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Hollywood Boulevard Revitalization To Include Wider Sidewalks, More Crosswalks, New Bike & Bus Lanes; Aims To Build “Hollywood Around People Instead Of Cars”

Following weeks of public engagement to discuss plans to enhance Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles City leaders announced measures today to improve pedestrian safety and mobility options for the area.

At a Thursday morning news conference, City Council members Hugo Soto-Martinez and Nithya Raman, who represent the Hollywood area, announced bike lanes, bus lanes, wider sidewalks, and other safety improvements such as crosswalks, will be coming to Hollywood Boulevard. The city is aiming to install the improvements by early 2025.

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“This project is about making our community safer and transforming how residents, workers and visitors use Hollywood Boulevard,” Soto-Martinez said in a statement.

He added, “We know that if people come here, they will eat here, they will shop here and they will spend their money here. By building Hollywood around people instead of cars, we can revitalize this iconic destination.”

The area is one of the most congested in the city and it remains to be seen if Angelenos will ditch their cars for bikes or walking. It would seem a good candidate for such a transformation due to the number of mixed-use residential developments there.

On the other hand, attempts to add more bike lanes and crosswalks in the city have met with considerable backlash from drivers. In 2017, crews removed 9.4 miles of traffic lanes in Playa del Rey, sparking a backlash that saw the lanes restored months later. The same happened on a stretch of Culver Boulevard.

Politically, it was a blow to the widely criticized councilmember Mike Bonin, who later apologized for the so called “road diet,” a term coined by supporters of the project.

“If you are one of the many people who were inconvenienced, who were late to work, or who missed a bedtime story with your toddler, I am truly sorry,” said Bonin.

The current plan, known as “Access to Hollywood,” would introduce bike lanes from La Brea Avenue on the border of West Hollywood to Fountain Avenue in Silver Lake.

Bus lanes would be placed from Orange Drive to Gower Street, with the aim of increasing public transit efficiency, reliability and giving Angelenos more travel options.

A center turn lane will also be introduced along the majority of the stretch to help mitigate delays caused by turning movements, and make it easier for firefighters or police officers to respond to emergencies.

These street improvements were necessitated due to alarming statistics of traffic violence along Hollywood Boulevard, officials said. Hollywood Boulevard is part of the city’s “High Injury Network,” which represents 6% of city streets that account for 70% of deaths and severe injuries for people walking.

According to a survey conducted by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation for the Hollywood Blvd Safety and Mobility Project, about 87% of respondents said that improving safety on Hollywood Boulevard is very important to them and 76% said that cars traveling at high speeds make them feel unsafe along the corridor.

The project was primarily funded by an $8 million investment by Metro’s Active Transportation Program. Officials noted the partnership between the city and Metro could serve as a model to implement Measure HLA, which was recently approved by voters in the March 5 election.

Access to Hollywood” is part of a broader strategy in the coming years to revitalize Hollywood, officials said, as well as plans to increase shelter beds, improve the CIRCLE unarmed response program, building the first public bathrooms in Hollywood and help new businesses thrive in the area.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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