Plans to improve pedestrian and traffic safety along North Figueroa Street — including the possible creation of a bike-only lane — have been put on hold at the request of First District Councilman Gil Cedillo, a prominent critic of “road diets” that reduce motor vehicles lanes.
The safety improvements to Figueroa were proposed as part of the city’s Vision Zero program to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities. The Department of Transportation had proposed “repurposing” one northbound lane of Figueroa in addition to other changes, such as the installation of high visibility crosswalks, between York Boulevard and Avenue 43 on the neighborhood’s main north-south street.
The “repurposing” could apply to any of the lanes on the street, not necessarily a traffic lane, said one LADOT official. “The reference means that the lane may be repurposed to a bicycle lane, but also it could mean that it would be reserved for parked vehicles or a center-running left turn lane,” said the official in an email.
But there won’t be any lane changes for now. A spokesperson for LADOT confirmed that the safety improvement plan was on hold pending action by the City Council. Last month, Cedillo introduced a City Council motion directing the transportation department to stop all road diets, traffic lane removals, and lane configurations in his council district that have not been approved by his office.