By Damien Newton, October 25, 2013
Commuters into Downtown Los Angeles were surprised this morning to
note that 7th Street had gone on a crash diet overnight. For .6 miles,
between Figueroa and Main Streets, bicycle lanes were installed and a
mixed-use travel lane was removed.
The new lanes are a key part in making connections in Downtown Los
Angeles. The lanes connect to the previously painted 7th Street lanes
that connect mid-town to Downtown and the Main Street buffered bike lane
that runs north to City Hall. The lanes now run for 2.8 miles on 7th Street from Catalina Street in mid-town to Main Street.
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition half-joked on twitter that “the LACBC offices now have bike lanes on three sides.”
But while celebrating the addition to the network is good,
Streetsblogger Niall Huffman points out that the installation either
would have been delayed or would not have happened without a state law
signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September of 2012. So, maybe we have
to give Jerry Brown some credit as well.
AB 2245 provides
for a CEQA exemption for Class II bikeway (bike lane) projects.
According to the LADOT bike blog, under the former guidelines some bike lane projects in the City of L.A. would have required an EIR if their traffic impacts were over specified thresholds.
That wasn’t the case here as the new lanes were put in and no
environmental study was required, even though 7th Street lost a mixed
If you’ve ridden the lanes, let us know your experience in the comments section.