Figueroa Corridor seen as transformative spine of an innovation district

LA Times guest bloggers Francois Bar and John Seely Brown talk about the serendipity that occurs when people have places to gather and talk about new ideas and projects. The Figueroa Corridor has the opportunity to become a vibrant innovation spine linking South Los Angeles and Downtown if we build those places with safer streets for all.

Read the full article here.

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Critical Public Hearing Tuesday, March 25th at 2:30 PM Los Angeles City Hall

The City Planning Department's Report to Council in response to Councilmember Curren Price's Motion CF13-1124 has been posted to the City Clerks's website. A link is provided here: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2013/13-1124_misc_03-18-14.pdf

The Report to Council will be considered at public hearing the City Council Planning and Land Use Committee next Tuesday, March 25th at 2:30pm at City Hall.

Please attend the hearing to show your support for this transformative project that will create a vibrant spine in South Los Angeles and Downtown along Figueroa Street. The project supports business and property owners with strong economic development opportunities as well as safe transportation options for residents, employees and visitors.

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Proposed 11th & Hope Street Streetscape Improvements
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LA Times Supports The My Figueroa Project

la-ed-my-figueroa-bike-lanes-complete-street-2-002.gifla-ol-walkers-matter-too-in-my-figueroa-debate-002.jpgThe Los Angeles Times Editorial Board and Kerry Cavanaugh, LA Times Opinion LA Blogger, strongly support the My Figueroa Project and encourage the City of Los Angeles to move forward with this transformative Complete Streets project. 

Kerry states 'When I look at the renderings of My Figueroa — the city’s first “complete street” designed to equally accommodate drivers, bikers, bus riders and pedestrians — I think, “Now that would be a great walk.”'

The Editorial Board makes a critical point "In recent years, California law and Los Angeles policies have established that streets are not meant for automobiles alone. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council should not let fears of traffic congestion turn this transformative project into another incomplete street."

We are very excited about the strong support that our complete street project has continued to attract and that once the project is built we will all experience first hand the transformation of Figueroa Street into a safe and beautiful street for all, where people want to shop, live, work and play.

Read Kerry Cavanaugh's article here.

Read the Los Angeles Times editorial here. 

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Environmental Impact Report Appeal Hearing

Environmental Impact Report Appeal Hearing

The Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) of the City Council of the City of Los Angeles will hold a Public Hearing on the appeal of the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) by the Shammas Automotive Group and the Motion filed by Councilmember Price regarding the Project on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM at City Hall Room 350 (Public Works Hearing Room), 200 North Spring Street, 90012.

The City Council File #13-1225 for the EIR appeal can be found on the City of Los Angeles City Clerk’s website at:

http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=13-1225

and City Council File #12-1124 for the Price motion at:

http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=13-1124

All interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to attend. Questions regarding the EIR should be directed to David Somers in the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning at 213.978.3307 david.somers@lacity.org

 

Street Lighting Installation

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Pedestrian Lighting for MLK and 11th Street

The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting (BSL) will be constructing all lighting upgrades associated with the Project. Underground work for the pedestrian lighting installation along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Figueroa Street to Vermont Avenue) is expected to commence within the next couple of months. Additionally, much of the equipment for Figueroa Street – including new vehicular light poles and luminaires and pedestrian lighting – has been ordered. Once received, more information on the installation of this equipment will follow. For 11th Street, the Proposition 218 vote for new pedestrian lighting passed earlier this month! This means that new pedestrian lighting will be included on 11th Street as part of the project. 

 

Construction Documents

Construction Documents for the three portions of the Project are nearly complete with the drawings for the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard portion expected to be completed by the beginning of February, and the drawings for Figueroa Street and 11th Street expected to be completed by March. The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering will then advertise the three individual Project components separately; through competitive bid and award processes, contractors will be selected. Construction for each of the three Project components expected to begin in summer or fall of this year.

