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May 18, 2021

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New Bike Lanes on 7th Street in Koreatown – Streetsblog Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) just installed five blocks of new bike lanes in the city’s most population-dense neighborhood, Koreatown. The new 7th Street bike lanes extend about one third of a mile from Kingsley Drive to Western Avenue.

LADOT announced the new bikeway yesterday via Twitter.

New bike lanes on 7th Street in Koreatown
New bike lanes on 7th Street in Koreatown
New bike lanes on 7th Street in Koreatown
New bike lanes on 7th Street in Koreatown

The lanes serve as a needed first/last mile connection to the Metro D Line Wilshire/Western Station.

The new Seventh Street lanes feature bikeway signage (part of a long-delayed citywide project that has been begun appearing on a few new bikeways).

New bikeway signage on 7th Street at Kingsley
New bikeway signage on 7th Street at Kingsley
7th Street Bikeway signage includes the distance to the nearby Metro D Line subway
7th Street Bikeway signage (at Oxford) includes the distance to the nearby Metro D Line subway

The street width varies a fair amount. For the westernmost block between Oxford and Western Avenues, the street narrows and the eastbound bike lane drops for one block. From Oxford to Western there is a westbound bike lane paired with eastbound sharrows.

For one block - between Western and xxx, there is a westbound bike lane and eastbound sharrows. Note also the LADOT crew working on installing bikeway signage earlier today.
For one block – between Western and Oxford – there is a westbound bike lane and eastbound sharrows. Also in the photo is the LADOT crew working on installing bikeway signage earlier today.

It appears that it would be fairly painless (meaning no or very little parking or car lane removal) to extend these 7th Street lanes all the way from Grammercy Place to Mariposa Avenue – about 0.8-mile. It would be somewhat difficult to connect them further eastward from Mariposa due to 7th Street dead-ending on either side of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools at the former site of the Ambassador Hotel. East of the RFK Schools, 7th Street has bike lanes that extend all the way into downtown Los Angeles.

Despite being very population-dense and transit-rich, L.A.’s Koreatown has very few bikeways. Prior to this week, the only bike lanes in Koreatown were a short stretch of First Street, three blocks of Oxford Avenue, and the portion of 7th east of RFK. The neighborhood also has some sharrow-ed bike routes, notably the heavily-bicycled 4th Street. This situation could be changing as the pro-bike pro-walk Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council pushes for safer walking and biking, including pedestrianizing a portion of 6th Street.

New bike lane on Figueroa Street in Chinatown (author's daughter pictured)
New bike lane on Figueroa Street in Chinatown (author’s seven-year-old daughter pictured)

In other bike lane news, about three miles east, LADOT recently added two blocks of new bike lane – 0.1-mile from César E Chávez Avenue/Sunset Boulevard to Alpine Drive in Chinatown. This short facility extends the recently-protected Figueroa bikeway south of Chávez/Sunset. The new lanes also make a connection to an unofficial bicycling route (Alpine to New Depot Street to College Street) that many cyclists use to avoid hills in that part of Chinatown.