Eyes on the Street: New Painted Curb Extension Across from L.A. City Hall

Pedestrian safety improvements at Main and First Streets in downtown Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Pedestrian safety improvements at Main and First Streets in downtown Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Walkability improvements in the downtown Los Angeles civic center make a lot of sense. Downtown is among the county’s most walked and walkable areas; it is also the most transit-friendly area and among the most bikeable areas, too. Walk facilities downtown provide high-profile examples that are seen and used by elected officials and governmental staff. The area already has leading pedestrian interval head-start signals, parklets, two protected bike lanes, painted curb extensions, and more. This week downtown got a new treatment designed to make walking safer by calming left-turning drivers.

Two days ago, the city Department of Transportation (LADOT) added pedestrian improvements located at the intersection of First Street and Main Street, right next to LAPD headquarters, City Hall, and Caltrans District 7 headquarters, which include LADOT offices. LADOT spokesperson Russell Hassan stated that the treatment, adapted from an NYCDOT left turn traffic-calming pilot, is an effort to providing a more right angle turn to slow down left-turning drivers going from northbound Main to westbound First.

The treatment includes two features:

  • a painted curb extension – with bollards and pavement markings – on the left side of Main.
  • mid-street rubber curb and knock-down bollards – on First.
Painted curb extension on Main Street at First Street
Painted curb extension on Main Street at First Street
Knock-down bollards on First Street at Main
Rubber curb and Knock-down bollards on First Street at Main

Readers, what do you think of the safety improvements? Where are other places you would like to see this treatment implemented? It appears to be most applicable to left turns made from one-way streets, though it may have similar applications elsewhere.

  • LAifer

    Cool. One intersection down. Only… 49,999 to go?

  • Brigham Yen

    I’d like to see the white plastic bollards replaced with either concrete ones or large sturdy planters eventually like the ones you generally see in NYC. The plastic bollards seem very easy to miss and drive thru offering less protection to pedestrians than concrete or larger objects like planters. Along Broadway by 23rd Street by Madison Square Park, they even use large rocky boulders.

  • Brigham Yen

    I am so excited about this for DTLA! I have been waiting for this to happen for years. I wrote a blog post about what DTLA could learn from NYC’s pedestrian enhancements!

    http://brighamyen.com/2013/04/18/ideas-for-downtown-la-implement-road-diets-to-encourage-pedestrian-activity/

  • Spike N LngBch

    Intersection directly adjacent to CalTrans/LADOT HQ’s…..

    Priorities.

  • Chuck Hammerstein

    Applicable from a left turn on two-way street, to a perpendicular two-way street. Often when on a motorcycle and waiting to turn left on a normal intersection, a car or truck turning left on green/yellow while I wait on red; nearly hits me because the motorist crosses way over the double yellow line — not looking for anything but a car sitting there waiting.

  • onlinenetizen

    i see people smacking those bollards and then suing

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