Thanks to funds contributed by the developer of the Wilshire Grand Center, improvements are coming to a stretch of Seventh Street between Figueroa and Olive Streets, as well as to the bridges which carry Wilshire Boulevard and Seventh Street above the Harbor Freeway.At a community meeting last night, Melanie Smith of landscape architecture firm Melendrez presented a preferred bundle of streetscape enhancements which would improve the look, feel and functionality of Seventh Street. The proposed upgrades would make Seventh Street more hospitable to pedestrian, cyclists and transit users. These improvements will include:
- A new scramble crossing at the intersection of Seventh and Figueroa Streets, stopping all automobile traffic to allow pedestrians to cross in any direction at once. Three other intersections will receive the now standard “zebra,” crosswalk markings.
- Four blocks of protected bike lanes. Planters will be used to create the protective buffer between the bicycle lane and automobile traffic.
- Raised transit platforms and bus shelters between curbside bus lanes and and automobile lanes, offering transit patrons a waiting area away from sidewalk traffic.
- Sidewalk “bulbouts” at various points, calming traffic and shortening pedestrian crossing distance
- A strip of “flex space” (the blue painted area in the rendering) between the bike lanes and sidewalks. This space could be utilized for a variety of future uses, including bike corrals, parklets and outdoor dining.
- Street trees spaced at a more consistent intervals and replaced where needed. The species of replacement tree used will most likely be Brisbane Box, Australian Willow, or California Bay. Tree boxes will also be enlarged to better accommodate landscaping.
- New pedestrian lighting, spaced out at more regular intervals than current conditions.
- New wayfinding signage and new light pole banners, utilizing a consistent branding and color scheme which plays off the architectural motifs of buildings on Seventh Street.
You can view slides from the presentation here.
- Seventh Street Improvement Project (Wilshire Grand Center)