Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Bicycling

Eyes on the Street: Bus Platform Pilot on First Street in DTLA

LADOT has installed a new platform to help manage DASH riders and bicyclists. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

This article supported by Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney. Click on the bar for more information.
This article supported by Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney as part of a general sponsorship package. All opinions in the article are that of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of LABA. Click on the ad for more information.
false

There is a new piece of bike lane and bus stop infrastructure located in the westbound bike lane on First Street between Main and Spring Streets in downtown L.A.

L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) spokesperson Oliver Hou calls the new device a "Temporary Bus Platform Pilot" and clarifies that the roughly $20,000 facility is "definitely a pilot" that the department is "testing out and evaluating." Hou states that the platform "removes the conflict between buses and bicyclists, and allows the bus to board and alight passengers without pulling in and out of traffic, improving bus services efficiency."

Riders board an electric DASH bus via the new platform
Riders board an electric DASH bus via the new platform
false

The platform allows DASH riders to walk out, cross the bike lane, and board at sidewalk level. Bicyclists can continue straight ahead by popping up and down short ramps at each end. Signage directs cyclists to yield to pedestrians in a shared area atop the platform delineated with a checkerboard pattern.

The platform is somewhat similar to the floating transit islands on Los Angeles Street, though behind those concrete islands cyclists remain at grade while transit riders cross the bike lane going up and down curbs or ramps.

platform
Hump sign in advance of platform
false

Preceding the ramp, cyclists can see new "hump" signage designating a 10 mph speed limit for bikes. The ramp up onto the platform feels somewhat steep, forcing faster cyclists to slow a bit to safely navigate.

platform
A view of the platform from the street
false

There is a channel space between the platform and the curb, so it does not interfere with rainwater drainage.

During a visit to the site at lunchtime today, several cyclists went around the ramp.

FirstPlatform1
One cyclist goes into the car lane to ride to the left of the platform, while another rides on the sidewalk
false

The pilot platform would be better for cyclists if it accompanied an actual protected bike lane. The First Street facility has a striped area (a buffer) between it and the car lane. Though there are bollards at the corners of the platform, there are none in the buffer area. At lunchtime today, SBLA observed two ride-hail drivers using the bike lane as a drop-off area. Plastic bollards along the length of the block would make the bike lane safer, and make it clearer who the lane is for.

It is not Amsterdam, but the relatively inexpensive pilot platform may be a useful, low-cost way to help transit boarding on L.A.'s protected bikeway facilities. One place where it might make sense is Mar Vista's Venice Boulevard, where some transit riders have expressed concerns that buses have been delayed by recent traffic calming safety improvements.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Port Lobbyists Trying to Kill Bike and Pedestrian Safety in Oakland

Trucking/port lobbyists want to destroy a long-established plan to build protected bike lanes connecting Jack London Square, West Oakland, and downtown

July 12, 2024

Friday Video: Take a Spin on Boston’s Electric Cargo Bike Share

Can't afford a $7,000 Urban Arrow cargo e-bike ? In Boston, you can now rent one for just a few bucks.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

5 recommendations for high-speed rail; Caltrans, stop building new freeway lanes already; "Data bikes" can collect information about bike path conditions; More

July 12, 2024

Next Week: Active Transportation Program Workshop

The good news is that there will be a Cycle 7. But it will be small, and there will be hard choices about what gets funded.

July 11, 2024

Metro and Caltrans Still Planning 605 Expansion, Plus Four Connecting Freeways

Metro and Caltrans are planning to spend billions of dollars widening the 605, 5, 10, 60 and 105 Freeways. Really.

July 11, 2024
See all posts