Pedestrian-friendly improvements coming to Spring and Main Streets in Downtown LA

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LA officials gathered at the intersection of Spring and Sixth Streets Sunday to announce a series of pedestrian and bike-focused improvements on the way to two of Downtown’s busiest thoroughfares.

The Main and Spring Forward project will transform the stretch of Main Street running from Cesar Chavez to Ninth, as well as Spring Street between First and Ninth. It’s part of Councilmember Jose Huizar’s DTLA Forward Initiative, as well as the LA Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.

According to a press release, there were three traffic deaths in the project area between 2009 and 2013, including two pedestrians and one driver. A total of nine pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers were seriously injured during the same time frame.

Curious passersby were able to see some of the changes planned for the streets Sunday, thanks to a fancy virtual reality app from San Leandro-based tech company Owlized. Those changes will come in two phases, the first set to begin this fall.

Rendering of bicyclist and mural

Phase one improvements include left-turn pockets, upgraded crosswalks, protected bike lanes, and reflective posts. In phase two, concrete islands will pop up at intersections along both streets and new curbs will be added as a buffer between parked cars and the bike lane.

According to initial estimates, the entire project should wrap up by 2019. Officials will be presenting more information at community meetings on March 23 and March 26.

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