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LA planners want to make Century Boulevard a pedestrian-friendly hub around LAX

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Could the street be a “Gateway to Los Angeles?”

People walking along Century
A rendering of a more pedestrian-friendly Century Boulevard.
Images via Department of City Planning

With a major overhaul of LAX in the works, and the Crenshaw/LAX Line on the way, Los Angeles planners want to make the 1.5-mile stretch of Century Boulevard leading in and out of the airport something less depressing than the row of hotels, rental car facilities, and chain restaurants that it is today.

Earlier this month, the city’s planning department released a draft of a streetscape plan for the segment of Century Boulevard that runs between Sepulveda and La Cienega boulevards. It’s a thoroughfare the department views as the “Gateway to Los Angeles,” and the plan is aimed at making it a bit more walkable and “creating a sense of place” that visitors to the city will be able to pick up on.

To do that, the department would require Century Boulevard property owners to undertake streetscape improvement projects when constructing new buildings or completing major additions to existing structures. Those projects could include widening sidewalks, creating pedestrian islands, planting trees, restriping sidewalks, adding benches or bike racks, and a host of other options.

Several publicly funded projects will also tie into the changes along Century Boulevard. For instance, the Landside Access Modernization Program, which will bring a people mover system to LAX, will also result in the creation of a network of new bike lanes connecting to the airport and surrounding transit stops.

It may be hard to imagine Century Boulevard as anything but the enormous car funnel that it is today, but the authors of the new streetscape plan optimistically project that it will help turn the street into a “lively and active urban environment” full of “public spaces for people to sit and gather.”

Here are a few ideas of what that might look like:

People on the sidewalk along Century
Sidewalk with plenty of trees
Bus stop along Century

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045