ECHO PARK — Many savvy commuters know that Temple Street west of Downtown is a relatively speedy alternative to other congested east-west boulevards and the 101 Freeway. But traffic on Temple could be slowing down soon as the city officials propose reducing lanes for cars and trucks — a so-called “Road Diet” — and making more rooms for bikes to improve safety along an approximately 2-mile-long stretch of the street.
The proposal to reduce the number of vehicle lanes comes as the developers have targeted the Temple Street corridor for high-density residential development, which would likely mean that more cars and trucks — as well as pedestrians and cyclists– will be hitting the streets in the area. More than 2,000 housing units have recently been built or are in the works on or just off Temple between the 110 Freeway on the east and Beverly Boulevard on the west.
Wednesday, July 12: 5 pm – 7 pm
Echo Park Recreation Center, 1632 Bellevue Ave.
Reducing traffic speeds by removing lanes for cars and trucks will help improve safety, transportation officials have said. Five people have been killed and nearly 30 have been severely injured on Temple Street between Beverly and Beaudry Avenue since 2009, according to the L.A. Department of Transportation.
A Wednesday night public meeting will review some of the traffic safety measures and changes being considered for Temple Street under the city’s Vision Zero program to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities. The changes include:
- Reduce vehicle lanes from one 2 to 1 in each direction
- Add a center turn lane
- Add bike lanes in each direction
- Install new speed feedback signs, crosswalks with flashing signals, protected left turns
- Give pedestrians a head start over vehicles when traffic lights turn green
Last month, city agencies teamed up with other groups to host Temple Street Slow Jams, which included several events to raise awareness of the safety problems along the street and potential solutions.
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Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
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