That section was the only primarily-residential area that the route included. That 10-10-10 route is shown in light blue below:

On New Hampshire Avenue (also, to a lesser extent, on Rosewood, Heliotrope, 4th, and Virgil) the 10-10-10 route blocked quite a few residential driveways. In advance of October’s event, we heard quite a few  very legitimate complaints, especially from New Hampshire Avenue residents, who couldn’t access their driveways during the event, and had a difficult time finding street parking in their vicinity. Conversely, on 10-10-10, we also saw that a lot of folks on New Hampshire came out and set up chairs and picnics on their front lawns and seemed to really welcome and enjoy CicLAvia. Nonetheless, CicLAvia participants owe a debt of gratitude to New Hampshire Avenue residents – for opening your street to all of us. Due the sigificant numbers of residents inconvenienced, CicLAvia is looking for alternatives that might put the event on a more commercial street in this corridor.

We think that options in this area basically boil down to a choice between three north-south streets: New Hampshire Avenue (the 10-10-10 route light blue on map), Vermont Avenue (orange and red), and Virgil Avenue (yellow). Each of these options has its own strengths and weaknesses.

CicLAvia on New Hampshire Avenue: (same as 10-10-10)

  • Proven route
  • Relatively flat
  • Connection with Shatto Park (on 4th Street)
  • Avoids disrupting traffic/transit/emergency vehicles on Vermont Avenue
  • Blocks approximately 50 residential driveways

CicLAvia on Vermont Avenue:

  • Commercial corridor, with plenty of restaurants and stores
  • Relatively flat
  • Better transit connections with the Metro Red Line subway, though could be more disruptive of bus lines on Vermont
  • Would require 101 Freeway on-ramp/off-ramp closure 
  • Some disruption of emergency vehicles using Vermont Avenue to access hospitals at Sunset Boulevard
  • (Note: It may be possible to combine Vermont and New Hampshire – via 1st Street or Council Street – shown in red on map – avoiding some of the residential on New Hampshire.)

CicLAvia on Virgil Avenue:

  • Commercial/Residential mix, with somewhat fewer blocked residential driveways than New Hampshire Avenue (though would include quite a few blocked residential driveways around 3rd Street,  above the 101, and on Melrose)
  • Includes two short hills (between 3rd and 4th Street and at the 101 Freeway)
  • Interferes with Fire Station just south of the 101 Freeway (the Fire Station on 7th and Burlington reportedly did fine during CicLAvia, but generally we try to avoid these)

What do you think? Are there other advantages/disadvantages that we haven’t considered? Should we keep the west end of the route the same – mainly on New Hampshire Avenue? or try to move to Vermont or Virgil? or some combination? Are there other tweaks to the west end of the route that you think we should consider?

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Maybe Modifying the CicLAvia Route – Part 1: East End Exciting Community Dialogue on South L.A. CicLAvia Expansion

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. amanda  |  December 9, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Vermont! What better street for people to slow down and take in the details of than a major N/S one. It seems like the comparable section of Virgil has way fewer businesses.

  • 2. M A on S New Hampshire  |  December 9, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Thank you for taking the time to rethink your route (and with plenty of advance notice for everyone!).

    Looking at the map and reading your findings, I can appreciate the unique challenges that Vermont Ave. brings. Emergency vehicles, however, are going to get through no matter what, no matter where. Fwy on/off ramps are closed for AIDS Walk, Hollywood Christmas Parade, and other events. Local businesses can participate and there are TWO schools And a city college on this route that can, perhaps, participate in the environmental aspects of your mission.

    Virgil is a more interesting route, but I hesitate because of the fire station (North of Beverly). You can reroute around that to Hoover (1 EAST of Virgil) and come up to Melrose.

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

    • 3. Joe Linton  |  December 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for the Hoover-Melrose (probably Temple-Hoover-Melrose) suggestion… East of Virgil makes for more hills, but does avoid the fire station.

  • 4. Aaron Kuehn  |  December 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    CicLAvia needs to embrace its rockstar status. Vermont is THE way to go. Main streets for the Main act.

  • 5. Elson  |  December 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I vote for Virgil. Using Vermont will be too disruptive for the reasons listed, and is used by one of the heaviest-ridership bus corridors in the city. Re-routing the 204/754 buses would open a new can of worms.

    Some years ago, Virgil was noted as one of the most bike-unfriendly streets. So removing cars form the equation for CicLAvia would bring more attention to making that corridor more bike-friendly.

    If you really needed to divert from the Fire Station on Virgil, use Temple – Hoover – Clinton to get back onto Virgil. Virgil/Melrose is way too steep.

  • 6. John Coanda  |  December 11, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Any chance of connecting the west side of Los Angeles, including the area west of the 405 to this great concept? I’d love to be a part of it.

  • 8. Carter R  |  December 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    If feasible, I’d like to see Ciclavia take over some bigger and more commercial streets, a la Vermont.

  • 9. Joseph E  |  December 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Vermont all the way, please!
    Ciclavia should avoid residential-only streets, when possible, and stick to major arterial streets and commercial streets.

  • 10. Friend of CicLAvia  |  December 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I vote for Hollywood Blvd + Vermont Ave = maximum visibility. When I did a preview ride with a dozen folks the weekend before CicLAvia, we started at the Metro Hollywood/Highland Station, got lots of passerby interest, then biked to Vermont, took Vermont all the way to 4th except for the short detour between Santa Monica and Melrose to visit the Bicycle Kitchen. To alleviate the residential concern, perhaps the route could be entirely on Vermont. For bus service, local service could be rerouted to Virgil and Normandie, and Rapid service could go south from Wilshire, since the subway can operate without conflict.

  • 11. meg  |  December 15, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I actually really enjoyed the residential portion of the read on 10-10-10. While Vermont has high visibility, I felt that the friendliest part of the ride, and the one that gave me the greatest sense of community, was on that New Hampshire stretch, with all the folks waving from their lawn chairs. I’d like to see a little of that preserved since the rest of the route is very different.

  • 12. Sandor  |  December 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Why does it have to be one dedicated route? This city is too big for that. How about rotating 5 different routes in 5 different sections of the city, a different route at every ciclavia? Or rotating 5 different directions starting downtown (north south east west, etc.), a different direction at every ciclavia?

    • 13. Joe Linton  |  December 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      It doesn’t have to be one route… but it is significantly cheaper to permit and plan and promote if it’s one route. We are looking at doing other sections of the city, too: Valley, Harbor, etc. – read explanation here. It’s going to take some lead time to get those up and running (took us a little over two years to make the first 7.5 mile route work – others can be a little faster, but will still take 3-6+months to get underway.)

  • […] discussions on tweaking the route – either on the east end (Boyle Heights, Little Tokyo) or west end (East Hollywood, Koreatown.) CicLAvia put the possible route modifications out for discussion, met […]


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