Nice video recently posted by the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition on the proposed bike lane along 7th Street and serve as an alternative to riding on very busy Wilshire Boulevard. The lane would eventually stretch from Catalina Street in Koreatown to Soto Street in Boyle Heights and is scheduled to be the first built under the city’s new bike plan.
It’s also a project that could benefit Metro passengers. Seventh Street is one block south of Wilshire Boulevard, which the subway runs under to Western Avenue (and soon beyond with the Westside Subway Extension). Wilshire is also Metro’s busiest bus corridor — with rush hour bus lanes soon — and there’s Metro local bus service on both 6th and 8th streets and many of the major north-south streets that intersect 7th.
A useful bike lane on 7th could help Metro riders get to and from bus and rail stops in speedier fashion, particularly in a part of town transit ridership is already high.
Naturally, the LACBC wants the 7th Street bike lane done right. They’re holding a news conference later today to raise awareness.
As Matthew Fleischer wrote at KCET SoCal Focus, “The LABC is right to start promoting the route months before the lane is even built. The 7th Street lane’s success could go a long way towards determining the urgency with which the city carries out the rest of the bike plan.”
The folks at CicLAvia have also chimed in, given that 7th Street has figured prominently in both CicLAvia events.
Here’s more on the project from the city’s LADOT Bike Blog:
A Great Street for Bike Infrastructure
7th Street is one of those streets that just makes sense for bike lanes. It’s one of the few east-west connections between mid-city neighborhoods (like Koreatown, MacArthur Park & Pico Union) and Downtown that is extremely well suited for bicycling. While all the streets north of 7th Street have a lot of hilly sections on them, 7th Street has one long, slow climb while going east towards Downtown. This gentle slope was one of the reasons 7th Street featured so prominently in last years’ CicLAvia route.
Catalina to Soto
The current limits for the project on 7th Street, as designated by the Bike Plan, will eventually stretch just over 5 miles from Koreatown to Boyle Heights. From Catalina Street in the west to Soto Street in the east, bike lanes on 7th Street would offer access to multiple LAUSD schools, multiple parks, and a safe corridor into Downtown for neighborhoods that have been traditionally under-served by the City. The BPIT team and LADOT engineers will begin by focusing on 7th Street from Catalina to Figueroa, as that stretch seems implementable in the very near term.