Can Colorado Boulevard become Civilized?

An earlier post, Colorado Boulevard as a Green Street, showed two different versions of Colorado Boulevard in Northeast Los Angeles. Plans and sections by SALT Landscape Architects contrasted the existing condition on Colorado Boulevard, where three lanes are devoted to vehicular traffic; to a version where one lane is devoted to bikes and parking, and only two to vehicular traffic. This is not an idea we invented. We only illustrated one way to do this. Reducing the number of traffic lanes has been the dream of many people in this community for even longer than “sustainability” has been a buzzword.

In response to comments on that post, this new plan and section show a planting strip and parking used as buffers between bikes and cars.

Are bike lanes the safest ways to get dedicate space to bikes? Los Angeles is hardly in the forefront of making alternative modes of transportation practical. We can turn that to our advantage. By studying what cities like New York City, Portland, and Long Beach are doing, we can pick and choose what works best for us…

Some food for thought:

  • An image of how Dutch bike paths where bikes “flow like water.”
  • This article quantifies how bike lanes have impacted safety in New York City.
  • For more debate on bike lanes in New York City, click here.

Recently, a bike lane was painted onto the section of York Boulevard between Townsend and Eagle Rock Boulevard. What surprised me most about this simple strip of paint, was not just how great it was to bike on, but that it seemed to affect drivers as well:

  1. Vehicular traffic suddenly became more orderly. Previously it was never clear whether certain parts of the street were one or two lanes,  and driving felt like a free-for-all. Now that there is clearly only one lane in either direction, cars fall into a more consistent, regular pace.
  2. When I drive to work, I am constantly eyeing the bike lane with envy, reminded that there are other ways to get around.

Thanks to SALT Landscape Architects for the plan and section and to Jack Burnett Stuart for the bike links.

To download a full resolution image of Colorado with buffered bike lanes, click here: Colorado_Hermosa_Bike_Lane

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7 Responses to Can Colorado Boulevard become Civilized?

  1. Now that’s what I’m talking about, a street that works for everyone!

  2. Maggie says:

    Sweet! I would love to see this done on Colorado and many other streets around town. I also think the new painted bike lane on York is a huge improvement, simple though it is. It used to feel very dangerous riding on that street. Now it feels like there’s room for everyone to coexist. Even when I’m driving that street I am more sensitive to bikes than I would be otherwise, since the bike lane is a good reminder.

  3. Great idea, Severin! Keep pushing from the outside and we’ll try to make it happen from the inside.

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  7. mark vallianatos says:

    I like the bold crosswalks!

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