Eyes on the Street: Downtown L.A. Bikeways on 1st, 3rd, and 7th Streets

Newly protected bike lane on 3rd Street in downtown Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog
Newly protected bike lane on 3rd Street in downtown Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog
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Downtown L.A. has one of the best bike lane networks in Southern California, and it’s gradually getting better. The city recently added new bike lane stretches on First and Third Streets, while continuing construction underway on curb-protected bike lanes on Seventh Street. Streetsblog checked out the new facilities yesterday.

The new First Street bike lanes are located between San Pedro Street and Alameda Street. These connect with existing bike lanes on First Street along City Hall and over Bunker Hill, and also connect to the recent bike lane that extends east across the L.A. River.

New First Street bike lane in Little Tokyo
New First Street bike lanes in Little Tokyo.

The First Street bike lanes are part of Metro’s larger Eastside Access Improvements which makes walking and bicycling connections to Metro’s under construction Regional Connector Little Tokyo subway station. The new connector subway is nearly completed and expected to open in early 2023.

First Street bike lanes, with nearly completed Little Tokyo Regional Connector subway station in background
First Street bike lanes, with nearly completed Little Tokyo Regional Connector subway station in background.

Readers can check out the new First Street lanes on this Sunday’s CicLAvia route. When CicLAvia debuted in 2010 on a variation of route known today as “Heart of L.A.,” that original 7.5-mile route had no bike lanes at all. Since then, the city has added bike lanes along much of the original route: 7th Street, Spring Street, and now the entire CicLAvia stretch of 1st Street.

Along the south end of Little Tokyo is 3rd Street, where the city of L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) recently announced bikeway upgrades. That project upgrades the existing westbound 3rd Street bike lane to parking-protected, and closes a network gap by extending that lane to connect to the Main and Spring Street bikeways. Construction appears to be more-or-less complete, with plastic bollards added this week.

Newly parking-protected bike lane on 3rd Street in Little Tokyo
Newly parking-protected bike lane on 3rd Street in Little Tokyo.

Between Main and Spring Streets, the 3rd Street project upgraded the formerly one-way protected lane into a two-way facility.

The one-way 3rd Street bikeway between Main and Spring was upgraded to two-way
The one-way 3rd Street protected bikeway between Main and Spring was upgraded to two-way.

Lastly, a few blocks south, in Skid Row, construction is continuing on curb-protected bike lanes on 7th Street – the city’s first significant length curb-protected bike lanes. The curb work is done for just one block (between San Pedro Street and San Julian Street), but now a couple more blocks appear nearly done.  Ultimately, the facility will extend from San Pedro Street to Figueroa Street.

The one completed block of 7th
The one completed block of the new curb-protected 7th Street bike lanes – at San Pedro Street.
7th Street construction continues westward into downtown L.A.
7th Street streetscape construction continues westward into downtown L.A.

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