We are reminiscing about all the hard work and collaboration that went into bringing MyFig to fruition. We want to take a moment for a thorough THANK YOU to all of the partners, supporters, and collaborators who have made this project possible.
The Big Idea: CRA/LA and AEG
The Community Redevelopment Agency Los Angeles (CRA/LA) worked with AEG and Deborah Murphy Urban Design + Planning to apply for Proposition 1C funding from the State of California Infill Infrastructure Grant Program, for a visionary redesign of the Figueroa Corridor. This competitive grant was awarded because of their bold proposal to transform Figueroa from a car-centric thoroughfare to a multi-modal corridor serving new housing and event centers.
The Designers: Troller Mayer Associates, Melendrez (now Relm), Gehl Architects
Glendale-based Troller Mayer Associates (Rick Mayer, Greg Maher, John Massoud) led the design team for MyFigueroa, working with the LA urban planning and design firm Melendrez—now called Relm (Melani Smith, Scott Baker, Rebecca Finn). Gehl Architects (Oliver Schultze) also brought their international complete streets expertise from their home of Copenhagen. KPFF (Brian Powers) provided civil engineering to support the complete streets goals of the design team, IBI Group (Bill Delo) worked on traffic modeling and signal/striping design, Selbert Perkins (Robin Perkins) brought their expertise in branding and environmental graphics to the project.
Elected Support: Council and Mayor Offices
When MyFigueroa's planning began, most of the project area was in Council Districts 8 and 9, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry's districts at the time. Both of their offices were early champions of MyFigueroa, before any other complete streets projects were planned anywhere in Los Angeles.
With Council District lines redrawn, a larger part of MyFigueroa now lies in Council District 14, represented by Jose Huizar. Councilmember Huizar has been a supporter of MyFigueroa since its inception, and MyFig is integrated into CD14's DTLA Forward initiative, which seeks to make streets safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, living, and working in Downtown LA. Similarly, the support for the project in Council District 9 continued when Curren D. Price Jr. was elected. His office has continued to support MyFigueroa as an opportunity for a more vibrant Figueroa Street in The New 9th.
The Mayor's office has also been instrumental over the course of MyFigueroa's planning and construction. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa oversaw bike infrastructure expansion across LA, and Mayor Eric Garcetti has continued support for MyFigueroa, as a way to improve safety for people biking and walking in Los Angeles.
AEG: AEG, owner of Staples Center and LA Live, had a holistic vision for a more dense and vibrant Figueroa Street. They brought CRA/LA on board as the grant applicant and provided funding for Deborah Murphy Urban Design + Planning to prepare the winning grant application.
BIDs: The business improvement districts in the project area—South Park BID, Figueroa Corridor BID, and Downtown Center BID—have been instrumental in garnering support from local businesses during the planning and outreach process, as well as coordinating with stakeholders throughout construction. And they will also be the stewards of MyFigueroa into the future, maintaining the landscaping and other streetscape improvements in the project area.
Housing Developers: The funding for MyFigueroa was awarded by the State of California, as a way to connect residents of the new affordable and market rate housing along the corridor. While MyFig was being built, so were many housing developments, including the YWCA Jobs Corps Center and South Group's Evo Building, among others. The non-profit Figueroa Corridor Land Trust (now TRUST South LA) also had a special role as both an advocate for affordable housing and bike safety in the area.
Major Businesses and Destinations: Many of the other large venues along MyFigueroa have also been supporters along the way, including the Los Angeles Convention Center, Exposition Park and the museums there, as well as USC. Property owners Shammas Group, as well as AAA, have embraced MyFigueroa as an important part of LA's mobility future. The Central City Association (CCA) advocated for MyFig as a tool to improve the vibrancy of the corridor. The owners of Fig&7th (Brookfield) and The BLOC (Ratkovich Company) also have supported the project and its potential to bring economic development—more foot traffic and shoppers—to the area.
Bike and Pedestrian Advocates: The local advocacy organizations Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Los Angeles Walks worked hard to spread the word to their followers about MyFigueroa community meetings, where LACBC also provided bike valet. Los Angeles Walks led a walk along the future MyFigueroa during the CicLAvia open streets event on Figueroa.
Figueroa Corridor Residents and Workers: Above all, the people who use Figueroa everyday—walking dogs and children, commuting, shopping, running businesses, and living their lives—have been the biggest supporters of MyFig and the most patient during construction impacts. And the neighborhood councils representing residents in these areas (DLANC and NANDC). We cannot thank the community enough!
Marketing and Education: Metro and LADCP
The LA Department of City Planning received funding from Metro ExpressLanes for an outreach campaign called Let's Fig It Out! to inform residents and commuters on the corridor that MyFigueora was coming and to try biking, walking, and transit in the area. This campaign also included a series of trainings and safety education for bicyclists at USC, and was developed by the consultants Alta Planning + Design, Place and Page, Kendall Planning + Design. As part of this campaign, the local transportation non-profit FAST worked with Metro on a custom MyFigueroa TAP card, distributed at the MyFigueroa ribbon cutting.
LADOT took over the implementation of MyFigueroa when the CRA/LA was dissolved. They worked to engineer the final shovel-ready project design and coordinated with contractors All American Asphalt. They were supported by the Department of Water and Power and the Department of Public Works bureaus through utility relocation, construction inspection, and other key coordination. The Bureau of Street Services also enhanced the project through coordinated street resurfacing and repairs. Many LADOT transportation engineers kept their noses to the ground, finding solutions to all kinds of questions that arose throughout the construction process.
There have been so many people and organizations who contributed to MyFigueroa along the way, many more than mentioned here. Stay tuned to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as we continue to call out all of the amazing supporters who made MyFigueroa happen!