Eyes on the Street: MyFigueroa Goes Green, Looks Nearly Ready

MyFigueroa has new green paint. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
MyFigueroa has new green paint. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

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This story sponsored by Los Angeles Metro to remind readers of traffic pattern changes resulting from Purple Line Construction. Unless noted in the story, Metro is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

The city of L.A. Transportation Department appears to be nearing completing construction on the MyFigueroa complete streets project. Over the past week, the project received quite a bit of “fresh kermit” – new green paint to designate bike lanes. MyFig includes more than two miles of protected bike lanes, plus various features designed to improve walking and transit.

MyFigueroa has had a somewhat rocky history, weathering some compromises to settle a lawsuit. The project broke ground in October 2016, with completion then anticipated in 2017. It has been visibly under construction for more than a year.

The main portion of MyFigueroa extends along Figueroa Street from 8th Street downtown to Exposition Boulevard between Exposition Park and USC. Figueroa’s new green markings are intermittent, highlighting merging areas and other conflict zones.

Intermittent green paint designates bike lane and highlights conflict zones
Intermittent green paint designates bike lane and highlights conflict zones

Figueroa now has more than a dozen bicycle signals, which prevent conflict between cyclists and right-turning drivers. Figueroa is the second street in the city to have bicycle signals; the first was Los Angeles Street. The signals have already been installed, though they are currently covered.

Covered bicycle signal on MyFigueroa
Bicycle signal on MyFigueroa – temporarily covered

Also similar to Los Angeles, My Figueroa features floating bus islands to minimize conflict between buses and bicyclists.

New floating bus island under construction on Figueroa. The protected bike lane goes between the island and the curb.
New floating bus island under construction on Figueroa. The protected bike lane goes between the island and the curb.
The northern end of MyFigueroa includes a northbound bus only lane
The northern end of MyFigueroa includes a northbound bus-only lane

Though the parking-protected bike lane striping appears mostly complete, drivers are still parking along the curb, in the lane now designated for bicycling. There are signs posted explaining the new system. Hopefully as construction is completed, drivers will better understand and comply with the new system.

Signage explaining the new parking-protected bike lanes on MyFigueroa
Signage explaining the new parking-protected bike lanes on MyFigueroa
Though nearing completion, MyFigueroa remains a construction zone for the time being
Though nearing completion, MyFigueroa remains a construction zone for the time being
  • So my big takeaway is that LA still can’t get the bus stop islands right and keeps putting in these narrow cattle chutes with vertical curbs. Sad!

  • kurenable

    I bike down this corridor to work every day, and I’ve noticed the “bike signals” give priority to cars turning right–every time I bike through an intersection on a green light I can see the bike signal is red. I don’t plan to wait 2 minutes at every green light for nonexistent cars to turn right at every intersection, and I suspect no other cyclists will either. Is it too much to ask that bike infrastructure actually prioritizes cyclists?

  • Walt Arrrrr

    I rode parts of this over the weekend. Lots of cars parked in the bike lane. The Kia dealership on Figueroa was especially egregious about removing no parking signs and using the freshly Kermited bike lanes for storing their new cars. While parts of My Figueroa may open this summer, don’t expect the northbound bike lanes to be fully-opened until the Oveanwide Plaza and Circa developments are done blocking sidewalks and lanes sometime next year.

    Meanwhile in Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Chicago, New York… curb-protected signalized bike lanes have been a part of urban life for years. About a decade ago when, My Figueroa was first proposed, London proposed creating a Cycle Superhighway network. Since then, London has opened eight curb-protected cycle superhighways used by tens of thousands of people every day. My Figueroa was supposed to be our first curb-protected cycletrack years ago, and here we are mid-2018, the economy is booming, traffic is growing, Angelenos are desperate for transportation alternatives, and the best we can do for South Figueroa are floating bus stops, bike signals, and green paint. Humph.

  • LAifer

    Why are the buffers so large and the lanes so narrow? Given the amount of time and effort that went into creating these lanes, this is absolutely pathetic. C’mon, LA. You can do so much better, can’t you?

  • Joe Linton

    I’d like to see them bigger where there is space… but what is wrong with vertical curbs (outside the wheelchair access ramp)?

  • James

    It looks like LADOT has gotten away with pretending that the gutter counts as roadway. Just like Irvine.

  • Pedal strike hazard, which leads people to shy away from the edges which in turn reduces the effective width of (the already too narrow) bikeways or if they inadvertently get too close, then ups the crash risk.

  • Sure looks different from what was promised.

    Renderings are problematic.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/523277dd1cbde5b83042eac057d4690b043c992e21c81e664d870686dcf30093.jpg

  • Andrew

    I rode the full length of this today, and it was fantastic. The bike lane is buffered by bollards now (maybe 70% of the length as of this morning) so people parking cars are no longer blocking the bike lane. While they did make some weird design decisions, and the number of curb cuts is ridiculous, it feels much safer and was a joy to ride compared to the harrowing experience of riding the previous version of Fig or neighboring Broadway or Main going into DTLA.

  • Andrew

    It looks like the rendering in quite a few places.

  • Including the Taxis parking by the Convention Center and the Kias and Toyotas by the dealership?

    #theirFig

  • Andrew

    Yeah the bike signals with the right turn arrows are pretty absurd.

  • Andrew

    Have ridden it a couple more times now, northbound and southbound… there were a handful of cars parked in the lane each time, but I also saw cars being towed both times…

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