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The City of Los Angeles is considering a new street safety project that would set up bike lanes and other traffic-calming measures on the very busy Adams Boulevard. Identified by Los Angeles officials, the two-mile segment of Adams between Fairfax Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard is part of its high-injury network — the roughly 6% of streets where for more than 70% of the city’s traffic injuries and fatalities occur.
Between 2009 and 2019, 59 severe and fatal collisions occurred on Adams Boulevard between Crenshaw Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, according to LADOT. These collisions caused 10 deaths (including six pedestrians) and 59 severe injuries. This is one of the highest rates of traffic fatalities and severe injuries in Los Angeles and why the City is considering these implementations.
LADOT, which is leading the project, is reportedly building its efforts off of community outreach initiated in 2017. Respondents to a past survey done by the agency found a desire for safer streets and sidewalks, as well as additional crosswalks and bike lanes. Other changes the agency is proposing for Adams include pavement repair, signal upgrades, lane reduction, pedestrian beacons, pedestrian refuge islands, and other safety treatments.
LADOT is currently considering two design options for the proposed bicycle lanes. The first involves transforming the angled parking along the north side of Adams into a six-foot protected bike lane for westbound travelers. The south side of the street would preserve its existing curbside parking, abutted by a five-foot eastbound bike lane with a two-foot buffer zone. The second option calls for symmetrical six-foot bike lanes on both sides of the street. Each would have a four-foot buffer zone from vehicle traffic lanes, and curbside parking would be retained.
In the comments section of the Urbanize Los Angeles article cited earlier, one user wrote: “This is so needed. I was having lunch here a couple months back. Parents drove up to LA, parked across the street and had to literally sprint across this boulevard as freeway to make it to the other side. Pedestrian improvements and protected bike lanes are so needed for what has the potential to be a fantastic corridor (especially with the new density near the E line stop not so far away).”
But not everyone is happy about the proposed projects. Another user wrote: “Both of these alternatives are uninspiring, unimaginative, and will do nothing to make Adams Boulevard more livable. Angled parking? FFS. 70-foot-wide street West Adams could accommodate bus-only lanes for the four Metro bus lines that are currently stuck behind cars and still leave 50 feet for bike lanes, a landscaped median, and street parking converted to a mix of parklets, bioswales, outdoor dining, and commercial loading zones. All of Mid-City could be so much more walkable, safe, and livable with more human infrastructure and less car-dependency.”
The proposed safety infrastructure project would be implemented incrementally over a period of a couple of years. Street surfacing and restriping is expected to take place between March and May of 2021. The construction of the new refuge islands, beacons, and traffic signals would happen between 2021 and 2023.
The city is currently soliciting community feedback for the proposed project through a survey that is open for responses through January 30, 2021.