Try a different way to go during MyFigueroa Construction
by LADOT |
August 27, 2018
In advance of the MyFig ribbon cutting celebration on August 30th, most elements of the project including the bike lanes have been operational and open to the public for about two months. During this period, LADOT has had an opportunity to hear initial feedback and concerns, and make some adjustments— and will continue to make adjustments as we evaluate the project.
Based on community comments, LADOT has made these adjustments to MyFigueroa:
Added bollards in areas where the bike lanes are generally unprotected and do not operate with bicycle signals, and for more physical separation and to discourage vehicles from stopping in the bike lane to load or unload or to park illegally
Allowed for better signal progression and reduced travel time for bicyclists by adjusting signal timing and instituting rest-in-red for the bicycle and right turn signal indicators
Extended the MyFig project north to facilitate a continuous protected northbound bike lane from 11th Street to Wilshire Boulevard (bike lane previously became unprotected at 8th Street and terminated at 7th Street) to allow for a more robust connection to bike lanes on 7th Street and the bike lane on Figueroa Street which continues to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue/Sunset Boulevard
The following are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the MyFig project design and operation:
Q: Why do the bike signals only turn green when a bicycle is approaching or at the intersections, or often not until a bicyclist has had to wait at a red light?
A: The current signal timing (following recent adjustments) is “first-come-first-serve", which also allows for “late green" activations. This means that a bicyclist arriving after the Figueroa signal for vehicles has already turned green can still trigger a bike signal green under certain conditions. The ultimate goal is to provide the minimum impact to travel time for bicyclists, while balancing other movements on the roadway. In general, protected bike lanes with bicycle signals offer the maximum protection and separation from vehicle traffic—but also mean a narrower window for bicycles to proceed on green, since bicyclists cannot proceed when vehicles are turning right. The benefits of improved safety and comfort with protected bike lanes should be considered and weighed against the reduction in travel time.
Q: Why do the bike signals change so quickly to yellow and then red while riders may still be in the middle of the intersection?
A: The signal timing is designed in such a way that there is ample green, yellow and all-red time following the bike signal turning red, that accommodates clearance of bicyclists from the intersection before any cross traffic starts moving.
Q: Why aren't the bollards along Figueroa permanent? They are plastic instead of concrete.
A: Concrete bollards present a “fixed object hazard" danger for people traveling on the street. Linear concrete curb separation is very costly; it would have exceeded the project's budget.
Q: Why are there pedestrian push buttons along Figueroa which features areas with high pedestrian activity? Shouldn't the Walk indications automatically be displayed with each green light?
A: The use of pedestrian push buttons allows for the “late green" bike signal activation previously described. If pedestrians are not present and the buttons are not pressed, a “late green" activation of the bike signal can take place when a bicyclist arrives, so they do not have to wait for the next signal cycle. This feature works together with the flashing yellow right arrow for right turning vehicles, and would not be possible without the use of push buttons. Without push buttons, the Walk indication would always come on along with the flashing yellow right turn arrow, and during this period, the “late green" for bikes would not be possible.
At 7th Street and Figueroa Street, the pedestrian push buttons do not need to be pressed to receive a Walk indication; they are there for ADA accessibility (so that someone who is visually impaired can be notified through vibration and an audio message about when the Walk indication is on, and when the red hand is flashing or steady).
Q: What did LADOT do to engage the community?
A: Several well-attended community meetings took place when the project was first being developed. Since then, LADOT has been in regular communication with BIDs and council district offices throughout completion of design and construction, and there has been a public portal of project updates through email blasts, a marketing campaign, and website to maintain open communication. LADOT is working to continue community engagement on the project to maintain an open dialog of feedback and responsiveness, even after the ribbon cutting.
Q: Why are there segments of Figueroa with regular, unprotected bike lanes?
A: These segments of Figueroa are narrower and would have required additional removal of traffic lanes. In an effort to keep the project consistent with stakeholder desires while preserving the bus-only lane, the bike lanes in some areas are not protected. However in those same areas, parking was removed to allow a more generous bike lane width and buffers and some bollards were added where feasible.
Q: Why are there no painted buffers along the bike lanes for the segment from King to Exposition?
A: Due to limited width, wider bike lanes were designed in lieu of narrower bike lanes with buffers in order to provide more usable space for bicyclists out of the gutter areas, and because buffers would have been very narrow, offering negligible separation from traffic lanes and therefore limited benefit.
Q: What is the department doing about taxi drop-offs and rideshare loading areas?
A: LADOT is working with special event planners to identify and establish areas for passenger pick-up and drop-off along the Figueroa Corridor.
Q: Why has the project taken so long?
A: The initial concept-building and outreach of the project was lengthy due to the magnitude of the changes it would bring to the corridor. The design that followed involved very complex traffic signal, geometric, and civil design that was tedious and time consuming. Construction was just as complex, also involving challenging work to move and accommodate utilities. That work needed to be coordinated with other development-led construction in the project area
Q: How much did this project cost?
A: $21.5 million funded the streetscape improvements to Figueroa, 11th Street, and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. This was out of a total $30 million Proposition 1C grant which also funded other related improvements in the area, including some non-transportation improvements.
Q: What makes this project so important?
A: MyFig showcases how a street can function and feel when it provides a better balance of amenities for all users including people on foot, on bike, using transit, and driving. It connects several affordable housing projects and other residential hubs with bus and rail stations and hubs serving the Silver, Expo, Blue, Red, and Purple Lines, and connects these with numerous regional activity centers along the Figueroa Corridor like the Exposition Park Museums, the University of Southern California, the Sports and Entertainment District, and the Financial District in Downtown Los Angeles.