Eyes on the Street: The DTLA 7th Street Bike Lanes Look Pretty Good

Photo: Our New BFF, ##https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152716972722281&set=a.10152042457347281.492411.676557280&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_reply##Lauren Grabowski/Facebook##

The new bike lanes, continental crosswalks and road diet for 7th Street through Downtown Los Angeles are getting close to completion. The lanes connect to the previously painted 7th Street lanes that connect mid-town to Downtown and the Main Street buffered bike lane that runs north to City Hall.

As of this writing, the lanes are nearing completion, an LADOT Bike Blog post on Friday notes that painting, sign removal, sign replacement and a change in parking restrictions is an ongoing process. Downtown residents report that work continued this weekend, although Streetsblog has yet to confirm whether the project was finnished.

When completed, lanes now run for 2.8 miles on 7th Street from Catalina Street in mid-town to Main Street.

While many in the Livable Streets Community were getting nervous about the types of projects being completed during Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “first 100 days,” the mood is changed since the calendar turned to day 101.

The 7th Street Lanes join the Colorado Boulevard Buffered Bike Lanes and Atwater Bike Corral as important, completed, bicycle infrastructure projects. The “Great Streets” and “People St” programs were also announced after the 100-day mark.

  • brianmojo

    The bike lanes are great, and honestly having a turn lane on this street is going to help traffic flow immensely (in the good way, not in the must-speed-cars-through-as-fast-as-possible way).

  • Ryan J

    Brian, I agree that the left turn lanes are a great improvement. I have to turn left onto Hill Street after coming down 7th from Figueroa, and I can now do so safely and legally without having to make the two-stage left turn and compete with pedestrians for space in the crosswalk.

  • True story, I was once ticketed for illegally making a left off 7th on my bike. It was on Park(ing) Day in 2010.

  • J. Ryan

    So far so good, though I’m noticing a lot of cars cruising over the lanes long before they approach the intersection for a right turn. Hopefully it decreases as drivers get used to them.

  • HighNoon

    Anyone know what they are doing on Grand, just north and south of 7th?

  • AJ

    I’ll hold off on a final judgement until they finish, but so far I would call it “average” rather than “good.” The single dotted line in the photo above looks more like a lane of traffic than a bike lane, so hopefully they provide clearer markings this weekend. The issue remains that 20-30 Metro/DASH buses per hour run on 7th and stop every block, so a bike lane does little to mitigate the nerveracking zig-zag around the endless bus traffic. Plus there’s the door zone issue with parked cars. A bike lane certainly makes an improvement over the old condition of 7th, but there are limitations for what a (small) coat of paint can do.

  • Ginny Brideau

    Some of the. ” no left” signs need to be removed. There was a cute little queue of left turning cars at Olive, and I could imagine LAPD camping out looking to remedy the budget shortfall.

  • Erik Griswold

    7th would be a perfect place for full blown cycletracks. WTF is the city doing providing free (or underpriced) car storage on a public right of way in some of the most expensive real estate in the state? 7th was set aside to move people, not store goddamn machines. Do that in one of the many many parking lots and structures that have been dictated by the city’s outrageous parking requirements!

  • Anonymous

    Street parking is not a problem, in fact, it’s an urban quality to help slow down the speed of cars and prevent freeway like conditions. Compare the roadways on Broadway to Spring. 1 street allows street parking and it’s more inviting for pedestrians to sit outside, compared to Broadway as cars can move at 40 mph speeds in the urban core. Street parking is an urban feature, but parking garages/lots, in excess, are suburban and should be reduced.

  • Anonymous

    Agree with LAofAnaheim’s comment above. Street parking is not the issue. It serves as a buffer zone between the pedestrian zone and traffic and it slows down traffic as people manoeuver in and out of space. Even better, however, would be to switch the bike lane and the parked cars, with bikes against the sidewalk and parked cars between them and moving cars.

  • Did you get it thrown out?

  • Erik Griswold

    Okay, how about widening the sidewalks? As foot traffic returns to DTLA, they will be needed. My beef about parking, whether justified as a calming effect or not, is that its removal is always such a big issue. What other major city in the world allows parking on an arterial as important as 7th is?

  • Anonymous

    Smart ones. I really don’t understand why a city would ever not allow street parking, especially metered, with meters hopefully set high enough that there is always one or two empty spaces on a block. There’s the direct revenue from the meters, plus presumably people are parking to access businesses, which means more revenue, plus it calms traffic and creates a buffer between moving cars and pedestrians, plus it reduced car traffic in general to the extent that people find a place to park rather than continually circle around looking for one. Removing parking allows cars to flow through more quickly, meaning more danger for bicyclists and pedestrians, less business for local merchants, a reduction in the aesthetic quality, and no revenue from meters. If something needs to be removed it should be a lane of traffic, ever parking.


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