New landscaping will be added, trees planted and crosswalks improved on a block-long section of Bailey Street in Boyle Heights near Mariachi Plaza as part of a $12 million program to encourage pedestrian and mass transit use near four Gold Line stations. Bailey Street between First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue will also be dedicated in honor of Mexican ranchera singer Lucha Reyes, whose statue is located in Mariachi Plaza, according to a City Council motion that will be introduced by Councilman Jose Huizar, who was one of the officials who were on hand for a ceremonial ground breaking this morning.
The changes to Bailey Street under the Eastside Access Project are being funded by a 1/2 cent sales tax. In addition to Bailey Street, Boyle Heights residents will also see new landscaping, sidewalks, art and other elements near First and Cummings streets and First and Aliso. Also in the works are projects to improve bike and pedestrian safety along Mott Street.
On Bailey, which runs along the eastern edge of Mariachi Plaza, the Eastside Access Project includes gardens, seating areas and wider sidewalks at the corner of Bailey and Pennsylvania across from White Memorial Medical Center. In addition, new lights, trash cans and permeable paving will be added along the narrow street, which will be known as Avenida de Lucha Reyes. Huizar, in a press release, said:
“Lucha Reyes is an icon to the Mexican community,” said Huizar. “Dedicating a street in her honor adjacent to Mariachi Plaza will complement the improvements currently underway.”
It’s not clear if a section of Bailey Street north of Cesar Chavez Avenue will retain its name.