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Vision Zero Safety Improvements Planned for Temple Street in L.A.

In response to recent traffic deaths, LADOT plans to improve Temple Street, potentially adding new bike lanes and crosswalk enhancements. Image via LADOT

Last Wednesday, the city of Los Angeles Vision Zero team held a workshop for public input on planned safety upgrades for Temple Street. At the workshop, the city Transportation Department (LADOT) shared potential plans for Temple, and received public input.

The proposed improvements would cover 2.3 miles of Temple Street, from Beverly Boulevard to Beaudry Avenue. This segment of the street is located immediately west of downtown Los Angeles, in the neighborhoods of historic Filipinotown, Echo Park, and Temple-Beaudry. The stretch of Temple Street is one of the city's 40 Vision Zero priority corridors identified in the city's Vision Zero Action Plan. The priority corridors are places with a consistent history of traffic crashes causing death and serious injury.

Heat map of serious collision on Temple Street. Image via LADOT
Heat map of recent serious collision on Temple Street. Image via LADOT

According to LADOT statistics, from 2009-2015, five people were killed and 21 people were seriously injured while traveling on Temple Street. One recent death that received some media attention was the 2016 death of Tomas Brewer, a cyclist who was killed when a speeding drunk driver's car collided with a parked car, then spun around hitting Brewer, before crashing into a tree.

Temple Street was recently the site of Temple Street Slow Jams, a creative effort to raise safety awareness. Temple Street Slow Jams was a project of the Gabba Gallery, Los Angeles Walks, Pilipino Workers Center, and Public Matters.

Though the project details are not fully finalized, last week LADOT presented a tentative plan with an initial phase that would include relatively cheap and quick improvements:

    • A road diet lane reduction, adding new bike lanes: The current configuration has two travel lanes in each direction, with left turns only at major intersections. The new configuration would remove a car lane and feature a continuous left turn lane, one travel lane in each direction, and bike lanes. LADOT estimates that the reduced travel lanes would delay some drivers up to a minute and a half at peak traffic times.
    • New leading pedestrian intervals, also called pedestrian head-start signals
    • New speed feedback signs

A second project phase would tentatively include:

    • New high-visibility flashing crosswalks at Hoover Street, Parkman Avenue, and Coronado Street
    • New left turn pockets/signals
LADOT representatives receiving public input at last week's Temple Street meeting. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
LADOT representatives receiving public input at last week's Temple Street meeting. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

There was no date announced for the initial improvements, though an initial phase is expected to be implemented this fiscal year.

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