My Figueroa Complete Streets Project Will Open Next Week!

My Figueroa opens next week. Photo: Joe Linton
My Figueroa opens next week. Photo: Joe Linton

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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.

Mark your calendars! At long last, the MyFigueroa complete streets project is set to open next week.

Whew. It has been a decade since the city of L.A. was awarded the state grant for MyFig. The first community input meetings were in 2010. Early multi-modal visions were watered down as various interests carved away at its scope. A lawsuit from car dealerships nearly killed the project. It was ultimately settled. In October, 2016, officials broke ground with an anticipated June, 2017, opening date announced. Construction dragged out. In June, 2018, as the project appeared to be nearing completion, the bike lanes got a coat of green paint.

Earlier today, LADOT announced that on Thursday, August 30, 2018, MyFigueroa will open with a community celebration. The day includes:

  • 9:45 a.m. Walking Tour led by designers Deborah Murphy and Melani Smith – starting at the YWCA Jobs Corps Center at 1020 South Olive Street. The tour is approximately one hour, covering 1.25 miles.
  • 11:30 a.m. Ribbon-Cutting Ceremonies with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember José Huizar, Councilmember Curren D. Price Jr., LADOT, Metro, the Department of City Planning, and the California Department of Housing and Community Development – outside of USC’s Galen Center at 3400 S. Figueroa Street.
  • 12:45 p.m. Bike Ride – leaving at the end of the ribbon-cutting. Use Metro Bike Share or bring your own bike.

The public is invited to these free events, though RSVPs are requested via Eventbrite. Share via Facebook event.

The early reviews have not been all positive.

Despite bright green paint, plenty of cars – including taxis – are stopping and parking in the bike lanes, especially near the convention center.

This is a problem in many L.A. bike lanes, but it feels especially egregious to see scofflaw drivers flaunting this brand new high-profile bike facility.

The protected bike lane signal timing is dismal, with delays that no motorist would tolerate. Bike the Vote’s Michael MacDonald documented spending nearly three minutes at red traffic signals to go only three blocks. While drivers get a green light, the bike signal defaults to red, and forces bicyclists to wait and trigger a green in the next phase. Cyclists will get fed up with these delays and will likely either plow through the light against a red bike signal (with the right hook danger that that entails), or choose alternate routes.

With regressive signal timing and pedestrian beg-buttons, the MyFigueroa project seems to be sending Angelenos the message that, even in downtown L.A., even on a multi-million-dollar multi-modal makeover, cars remain the city’s only priority.

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