Beautiful New Buffered Green Bike Lane on Spring Street

Awesome new buffered green bike lane on Spring Street in Downtown L.A. - not a photosim - actual unretouched photo

Before today’s  rain got going, I had the chance to ride the new green bike lanes on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. The green-colored buffered bike lanes were described and discussed quite a bit in this earlier post. They extend 1.5 miles one-way from Cesar Chavez Avenue to 9th Street. 

For the city of Los Angeles, they’re the first significant length of buffered bike lane in the city, the first real bike lanes through Downtown Los Angeles. (The 7th Street bike lanes are buffered from Alvarado to Parkview, along MacArthur Park – and the 7th Street lanes do reach downtown, but only for a block between the 110 Freeway and Figueroa Street.) Along with the First Street bike lanes in Boyle Heights, the Spring Street lane is the first green-colored bike lane in the city. Apparently both First and Spring received green paint yesterday – Saturday November 19th  2011 – but I didn’t get to check out the new green addition to the First Street lanes yet. The Spring Street bike lane is really central to L.A. – going along City Hall, Police headquarters, L.A. Times offices, historic buildings downtown, and, of course, they’re on the CicLAvia route. Frequently, for location filming, this stretch of Spring Street is a stand-in for New York City.

Kudos to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmembers Jan Perry and Jose Huizar, the L.A. City Department of Transportation (LADOT), the Downtown L.A. Neighborhood Council (especially Valerie Watson), the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition (especially Alexis Lantz) and everyone else who made this great project become a reality!

This is the first phase, too – with more to come. This one-way southbound lane on Spring will be paired with a future one-way northbound lane on Main Street (one block east of Spring.) The city’s 5-year implementation plan includes extending the lanes south on Main Street from 9th Street to 16th Street. Additional enhancements could include upgrading these to protected bike lanes, as envisioned at the recent ThinkBike workshops.

(Here’s a quick cell-phone video I shot of them.) [Update: In my haste to post this, I forgot to mention tomorrow's press conference: 1pm Monday September 21st 2011 at the corner of 2nd and Spring. I also made some minor updates to this article to make it read better... but I got the story posted early!!]

North end of the Spring Street bike lane at Cesar Chavez Avenue in Chinatown

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14 thoughts on “Beautiful New Buffered Green Bike Lane on Spring Street

  1. It’s really too bad that the buffer is on the wrong side of the bike lane. It should be to the right of the bike lane so as to buffer bicyclists against the door zone.

  2. Also note that the buffer doesn’t comply with the CAMUTCD, so this really isn’t a bike lane, per 21207, and therefore not a mandatory use facility, per 21208, instead, it’s a kind of non-standard path. That buffer looks to be over two feet wide, so it serves as a legal island per CVC 21651, thus separating the bikeway from the rest of the roadway.

  3. Joe,
    Do you know if the City of LA applied for a request to experiment (RTE) from the FHWA or the CTCDC? Cities in CA often build non-standard facilities without applying for a RTE, thus losing state immunity by deviating from the standard.

  4. From what I know, this was a design reached between a team including Jon Fisher and the Bikeways folks at the LADOT.

    An idea of what might have happened in the room:

    “Jon, what should we do?”

    “Gimme that pen. Do it like this.”

    Dan, I don’t think it is an accident that this is NOT a path, and is instead some sort of weird hybrid form of bike lane.

  5. Pingback: Expo bike facilities threatened in CC, why cyclists don’t ride in bike lanes, caste-ing for a new bike « BikingInLA

  6. Pingback: Spring Street has bike parking too! | Bicycle News

  7. Pingback: Can’t see the pedicab jobs for the green

  8. Pingback: L.A. City Adding New Bikeways, Will They Reach Pledged 40 Miles by June 30? | Streetsblog Los Angeles

  9. Pingback: Main Street Bike Lanes Coming to Downtown L.A. « L.A. Eco-Village Blog

  10. Pingback: Green bike lanes aren’t worth a damn if they’re blocked by Hollywood production trucks « BikingInLA

  11. Pingback: Downtown’s Main Street Bike Lane Extended « B.I.K.A.S.

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