Seventh Street Open for Cycling

Councilman Ed Reyes, put to work. Both Photos: Joe Linton

This morning, a crowd of about 200 celebrated the completion of the 7th Street bike lanes. These are among the first projects implemented under the city’s new bike plan. They’re also the city’s first bike lanes in the population-dense central Los Angeles neighborhoods of Koreatown and Westlake. And they’re the first bike lanes to reach downtown Los Angeles.

Today’s press conference included a ceremonial melting of the thermoplastic on the final bicycle lane icon for the project. Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes, assisted by city staff, wielded a blowtorch and melted in the bike symbol. Also taking turns at thermoplastic installation were Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition executive director Jennifer Klausner, and city Department of Transportation bikeway staffers Michelle Mowery and Tim Fremaux.
For more information on these bike lanes, see earlier coverage at Eco-Village and CicLAvia.
Riding down 7th Street...
  • Full separation? No. Young, probably white male with huge chain as example? Check. Door zone? Half-check. Speed limit here? 35mph? Following 8-to-80 rule? Huh, what’s that? At least it is sunny.

  • Latino male. Rome all built, one day? Check.

  • @facebook-591313105:disqus : The real important thing is 8-80. This is not an incremental thing, like making it feel safer for people who already bike there, or making it feel safer for adults. Children – both timid and less so – need safe places to ride. Maybe only their parents care, but that does change the fact that this very much developed world city is short-changing the vast majority of its population in regards to cycling, but really to most forms of mobility. 
    See this blog entry by my friend David: http://hembrow.blogspot.com/2011/09/los-angeles-has-plan-but-is-it-enough.html

  • Vartan

    How about full seperation bikeways? I rode them all over New York and DC. Why is this City always so far behind just to create the half-measured plan. These lanes are good but lets get serious about fully separated lanes that will get massive ridership.

  • Gary L

    And Joe, we are not asking them to build Rome just what other similar sized cities completed a while ago. DC was bikeable 20 years ago and is VERY bikable now. You are not the average biker we need what the average biker wants. Inclusive infrastructure not minimal infrastructure. 

  • Peeeeceeee

    Seventh Street was always open for cycling. It just has a bike lane now, for whatever that’s worth (and for whatever this is worth, I found it perfectly rideable without the bike lane).

  • On this street, L.A. did a road diet – took away a car lane, and added bike lanes. This is a treatment that LADOT has been somewhat reluctant to do (nearly all of the road diets that Alta called for in an early Bike Plan draft were later declared infeasible by LADOT), even though it’s been proven by the US Federal Highway Administration to be safer for drivers, cyclists, and peds.

    This 7th Street bike lane road diet costs less than one tenth of the cost of separated bike lanes… and hence can be implemented quickly and cheaply. Full-featured separated bike lanes have been done in basically two cities in the U.S.(NYC and LB.) To do them for two-miles of 7th Street would cost a couple million dollars, and the city of L.A. would be unlikely to do a non-standard facility (under state policies) without federal approval. It will be great to do those… but it’s millions of dollars and probably 3-5 years to implement.

    I think we build momentum for what you call “inclusive infrastructure” by celebrating what you call “minimal infrastructure.” I don’t think it’s either-or – I think we’ll need lots of both – lanes and other treatments. If we hold out for varsity-level perfect facilities, it’ll be years before we get anything… which means we too long perpetuate the unsafe conditions that are on our streets today.

    I like New York City’s approach – Broadway got basic bike lanes – wimpy, cheap, quick “minimal” bike lanes on Broadway – then upgraded Broadway to car-free green protected spaces.