LADOT Hosts Traffic Safety Pop-Up Installations
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This week the L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) hosted two pop-up installations that showcase possible inexpensive treatments to make streets safer. Temporary installations included a pedestrian-friendly redesign of Little Street in the Westlake/MacArthur Park neighborhood and a roundabout at the Koreatown intersection of 4th Street and New Hampshire Avenue.
The Little Street pop-up is designed to make it safer for families to access Esperanza Elementary School, on Little between 7th Street and Wilshire Boulevard. Little is a small two-way street; the redesign converted it into one-way northbound. This conversion made space for a small median, parking, a dedicated school drop-off lane, and a mini-plaza seating area at 7th. The pop-up added new crosswalks across Wilshire and across 7th.
Streetsblog did not get to observe the project at busy school drop-off/pick-up times, but in the middle of the day the street was functioning well, supporting the the neighborhood’s high levels of foot traffic.
Little Street’s temporary installation was up Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The temporary version gave the department input as designs are being developed for permanent safety upgrades, which have already received funding from the California Active Transportation Program.
LADOT Safe Routes to School Director Margot Ocañas emphasized that the Little Street project is a collaboration with City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Esperanza Elementary School, Liechty Middle School, LAUSD Operations, and various city departments including Public Works Bureaus of Street Services and Engineering, LAPD, and the City Attorney.
For more information on the Little Street Redesign, see the LADOT SRTS project webpage.
This morning LADOT also hosted a Bike-to-Work Day pop-up roundabout at the intersection of 4th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. The event was sparsely attended due to heavy rains.
Both Fourth Street and New Hampshire Avenue are approved as bike-friendly streets – essentially bike boulevards – in the city’s bicycle and mobility plans. Fourth serves as a low-stress bike alternative to large parallel streets including 3rd and Wilshire. Despite plenty of cyclist usage, 4th Street safety upgrades have been difficult to come by. Both 4th and New Hampshire have just sharrows and “bike route” signage.
LADOT has funding for a few small roundabouts, including the 4th/New Hampshire site demonstrated today. LADOT hosted meetings for the project in 2011, including sharing some concept renderings. The project has not been a high priority for any of the City Councilmembers. Area representation shifted from Tom LaBonge to David Ryu to Herb Wesson in recent years. Today, LADOT staff were getting project feedback from passerbys.