The first phase in the the huge makeover for ever-evolving Broadway has debuted, providing some instant breathing room for pedestrians from Third Street to just past Eleventh Street along the busy Downtown thoroughfare. The Downtown News reported last Friday that the "dress rehearsal"—which has limited car traffic to just three lanes on Broadway and dotted the street with tables, chairs, and planters—is intended not only to give people a glimpse of what's to come, but also for LADOT to work out any potential kinks before the whole thing goes permanent.
The ultimate goal of the pedestrian-focused improvement plan is to keep Broadway at three total car lanes—one northbound and two heading south—and to expand sidewalks to 20 feet and add eight-foot "curb extensions" to create space for protected parking. To counter the decreased space for auto traffic, the city's working with Metro to possibly shift some bus routes onto other nearby streets (like Spring). If and when the eventual Downtown streetcar hits the streets, it'll share the southbound lane.
This temporary first stage in the plan cost about $1.5 million to put in place; making the program permanent will cost $5 to $6 million per block. $5 million has already been raised and more money is coming in from developers who are working on projects in the area.