Could certain streets in LA go car-free?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2020 | Bicycle Accidents |

Los Angeles is one of the busiest cities in the United States. It’s filled with tourist attractions that people visit by foot, bike, bus and car. Unfortunately, its bustling streets are often overcrowded.

One of the most congested streets is the infamous Hollywood Boulevard. It attracts millions of visitors each year. But if you are a bicyclist, you may have a hard time accessing this area. And if you can access it, you may not feel safe with the crowded streets.

In late January, the LA City Council proposed a plan to reduce car lanes and street parking between Argyle and La Brea Avenue. The next course of action would be to widen sidewalks and add bike lanes, landscaping and sidewalk dining. The goal is to make Hollywood Boulevard more accessible for everyone.

The widened sidewalks and bike lanes could also make the area less dangerous for those who frequent it by foot and bike. Some have even advocated for Hollywood Boulevard to go completely car-free. They believe this would make it an even safer space for bicyclists and walkers.

Should more streets go car-free?

The idea of car-free streets is not unheard of. Almost all cars were recently banned from San Francisco’s Market Street. Here are a few other booming LA streets that could potentially thrive without vehicles:

  • Alvarado Street: This is one of the most transit-dependent areas of LA, and it already has three scramble sidewalks to benefit pedestrians. It also contains a lot of street vendors. Closing the streets to cars would allow more space to sell and buy these goods.
  • Grand Avenue: This street houses several major cultural destinations and there are more projects in the works. However, its sidewalks are simply too small. Banning cars would allow more sidewalk or bike lane space, and it’d still be very accessible by bus.
  • Broadway: Traffic lanes here have already been shrinking to accommodate new entertainment and shopping locations. It’s important to provide adequate space for tourists and locals to enjoy these new businesses.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard: Santa Monica Boulevard is already closed for many events throughout the year. It’s equipped with great walking space, bike lanes and public transportation. Without vehicles, visitors could fully utilize it.

Whether or not Hollywood Boulevard eventually goes entirely car-free or other streets follow its lead, reducing traffic is a good place to start. Not only could this change make the street more accessible, but it could also make it safer for everyone.