I did this series of drawings to help with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition‘s campaign for creating a bicycle boulevard on 4th Street in Los Angeles. The LACBC campaign builds on earlier efforts for “4SBB.”
These images are definitely more illustration than fine art. The photos below are by Will Campbell. I did the drawings on tracing paper placed over printouts of the photos. These appeared at the Bicycle Coalition’s blog, but I figured that I’d post them here at my art blog, too. One of the tricks with drawings like these is to be specific enough to give people a sense for what is being proposed, but not so specific that they think they don’t have any input on the proposal… so they’re deliberately a little rough and drafty.
4th Street is already a bicycle route… which means relatively little – just some signs are posted. In the city’s current less-than-stellar proposed bike plan, it’s designated as a planned “Bike Friendly Street” which means it would be eligible for various treatments including traffic calming, bicycle boulevard, sharrows, etc. It is in the city’s planned pilot program to receive painted sharrows – or “shared lane markings.” I see sharrows as an inital step toward a future bicycle boulevard.
So… what’s a bicycle boulevard? If you’ve never heard of them, then I recommend watching this video to give you a feel for what bike boulevards are. Bike boulevards are relatively quiet streets that are shared by bicycles and bicycles (and, of course, pedestrians, too.) They often have some street treatments like traffic circles and/or traffic chokers/diverters that slow car traffic a bit, making it easier for cars and bikes to share the space. Sometimes bikes are allowed to continue straight through, while cars are forced to turn – that way cut-through traffic is reduced. They’re common in various places, including Palo Alto, Portland, and Berkeley. Today, there aren’t any examples that I am aware of in Southern California, but there are plans for one to implemented in early 2009 on Vista Street in Long Beach.
Here are the photos and drawings – it’s all a draft – for discussion – not any kind of final designs.
1) T-intersection at 4th and Westmoreland
2) 4-way intersection at 4th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. (Note: New Hampshire is also a potential bike boulevard, per the draft bike plan.)
3) Jogging 4-way intersection at 4th Street and Catalina Street.
4) 4-way intersection at 4th Street and Normandie Avenue. Note one of the more common and effective tactics for an effective bicycle boulevard is to prevent traffic from entering the smaller street from major streets – such as is shown here.
5) 4-way intersection at 4th Street and Highland Avenue.
If you’re interested in getting involved in the campaign, leave a comment below, and/or contact the LACBC.