Last year, the City of Los Angeles was awarded a nearly $15-million grant through the state's Active Transportation Programs to fund a range of infrastructure improvements in the Arts DistrictThe planned upgrades include:

  • A signalized intersection at Santa Fe Avenue and Mateo Street;
  • A pedestrian plaza at Merrick and 4th Street;
  • A controlled pedestrian crossing at the split between 4th Street and 4th Place Bike lanes on Santa Fe and Mateo Streets to 7th Street;
  • Bike Lanes on traction Avenue;
  • A pedestrian walkway and plaza on the 6th Street Viaduct's frontage road between Mateo and Santa Fe to the south of the bridge;
  • A crosswalk on Santa Fe by the 6th Street Bridge to provide safe access to a new park; and
  • Pedestrian lighting on Santa Fe, Mateo, 4th Street, and Traction.

But as current funding only encompasses infrastructure items, 14th District Councilmember Jose Huizar is now looking to fund transportation improvements in the neighborhood.

Last week, Huizar introduced a motion with the aim of providing multi-modal transportation options to residents of the Arts District.  This could potentially incorporate bike share and care share facilities, electric vehicle charging, mobility hubs, expanded bus service, and other options.  Huizar's proposal, if adopted by the full City Council, would direct the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to report on a comprehensive strategy for mobility options in the Arts District, as well as potential funding options to facilitate the program.  This could include the creation of a parking revenue local return area in which a percentage of revenue generated by parking meters would be reinvested in mobility improvements in the Arts District.

Huizar's motion has been referred to the City Council's Transportation Committee for consideration.

Mobility in the Arts District could be further enhanced by a proposed extension of Red and Purple Line service to a new station at the Sixth Street Viaduct.  Although Metro has no immediate plans to build the station, the Division 20 maintenance yard is being redesigned in a fashion that will not preclude an extension of passenger service to the Arts District, and the City of Los Angeles has agreed to fund a study of the matter.

The proposed transportation improvements are the latest in a number of public realm and mobility projects that Huizar has pitched in the Arts District.  He has also pushed for undergrounding power lines in the neighborhood to remove visual blight and improve sidewalk access.