In May 2020, the resurfacing of 7th Street in Downtown Los Angeles presented a convenient opportunity to add protected bike lanes to the neighborhood's busiest east-west thoroughfare. Soon, the installation of concrete infrastructure could ensure that those improvements are permanent.
In a series of virtual meetings, officials from the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering have launched the community outreach effort for the long-proposed 7th Street streetscape project, which would enhance the existing bike lanes while also adding new furniture and landscaping to the corridor. The planned improvements would stretch roughly 1.5 miles between Figueroa and Alameda Streets, passing through the Financial District with the Historic Core, the Fashion District, Skid Row, and the Arts District.
The project, which is being designed by landscape architecture firm Relm, will include:
- Raised concrete medians and transit islands;
- Over 150 new street trees with grates;
- New litter bins and street furniture;
- Consistent street lighting; and
- green-painted bike lanes;
Unidirectional curb ramps and corner islands are planned at intersections along the length of the corridor.
Construction of the project - which is already funded - will begin with the addition of the protected cycle track between Figueroa Street and San Pedro Street later this year. Subsequent streetscape improvements, including street trees, furniture, and lighting, an extension of the bike lanes to Alameda Street, are to be added at a later date subject to the availability of funding.
Upon the start of construction - scheduled for this Summer - work would progress block-to-block over periods of four-to-six weeks. Completion is expected in Winter 2022.
Plans for the 7th Street streetscape project date to 2015, when seed funding was provided as part of the Wilshire Grand's community benefits package. Although the proposed improvements would have initially ranged only as far east as Olive Street, City officials would eventually expand the scope of the project to incorporate communities located farther east.
The project corridor intersects offers connections to additional protected bike lanes running north-south along Figueroa Street, Olive Street, Grand Avenue, Spring Street, and Main Street. The City of Los Angeles has recently added new protected lanes to 5th and 6th Streets, as well.
The streetscape project is also being designed to accommodate a long-proposed streetcar line which would travel along 7th Street between Figueroa and Hill Street. Although construction of the 3.8-mile streetcar loop has been delayed due to a lack of funding, the project has received the support of newly-installed 14th District Councilmember Kevin de Leon.
For updates on the 7th Street project, visit its official website.
- Protected Bike Lanes Installed on 7th Street (Urbanize LA)