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!!]