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Serving Transit Riders on the Figueroa Corridor

The Figueroa Corridor Streetscape project will include a number of new features that are geared to serve transit riders on the Figueroa Corridor.  In the stretches of the corridor that include separated cycletracks, with protected bike lanes adjacent to the curbs on both sides of the street, busses (and in future possibly streetcars!) will stop at transit platforms outboard of the bike lanes, but in line with on-street parking spaces.  Transit platforms will be located on Fig, at 8th Street, 9th Street, Olympic Blvd, 11th Street, 23rd Street, Adams, 27th Street, 30th Street, Jefferson, McCarthy Way, and Exposition.

In most cases, the platforms will accommodate new bus shelters with public art as well as bus benches, for transit patrons to use while waiting for the SilverLine, DASH service, or perhaps a Metro local bus.  Pedestrian signage will be located on the sidewalk adjacent to the transit platforms, along with pedestrian scale lighting, bike racks, new landscaping and trees.  See the attached transit platform plan to learn more.  Click here to download the plan.  

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Protected Bike Lanes in Momentum Magazine

Page_1_The_Rise_of_the_North_American_Protected_Bike_Lane_(2013-SEP)-2.jpgThe benefits of Protected Bike Lanes across North America are reviewed in this article in Momentum Magazine.

The Rise of the North American Protected Bike Lane

By Angie Schmidt

Momentum Magazine, July 31, 2013

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City Planning Releases Its Final Environmental Impact Review

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We're thrilled to announce that on August 7, 2013, the Final Environmental Impact Review for MyFigueroa was submitted by L.A.'s Department of City Planning. This paves the way for our four miles of streetscape improvements between Downtown and South L.A., including the first protected cycle tracks in the city. Although the project's complete streets will enhance the daily experience for pedestrians and transit riders, MyFigueroa was particularly heralded for its bicycle elements, which will provide a model for neighborhoods across L.A. "As the first such protected bicycle facility in the City, the Figueroa Streetscape Project is a great opportunity to realize a truly multi-modal vision for our City streets, and will serve to attract a broader range of Angelenos into the emerging bicycle network,” says planner David Somers.

Although the environmental review is a great milestone, as Streetsblog LA's notes in its coverage of the report, we still need community support to stay on schedule:

The project is funded through funds from State Proposition 1C, and funding is default if the project has not completed construction by the end of December, 2014. LADOT and the project team are confident it remains on track to completion, but any significant delay could prove fatal.

You can read the entire FEIR online and the documents are also available for public review at the Central Library at 630 W. 5th Street and at the Jefferson Branch Library at 2211 W. Jefferson Blvd.

In addition, we've posted some updated proposed streetscape elements and will be filing regular updates as soon as construction begins. Sign up to receive updates if you haven't already!

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Check Out the Proposed Streetscape Elements

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You've seen the renderings of what My Figueroa will look like and read the description of the project. Since the Community Meeting in April, the team has been hard at work making decisions about all the design details that will make up the streetscape. Take a look at some of the proposed elements, from street furniture to new trees to wayfinding signage.

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Thank You! Over 200 Community Members Attend Our April 9 Event

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What a great night! Over 200 members of the local community came out for our April 9 event at the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital. Thanks to the help of Orthopaedic Hospital board member Hillary Norton, we got to use the hospital's Andrew Norman Hall for our meeting. As folks arrived they helped themselves to buttons (I Walk Fig, I Ride Fig, I Bike Fig) and surveyed the images of the project surrounding the room while enjoying delicious tortas, aguas frescas and pastries from Oaxacalifornia and Corner Bakery.

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The group was first inspired by the energetic Charlie Gandy, a livability expert who talked about how bike and pedestrian improvements made in Long Beach had improved the city, both environmentally and economically. He presented some information about the city's bike lanes, bike boulevards and Bike-Friendly Business Districts, which had not only increased the number of walkers and bikers on the streets, but also decreased collisions and increased retail sales. His statistics on their separated bike lanes on Broadway and Third definitely showed the benefits of creating dedicated spaces for walkers, bikers and drivers.

