The Low Down on the Los Angeles St. Protected Bike Lane

While the protected bike lanes on Los Angeles St. opened without a formal ceremony, these lane conversions have already become highly celebrated.

If you’re an infrastructure nerd, your twitter feed was flooded with pics of cyclists making the pilgrimage downtown.

Although I work near by, I rarely ride on Los Angeles St., as I normally take the adjacent buffered lanes on Spring and Main, except when I ride to Union Station.

Since I was seemingly behind the curve, last Thursday I decided to have a look so I could give my usual “let me confuse you more” take.

First of all, while I knew there were new lanes on Los Angeles St., I didn’t have any particulars exactly where they were other than in front of the former Parker Center.

Leaving work, I decided to cut up Los Angeles St. at 4th figuring that would be as far south as they’d start.

Even though the street is wide enough further south, I had to mozy up to 1st Street until I finally found those protective impediments spring from the ground.

If you follow CiclaValley closely(and I know you do), you’ll remember my video from early 2015 showing:


Now, there is an obvious great improvement, but even for cyclists, there will be an adjustment period:


Coming up to 1st Street, Hark! What light on yonder breaks?


What a difference a few months makes, although maybe they could have squeezed a few more bollards in there…


Coming up to my first specialized traffic signal, I was caught off guard what was happening, especially when the first signal is blocked by a sign.


I had seen early photos of theses traffic islands being scared that the lane was dangerously too narrow. It’s not great, but passable when I can feel safe going a regular speed. I just hope pedestrians watch as they cross.


Looks like you better grab a spot on these traffic sensors if you ever want to cross.


We get our own signal. Huzzah!


Coming up to Arcadia, an extra bollard at the intersection would be nice to keep cars getting onto the 101 from merging early.




Right before you reach Union Station, you get some extra greenage and bollards.

LABL09On the return, the bollards start a little back so cars can unload. Just something to keep an eye on.

LABL10This is the closest I’ll ever get to playing Plinko.


One thing to that’s a bit confusing is guessing if bikes aren’t allowed to make right turns.

LABL12 don’t have that problem when there’s a one-way street coming from your right.




Beware of cars inching out from the culinary paradise that is the Los Angeles Mall.


On thing to be aware of is the bike signal stays green for a very short time.

LABL14Before you know it, you’re back to roaming free on 1st Street. Maybe that’s not a good thing…

While the novelty is great, the one thing I fear is having to rest on the traffic sensors at every intersection to trigger a green light. This works great when you have to take pictures, but I imagine having to wait at every signal may get tiresome after awhile.

Still, I’m pretty happy these buffers were created and it sets a great precedent for the future. But I’ll still be taking Spring Street.