Breaking news of a bike lane project coming soon to Spring Street in Downtown. The buffered lane will run on the west side of Spring Street between Cesar Chavez Ave. and Ninth St. and is expected to be in place by December of this year. The lane will have a six foot painted lane (in the now famous green color approved by the state earlier this summer) and a four foot painted buffer. The lane will allow for full time parking spots on the west side of the street (peak hour parking will remain on the east side of the street). One traffic lane and a bus lane will be removed (a traffic study conducted internally by LADOT determined that two lanes of traffic could be removed without impacting wait times at affected intersections beyond thresholds already established by the city).
According to Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council board member Valerie Watson, the project was the result of a collaboration between the LA Department of Transportation, and the LA County Bicycle Coalition and as partners, they were able to avoid inferior alternatives: "the design really reflects the outreach. A five-foot bike lane wasn't going to fly...the facility accommodates the needs of the street and all its uses."
Tim Fremaux, a transportation engineer at LADOT, told Curbed today that this project reflects a new way of approaching transportation at the department: "This is more of a holistic approach that includes all modes. It's more of a 'complete street' by definition." LADOT has already delivered a new bike lane to Seventh Street in Downtown in August and is currently planning for lanes on Figueroa, Flower, and Main for installation in 2012.
The Spring Street project is in accordance with the city of LA's Bike Plan, but the motivation for the project grew out of the ThinkBikeLA event in September. Following that meeting with Dutch bike experts, the mayor's office selected this bikeway as one of the immediately deliverable concepts, but more improvements can be expected on Main Street between Cesar Chavez and past the point where the streets converge south of Ninth following a forthcoming traffic study, probably in the next year. The new configuration can also serve as a placeholder until the corridor gets a separated cycle track, which is another longterm improvement to look for on Spring Street.
· L.A. to get its first green bike lanes [LADOT Bike Blog]
· Dutch Bike Experts Help LA Figure Out This Whole Bike Thing [Curbed LA]