The rapid pace of change at Exposition Park has prompted the development of a new master plan to shape the future of the sprawling green space. Now, the work begins to better connect the park with its surrounding community.
The effort, called Reimagining Expo Square, is being led by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning's Urban Design Studio and landscape architecture firm Rios. The focus of the project, which was revealed in a recent virtual open house, is on three of the major corridors flanking Exposition Park - Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (MLK Boulevard), Vermont Avenue, and Figueroa Street. These streets have all been identified on the City's High Injury Network, and are targeted for safety enhancements through the Vision Zero program.
Potentially the most ambitious improvements are slated to MLK Boulevard, which runs along the southern perimeter of the park. Up to two vehicle travel lanes could be removed from the street and replaced with protected bike lanes between Vermont and the Harbor Freeway Overpass. Renderings also depict new public art, signage, and curbside and median landscaping.
Planners are also looking to implement streetscape improvements along a Vermont Avenue along the western perimeter of the park. New landscaping is planned between Exposition Boulevard in the north and 42nd Street in the south, while a series of parklets would be built at locations near Manual Arts High School.
In addition to improvements to six existing crosswalks along the .86-mile corridor, new pedestrian crossings are planned at 38th Street, 39th Place, Leighton Avenue, Browning Boulevard, 40th Place, and 42nd Place. Several of these crosswalks would provide easier pedestrian access to the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and adjacent park space now under construction along the west side of Exposition Park.
Figueroa Street, which forms the eastern perimeter of the park, is poised for a similar array of improvements. New landscaping and a handful of parklets are proposed for the stretch between 37th Place and 42nd Street. Additionally, plans call for upgrades to existing crosswalks and the addition of two new crossings at 41st Place and 38th street.
Upgrades to Figueroa Street would overlap with improvements already completed as part of the City's MyFigueroa Streetscape project in 2018.
Funding for the Reimaging Expo Square project is provided in part through the public benefits agreement for LAFC's Banc of California Stadium. After completing public outreach, the City intends to apply for Active Transportation Program funding and other sources.
Implementation of the improvements, when approved for construction, will occur incrementally.
- Exposition Park (Urbanize LA)