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.

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