Eyes on the Street: New First Street Protected Bike Lane
There are new protected bike lanes on First Street extending from Boyle Heights to Little Tokyo. Right now, the project is only on the westbound lane, heading into downtown.
The new lane extends 0.6-mile from Mission Road to Alameda Street. On the First Street Bridge, the lanes have a wide buffer – perhaps a sign that some protection is coming soon? West of the bridge, the lanes are protected by plastic bollards. The facility includes a bus-boarding island near Alameda.
1st street protected bike lanes and bus island!!
East LA now has one safe route across the river to downtown pic.twitter.com/KrSNmldped
— josh vredevoogd (@jawshv) April 20, 2022
Over 12 years since the passage of the 2010 LA bike plan, for the first time ever, there’s now a bike lane between the eastside of LA and downtown with the installation of a protect bike lane on the 1st street bridge pic.twitter.com/5KSYY8bANU
— Hunter Owens (@hunter_owens) April 23, 2022
The new lane is part of Metro’s Little Tokyo/Arts District Eastside Access Improvements, a project that is implementing several walk and bike first/last mile connections to the Regional Connector subway, opening this Fall. The new bike lane is right where the Regional Connector tracks go underground – on First near Garey Street. The Eastside Access project most prominently includes a walk/bike esplanade along the east side of Alameda Street (including in the location where the former Little Tokyo Gold Line Station was). The esplanade will connect to the new First Street bike lanes.
The new bike lane runs along a proposed transit-oriented joint development that would be on two properties, one (the new Little Tokyo Station) owned by Metro and the other (a larger parcel north of First and east of Alameda) owned by the city of Los Angeles. This week, the Metro board is expected to approve an item [Metro staff report] that would put an agreement in place for the city to proceed with a joint-development process for both sites. An earlier joint development proposal (for just the Metro site) failed to proceed due to Little Tokyo opposition.