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Eyes on the Street: La Puente Builds Bulb-Outs

The curb extensions are in and around the city’s Old Town district.

9:21 AM PST on November 8, 2023

A set of bulb outs on Workman St and 1st St in Old Town La Puente. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

A series of bulb-outs have been constructed recently in historic Old Town La Puente. For those unfamiliar, let's start with a little scene setting before we get to the bulb-outs. 

The generalized Old Town La Puente area, not strictly limited to the historic downtown district, but also including it's immediately surrounding neighborhoods.

Old Town is home to an interesting, albeit understated mix of buildings. Of course, there’s La Puente’s City Hall, and branches of several Los Angeles County agencies (Library, Health, and Public Works). It’s also where the popular Friday night farmer’s market La Puente Live is held, as well as the Christmas Parade and Dia de los Muertos car show.

La Puente City Hall. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

There are a few tasty hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and an inordinate number of storefronts which are rarely open. 

A stretch of businesses along Main Street in Old Town La Puente. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

The center of Old Town is Main Street. It's used regularly as a film shoot location for its iconic mid-century exteriors. There’s plenty of unreinforced masonry and some gorgeous lampposts. The architecture at City Hall is definitely the star here, especially since the Star Theatre was torn down to build condos. 

Casa de Sanchez, one of three adjacent rental halls on Old Valley Blvd in Old Town La Puente. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

A bulb-out, also called a curb extension, is a street design feature that makes pedestrians safer by visually and physically narrowing a street. The narrower street means a shorter distance for pedestrians to cross, so less time pedestrians are exposed to dangerous car traffic.

On the immediate periphery of Old Town are several schools: Workman Elementary, Sparks Elementary, Sparks Middle School, and La Puente High School. All of them should benefit from these new curb extensions (as well as one slightly older one). The bulb-outs are each photographed below.

Possibly the most impactful curb extensions built so far, the intersection of Main St. and Bluebonnet St. is crossed often by pedestrians of all ages, and a major site for 'California Stops.' Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
Also very heavily crossed is the intersection of Main St. and Fifth St., adjacent to the most popular shop in Old Town, 7-Eleven. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
Closer to La Puente High School is the intersection of Workman St. and 1st St. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
The bulb-out on Hacienda Blvd. is slightly older than the rest (from La Puente Park's rebuild earlier this year) but still worth mentioning, as it abuts the back end of La Puente High School. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
The curb extensions along the wide and sometimes desolate Unruh Ave. are a welcome addition for students of Sparks Elementary and Middle Schools. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
Lastly, a curb extension being installed on Central Avenue needs a bit more work, but could be helpful here as plenty drivers speed through it, fresh off of Valley Blvd. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

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