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Eyes on the Street: New Bike Lanes on Avenue 19 and First Street

11:57 AM PST on December 8, 2022

Photo: Joe Linton/ Streetsblog LA

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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.
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There are a couple of new bikeways in central Los Angeles: on First Street in downtown L.A.'s Little Tokyo/Arts District and Boyle Heights, and on Avenue 19 in Lincoln Heights and Cypress Park.

LADOT had announced the Avenue 19 bike lanes back in 2019, but they were blocked under the area's overtly anti-bike City Councilmember Gil Cedillo. Cedillo recently lost his seat to pro-bike Eunisses Hernandez, who takes office next week. In October, the city re-announced that Avenue 19 lanes would be installed, this time as part of the new BLAST program which ups coordination between the city Transportation Department (LADOT) and the city Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA).

StreetsLA recently repaved Avenue 19, and now LADOT has installed the delayed bikeway.

The Avenue 19 bike lanes extend three quarters of a mile from San Fernando Road to North Broadway. At San Fernando Road, the lanes connect to the L.A. River bike path, via a bikeway on the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge.

The Avenue 19 bike facility is mostly plastic bollard-protected, with some unprotected stretches at the southern end. South of Barranca Street, Avenue 19 had a one-way northbound bike lane forming a couplet with Avenue 18. LADOT added a new southbound bike lane there, so now both sides of Avenue 19 have lanes.

Buffered bike lane stretch of Avenue 19
Buffered bike lane stretch of Avenue 19
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Soft-hit-post protected bike lanes on the resurfaced Avenue 19
Soft-hit-post protected bike lanes on the resurfaced Avenue 19
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Avenue 19 had been one of three remaining gaps in connecting the L.A. River bike path into Chinatown and downtown Los Angeles.

Avenue 19 and N. Spring Street are key connections to bring the river path into downtown Los Angeles. Existing bikeways are green; gaps are red.
Avenue 19 and N. Spring Street are key connections to bring the river path into downtown Los Angeles. November 2022 map shows existing bikeways in green, gaps in red. The new Avenue 19 bikeway closed the long red gap at the top.
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About two miles south of the new Lincoln Heights lanes, Metro completed the installation of a 0.6-mile long eastbound bike lane on First Street from Alameda Street to Mission Road. The new bikeway is part of Metro Little Tokyo/Arts District Eastside Access Improvements being implemented as Metro Regional Connector subway construction wraps up. First Street's westbound bike lane opened in April. The new eastbound lane extends Little Tokyo's other new First Street bike lanes, located west of Alameda.

New eastbound buffered bike lane on First Street in Little Tokyo
New eastbound buffered bike lane on First Street in Little Tokyo
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The new eastbound First Street bike lane goes over the historic First Street Bridge into Boyle Heights
The new eastbound First Street bike lane extends over the historic First Street Bridge into Boyle Heights
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