Seventh Street Bike Lanes Installed

August 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm 5 comments

Cyclists riding west on the new 7th Street bike lanes

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.

So far, the east end of the Seventh Street bike lanes is here at Rampart Blvd. Within a few weeks, they'll extend to Figueroa Street in Downtown L.A., and later all the way to Soto Street in Boyle Heights.

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:

City crews scraping existing lane markings today on Seventh Street, along MacArthur Park

The lanes begin at Catalina Avenue – where 7th Street ends at the Ambassador Hotel school site, in Koreatown.

New Seventh Street bike lanes, ending at Catalina Avenue on the east side of 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!

New left turn lane from Seventh Street onto Hoover Street, where no turn lane existed before. Part of the Seventh Street road diet.

Seventh Street is the main backbone of the 7.5-mile CicLAvia route.

Cyclists on 7th Street at the April 2011 CicLAvia event

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.

Beautiful new bike lanes on Seventh Street

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alex Kenefick  |  August 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I was riding with a friend along 7th Street last night and BAM!!! There they were. What a joy to be confronted with SUDDEN BICYCLE INFRASTRUCTURE. Go LADOT!

    Reply
    • 2. Joe Linton  |  August 17, 2011 at 9:47 am

      BAM!!! plus years of pushing – mostly from the LACBC

      Reply
  • 3. Neal Spinler  |  August 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I use 7th as my commute every day and see a ton of cyclists. I’m so happy to see this addition, and bike lanes going past MacArthur Park is long overdue. Kudos to the LACBC for making this happen! And yes, Alex and I were smiling a kid getting a shiny new Huffy on his birthday when we saw that bike lane appear.

    Reply
  • 4. peter  |  August 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

    i can’t wait to ride them! this is great!

    Reply
  • [...] Big Adventure this Friday. More on the new 7th Street road diet and bike lanes from EcoVillage, CicLAvia and LADOT Bike Blog; I rode them myself Wednesday evening, but I’ll save that story for another [...]

    Reply

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