Less than a month after a bike ride/meeting along 4th Street, the LADOT Bike Program is moving forward on Bicycle Friendly Street improvements. Not only will the LADOT Bike Program be adjusting or replacing all loop detectors along 4th Street to pick up bicycle wheels, but we’re also going to extend the 4th Street Sharrows to either La Brea Avenue or Cochran Avenue.
That’s another 1.7-1.8 miles of Sharrows, which more than doubles the length of the existing Sharrows on 4th Street.
This is big news. Getting something like this done in less than a month at the City is like getting it done in 2 hours in the real world. It just doesn’t happen that often. Yet, here we are.
October Meeting, November Construction
LADOT Bike Blog covered a meeting last month between the LACBC, the Mayor’s Office, CM LaBonge’s Office, and the LADOT Bike Program. Centered around a bike ride along 4th Street, the meeting was meant to get everyone on the same page for what we could do on 4th Street and where we could do it. The LACBC really pushed for short-term as well as long-term actions on 4th Street. One of the most immediate improvements they asked for was recalibration of loop detectors to pick up bikes.
While looking for funding to recalibrate the loop detectors, we came across a surplus in our contract account for Sharrows installations. This was the account the LADOT Bike Program used to install Sharrows over the summer in 6 test locations. This account surplus leaves us with enough funding to complete Sharrows on the rest of the 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard. The LADOT Bike Program hopes to get preliminary installation markings put down today.
As covered in our “Anatomy of a Bicycle Friendly Street” series, there are a number of treatments which can be applied on a BFS to make it a better place for bicyclists. Some treatments (like diverters, roundabouts, or chicanes) are long-term projects; they require a lot of planning, engineering, and community outreach before they can be built on the street. Other treatments (like improved loop detectors, better signage, Sharrows) are short-term projects which can be installed while waiting to complete the footwork for other long-term projects.
4th Street, being identified as a “Bicycle Friendly Street” in the Draft LA Bike Plan, will be eligible for the entire gamut of BFS treatments. Once the LA Bike Plan is adopted, the LADOT Bike Program will have all the treatments in the BFS toolbox available in pursuing Bicycle Friendly Streets around the City. In that light, Sharrows and loop detectors on 4th Street should not be seen as an individual project, but as a sign of things to come on a multitude of streets all over Los Angeles.