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.

  • Ben Phelps

    The electeds attending the ceremonies should all be forced to ride a bike down the length of it in traffic.

  • > 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.

    Signal timing and beg buttons are the least of the worries. The whole length of the bikeway is a catastrophe since it’s barely wide enough for a single rider. There’s no way to pass people and a bakfiets will have a hard time fitting. That makes the bikeway worse than nothing since now it’s basically unusable. The only silver lining could be that at least it provides cover to upgrade it in the future, but even that’s going to be hamstrung by the horrible bus stop bypasses that LADOT builds.

  • Bob P

    Are you sure those are “beg buttons” as you say? They seem to be adding the buttons for visually impaired individuals (for the sound/vibration), but pressing the button is not required — the walk signal comes up every time.

  • michael macdonald

    Pedestrian buttons are required to be activated in order to cross all intersections that I have seen them installed. I watched as 20+ people this morning at 7th & Figueroa had to wait through an entire signal cycle because nobody had tapped the request-to-cross button.

  • michael macdonald

    As someone who rides a bakfiet on along this corridor regularly, I will say that I have not had a problem with the width. It isn’t ample, but comparatively was not a problem relative to the the scope of unprotected bike lane sections and hitting red lights at every bike signal.

  • Yeah, around LA Live they all require you to actually hit the buttons. And because there are usually so many people standing around at the crosswalks, you usually assume that someone’s hit the buttons so it’s very common that no one hits it, the signal doesn’t activate for you, and you’ve gotta wait an extra 60-120 seconds until the next phase. It’s particularly egregious given the heavy, constant pedestrian flow in these areas.

  • John

    The new path is awful. The southbound lane has no bus islands, and the bollards box you in until just before bus stops, so you’re constantly in conflict with buses. “Complete streets” is a nice idea in theory, but I’m much happier in bike lanes on streets with no buses.

    The southbound lane also has no good street markings for when the lane disappears and runs into a right turn lane for cars–you’re just ejected into traffic, and there’s not even a dotted line in most places to suggest to drivers that they should be aware of cyclists that have to merge across the turn lane.

  • But you know they will be wisked to and from the hot-air fest by their chauffeured SUVs.

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