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Then Melani Smith of Melendrez took the stage to present the updated streetscape designs. One of the highlights was the cycle track, a fully separated bike facility (a cross between a bike lane and a bike path) that includes other safety features like bike signaling and special painted areas in the street to make drivers aware of cyclists. Cyclists will ride in the roadway next to the sidewalk, protected from roadway traffic by transit platforms and raised low-profile physical barriers. Some areas, like near LA Live, will not get cycle tracks, but painted, buffered bike lanes.

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Up and down Figueroa, transit platforms give riders their own dedicated place to wait for buses and new wayfinding signage will help walkers navigate the neighborhood. Other improvements include more trees, more benches and LED lighting that will illuminate sidewalks. Another exciting development for the designs is the integration with the recently approved L.A. Streetcar, which will travel along a redesigned 11th Street and share transit platforms on Figueroa.

Want more details? You can download the entire presentation as a PDF and also watch this video of Melani walking through the various designs and plans.

The presentation was followed by lots of great questions from the audience, including concerns about convention and Staples Center traffic, integration with the L.A. Streetcar, pedestrian improvements, and public art. Some attendees wanted to see the Draft Environmental Impact Report, which you can view here

People also wanted clarification on various aspects of the street design, including specific pedestrian improvements and the location of cycle tracks vs. buffered bike lanes, since the design of the street will change in different areas to serve different needs. You can download the entire presentation as a PDF to see the specific changes to each part of Figueroa, 11th and MLK.

State Senator Curren Price, Jr. was in attendance and Nat Gale from Mayor Villaraigosa's Office came all the way across town after the State of the City address to express the Mayor's support for the project.

If you want to read our play-by-play coverage of the evening, check out our live coverage on Twitter, or see photos posted from the night.

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Thanks to Charlie Gandy for speaking at our event, Oaxacalifornia at Mercado La Paloma and Corner Bakery Cafe at 801 S. Figueroa Street for refreshments, TRUST South LA for organizing the bike ride to the event, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for bike valet (look at all those bikes!), and Streetsblog TV for the livestream.

Thank you also to Council District 9 for their support of the project and for providing AV and translation equipment, Council District 14 for support of the project, the Mayor's Office for support of the project, Figueroa Corridor BID, South Park Stakeholders BID, and Hillary Norton at FAST and Toya Lee at the Orthopaedic Hospital for all their help organizing the meeting.

And a huge thank you to the CRA/LA and the State of California Housing and Community Development Department for the grant that started it all!

What's next? The project must be completed by the end of 2014 so the team will be bidding contractors and beginning construction. Want to stay updated about the project? Sign up here to receive updates via email.

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Two New Renderings Revealed

As we prepare for our April 9 event, we just couldn't wait to share these images, so we're pleased to release two updated renderings of MyFigueroa! Here's a view of 11th Street at Hope Street, where you can see a buffered bike lane, improved sidewalks, high-visibility crosswalks, more landscaping and street trees, plus some nifty new wayfinding signage that will help pedestrians navigate along the Corridor.

And here's Figueroa, also at 11th Street, looking north towards LA Live. Here you can see the cycle track, kind of a cross between a protected bike lane and a bike path that's located in the roadway, away from pedestrians but still physically separate from vehicles. Also note the bike signal—yes, there will be dedicated signaling for cyclists along the route. You can also see the platforms which will give transit riders a safer, more comfortable place to wait for and board the bus. And look how happy those people are eating ice cream! They'll be walking on wider sidewalks and sitting on additional benches as they enjoy their cones.

Want more information? Read our press release and download our PDF fact sheet. And you can see more images and hear about the updated designs in person at our Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 9 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Andrew Norman Hall Orthopaedic Hospital, 2400 S. Flower Street. See you there!

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MyFigueroa
We're transforming Figueroa to promote economic development, improve the pedestrian, bike, and transit experience, and beautify some of Los Angeles' most diverse communities.