Last Friday, LADOT crews began the work of extending the bicycle lanes and road diet on West 7th Street into Downtown LA’s Financial District and Historic Core. Since this is such an exciting project that will form a major connection in the Downtown bikeway network, we wanted to provide an update on the work that’s been performed so far (as of Friday, November 1) and what still needs to be done.
On Wednesday night, an LADOT crew finished laying down all of the new white lane stripes between Figueroa Street and Main Street. The yellow stripes that separate eastbound from westbound traffic are still marked with temporary paint, but will receive permanent striping in the next few days. Also waiting to be installed are the bicycle lane stencils at the beginning of each block, as well as the directional arrows that mark the new left turn pockets in the center of the roadway.
At the same time that bicycle lanes are being extended, 7th Street is receiving pedestrian upgrades in the form of continental crosswalks, which were introduced to Los Angeles late last year and have since become the citywide standard for new and restriped crosswalks. These markings consist of broad stripes laid perpendicular to the crosswalk itself. They’ve been shown to greatly increase the visibility of people crossing the street and reduce the occurrence of vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. The markings are still preliminary and will be finished in the coming days.
There are a number of signage changes associated with this road diet, one of which is that no-left-turn signs will be removed. One former travel lane has been converted to a center turning lane, which becomes a left turn pocket at intersections. Since left-turning road users can now wait for an opportunity to turn without blocking the travel lane, the restrictions are no longer necessary, except where turning left would take you the wrong way down a one-way street. Left turns onto Hope Street were prohibited altogether prior to the road diet, and this prohibition will remain in place.
As of this morning, “Bike Lane” signs have also been installed to officially mark the new lanes, and “Anti-Gridlock Zone” signs prohibiting curbside parking during peak hours have been removed. Residents, workers, merchants and visitors will now be able to park at the curb along 7th any time, subject to limits where posted.
This weekend, the LADOT crew will be working overtime to get all of the remaining pavement markings and signage in place. Once they’re finished, this important connection in the bikeway network will be complete, linking existing lanes on Main, Spring, Olive and Grand as well as planned lanes on Figueroa and Flower. People riding bicycles will have their own lanes, people driving cars will have an easier time parking and making left turns, and people on foot will have fewer lanes of automobile traffic to cross, with high-visibility crosswalks to aid their journey. We’re very pleased to see this project become a reality, and we hope you enjoy its many benefits!