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Reseda Boulevard Is Getting a Three-Mile Safety Upgrade

artist rendering of people walking, biking along curb-protected bike lane, with bus
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.

Reseda Boulevard is about to get a new look. The city of L.A. Reseda Boulevard Complete Streets Project will feature new trees, bus boarding islands, bioswales, lighting, repaired sidewalks, resurfaced street, and a continuous protected bike lane. Project champion L.A. City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield emphasizes that the improvements "will make Reseda Blvd. safer and more accessible for all Angelenos, whether they are taking transit, driving, walking or biking."

The project will extend 2.9 miles from Victory Boulevard to Parthenia Street, located in the L.A. City neighborhoods of Reseda and Northridge. The project is primarily in L.A. City Council District 3 represented by Blumenfield, though less than a mile of the northern portion is in Council District 12 represented by Councilmember John Lee.

Reseda Blvd
From 2009 to 2019, between Victory and Parthenia, Reseda Blvd saw 110 people killed or severely injured - map via city project presentation

This stretch of Reseda has been prioritized due to a history of traffic deaths and serious injuries. According to the city's project presentation, between 2009 and 2019 110 people were killed or seriously injured; nearly half of these were pedestrians and cyclists.

The community outreach process has been underway since 2018, with on-street engagements, Neighborhood Council meetings, and an open house.

L.A.'s Reseda Boulevard Complete Streets Project is part of the city's Complete Streets Program, based in the Department of Public Works, in partnership with the Transportation Department (LADOT.) Public Works Bureaus of Engineering (BOE), Street Services (BSS - called Streets L.A.), Street Lighting, and Sanitation are responsible for aspects of the multi-benefit project.

The project budget is $24.7 million, funded through the various city sources via the Complete Streets Program.

Reseda Boulevard project features - via LADOT project factsheet
Reseda Boulevard project features - via city project factsheet

Project features will include:

    • Repairs to damaged roadbed and sidewalks
    • New ADA compliant curb ramps
    • New left-turn signals
    • New bus boarding islands - similar to those on Los Angeles Street - designed to improve bus speeds and efficiency of boarding
    • New bus stop lighting
    • Upgraded bike lanes from conventional to protected - plus closing the existing 0.7-mile bike lane gap between Vanowen Street and Valerio Street
    • New street trees
    • New bioswales to cleanse and infiltrate rainwater

The Reseda improvements preserve the existing through travel lanes - two lanes in each direction. In order to make space for the continuous protected bike lanes, some on-street parking will be removed in some areas where the roadway narrows. According to the city presentation, a 2018 parking study found that curb parking was underutilized; most uses along this part of Reseda have their own off-street parking. There are currently 707 on-street parking spaces in the three-mile project stretch. The project will eliminate about a third (241) of these; 466 will remain.

At the northern end, the project will connect to the city's first protected bike lanes, the Reseda Blvd Great Streets project. At the southern end, the project will connect to existing conventional bike lanes. When construction is complete, Reseda Boulevard will have just under ten miles of continuous bike lane, including 3.9 miles protected.

The Reseda improvements will also connect to the future L.A. River bike/walk path (on the south bank of the river) and the future Aliso Creek Park path (along the north side of the river between Wilbur Avenue and Reseda Boulevard - including a new footbridge over Aliso Creek.) Some alternatives for Metro's North San Fernando Valley Bus Rapid Transit would connect with the north end of this Reseda project.

These Reseda improvements also dovetail with Councilmember Blumenfield's Reseda Rising initiative, which includes nearby streetscape improvements on Sherman Way, and walkability improvements in the surrounding neighborhood - including traffic calming, new landscaping, signage, street furniture and more.

Reseda Blvd project timeline - via city presentation
Reseda Blvd project timeline - via city project presentation

Reseda improvements construction is scheduled to get underway next week. Through the end of 2021, the only construction visible will be sidewalk work, including new curb ramps. In 2022, much of the remainder of the project gets underway, including new signals and bus islands. In early 2023, the street will be resurfaced and new trees and bus stop lighting will be added. Construction is anticipated to be complete in April 2023.

Neither project development nor construction are quick. Blumenfield wrote, "For years I’ve been securing the funds and working with LADOT, BSS, and BOE to make this happen, so it's great that crews are now getting started." "The best way to address city-wide traffic and the related safety concerns of bicyclists and pedestrians is through projects like this" he stresses, "we must continue to build out multi-modal transportation opportunities."

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