Eyes on the Street: New Bike Lanes on 7th Street in Koreatown
One-third of a mile of new bike lanes in Ktown, plus two new blocks of bike lanes on Figueroa Street in Chinatown
The city of Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) just installed five blocks of new bike lanes in the city’s most population-dense neighborhood, Koreatown. The new 7th Street bike lanes extend about one third of a mile from Kingsley Drive to Western Avenue.
LADOT announced the new bikeway yesterday via Twitter.
The lanes serve as a needed first/last mile connection to the Metro D Line Wilshire/Western Station.
The new Seventh Street lanes feature bikeway signage (part of a long-delayed citywide project that has been begun appearing on a few new bikeways).
The street width varies a fair amount. For the westernmost block between Oxford and Western Avenues, the street narrows and the eastbound bike lane drops for one block. From Oxford to Western there is a westbound bike lane paired with eastbound sharrows.
It appears that it would be fairly painless (meaning no or very little parking or car lane removal) to extend these 7th Street lanes all the way from Grammercy Place to Mariposa Avenue – about 0.8-mile. It would be somewhat difficult to connect them further eastward from Mariposa due to 7th Street dead-ending on either side of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools at the former site of the Ambassador Hotel. East of the RFK Schools, 7th Street has bike lanes that extend all the way into downtown Los Angeles.
Despite being very population-dense and transit-rich, L.A.’s Koreatown has very few bikeways. Prior to this week, the only bike lanes in Koreatown were a short stretch of First Street, three blocks of Oxford Avenue, and the portion of 7th east of RFK. The neighborhood also has some sharrow-ed bike routes, notably the heavily-bicycled 4th Street. This situation could be changing as the pro-bike pro-walk Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council pushes for safer walking and biking, including pedestrianizing a portion of 6th Street.
In other bike lane news, about three miles east, LADOT recently added two blocks of new bike lane – 0.1-mile from César E Chávez Avenue/Sunset Boulevard to Alpine Drive in Chinatown. This short facility extends the recently-protected Figueroa bikeway south of Chávez/Sunset. The new lanes also make a connection to an unofficial bicycling route (Alpine to New Depot Street to College Street) that many cyclists use to avoid hills in that part of Chinatown.