We’ve got City Hall nearly surrounded!!
Mentioned earlier as announced and underway, the city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) extended the Main Street bike lanes northward. The newest stretch, added in late June 2012, extends 1.4 miles from Cesar Chavez Avenue to 9th Street, which is where Spring Street merges into Main Street.
Main Street for 0.76-miles from 9th Street (at Spring Street) to 16th Street (which becomes Venice Boulevard) had bike lanes installed in February 2012. In that area, in L.A.’s Fashion District, Main has two-way traffic.
(Just in case it’s confusing… there are now four different L.A. Main Street bike lane projects completed this fiscal year. Two in Downtown Los Angeles: Main Street-Fashion District and Main Street-Civic Center [the article you're reading.] Also Main Street-South L.A. and Main Street-Venice. Each of these projects is excellent in its own ways!)
The new stretch of Main, above 9th, is one-way. The new northbound Main Street bike lane forms a couplet with the southbound green bike lane on Spring Street. The Main lane was approved in the city’s 2010 bike plan and in the city’s 5-year implementation plan. FY2011-12 implementation was announced as part of the “Downtown Bikeway Network.”
The new Main Street lane connects with City Hall (it runs below the indoor walk bridge connecting City Hall with City Hall East), Caltrans and LAPD headquarters, and L.A.’s historic plaza at El Pueblo. With the Spring and First lanes, there are now bike lanes on three sides of Los Angeles’ City Hall.
Thanks to Mayor Villaraigosa, City Councilmember Jose Huizar, and the LADOT for getting this very good very high-visibility new bike lane installed.
I’ll close with a cautionary tale about bicycling around L.A.’s historic plaza – from an August 16th 1882 Los Angeles Times story entitled Festina Lente: (thanks Jonathan Weiss)
Last evening in the Plaza, about the soothing time of the gloaming, a festive bicyclist of most undoubted skill was speeding around the walk trying the swiftness of his wheel as propelled by the muscles of his legs. An admiring few had seen him make his whirling mile in 4:35, and elated by the plaudits of the crowd, he entered on his second mile when an obtrusive and unobservant small boy, who had the presumption of getting in the way in a public square, ran against the bicycle athlete. Confusion of wheel, man and boy ensued; nothing distinct could be seen; a disappointed and irate voice was heard, however, complaining: “If you had not got in my way I would have made twenty miles an hour.” Did the f.b. consider that if he had not been going twenty miles an hour he most probably would not have run into the boy?
F.B.’s (festive bicyclists) are encouraged to propel your velocipedes out on the new Main Street bike lanes, but do be careful not to collide with obtrusive and unobservant others!