Vision Zero Painted Curb Extensions Come to Koreatown’s 3rd Street
Catching the bus last night, I spotted some new street markings at the westbound bus stop on Third Street at Vermont Avenue in Koreatown. Initially I assumed it was some kind of bus stop treatment.
According to L.A. Department of Transportation engineer Tim Fremaux, these are striped curb extensions, which are part of the toolbox that LADOT is applying to Vision Zero Priority Corridors identified in the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan. Among the 40 priority corridors is Third Street from Vermont Avenue to Normandie Avenue.
We are experimenting with different designs, including some with vertical delineators and some with only raised pavement markers like in your photo. The goal is to reduce right turning speed and create a buffer between those right turning cars and pedestrians waiting at the corner.
The curb extensions consist of diagonal white thermoplastic stripes with some reflectors. Approaching the curb extension, in the adjacent vehicle lane, there are new arrows indicating that vehicles can go straight or turn from that lane.
Third Street’s new striped curb extensions are somewhat like the painted curb extensions or bulb-outs on Cesar Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights. These interventions are cheap enough to be implemented quickly. Though Fremaux states that delinators (sometimes called candlesticks or posts) or color might be part of a future phase, they are not planned for Third Street at this time.
Right now there are twelve of these curb extensions on Third Street. They are located at all signalized intersections from Vermont to Normandie: Vermont Avenue, New Hampshire Avenue, Catalina Street, Kenmore Avenue, Alexandria Avenue, and Normandie Avenue.
This area has plenty of foot traffic and quite a few sidewalk cyclists. Many of the sidewalks are narrow, typically 6-8 feet, and effectively even narrower with street furniture, newspaper racks, poles, etc.
In my observations, most drivers stayed out of the painted curb extensions, though there were exceptions.
The project has also upgraded crosswalks to the new “zebra” version.
What do you think readers? Have you seen these treatments popping up in other places? Are they working well? Or will they need more posts, paint, or something else to be totally effective? How are they for walking, bicycling or other modes?