Seventh Street Bike Lanes Installed
Good news! As of this past weekend, new bike lanes are being installed on Seventh Street. So far the city has striped 0.7-miles of 7th, from Catalina to Rampart, with 1.5 additional miles from Rampart to Figureoa under construction and expected to be completed within weeks.
The news was broken by Bike Commute News, then covered by Biking in L.A. and L.A. Streetsblog, and LADOT. In addition to those pieces, see CicLAvia’s June 2011 coverage of these lanes and the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition’s campaign.
They’re the first bike lanes on the entire CicLAvia route, and the first bike lanes connecting with Downtown Los Angeles. They’re some of the first bike facilities to serve L.A.’s most population-dense immigrant-rich neighborhoods, where fewer families have cars, and lots of working class folks get around by bike. As of 2009, the city’s draft bike plan showed this stretch of Seventh Street bike lanes to be “infeasible”… but thanks to city reconsideration and a big push by the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition and other bike activists and community leaders, and leadership from City Councilmembers Ed Reyes, Herb Wesson, and Jan Perry, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the lanes are now a reality!
CicLAvia gave the new lanes a spin today. As of the time of this writing, Monday afternoon August 15th 2011, city crews are still installing the lanes. They’re out scraping/erasing the lane markings along MacArthur Park:
The lanes begin at Catalina Avenue – where 7th Street ends at the Ambassador Hotel school site, in Koreatown.
The striping is complete from Catalina Avenue to Rampart Blvd, just east of Hoover Street, in the Westlake / MacArthur Park neighborhood.
As stated in the earlier CicLAvia article, this new configuration is called a road diet. Car lanes have been reduced from four to three, and a new center turn lane has been added. This new configuration has been studied by the Federal Highway Administration and been shown to be safer for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists!
Seventh Street is the main backbone of the 7.5-mile CicLAvia route.
Seventh is also an important bike-commuting street to get from mid-city to downtown Los Angeles, being one of the flatter streets, and avoiding freeway ramps.
Within a week or two, the city crews will complete the lanes all the way from Catalina to Figueroa (totalling 2.2 miles). And hopefully, soon, though no timeframe has been given, they will extend all the way from Catalina to Soto Street (totalling 5.1 miles), as approved in the city’s bike plan.