Fletcher Drive Corridor Improvements | KCET
Fletcher Drive Corridor Improvements
Fletcher Drive is a key corridor that crosses the Los Angeles River, providing an important linkage between the east and west neighborhoods. The initial phase of the project identifies improvements associated with the intersection of Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road, then extends east and west along the corridor, providing the potential to improve public health, social, environmental, and economic benefits to the community. This includes supporting mobility and accessibility, creating a sense of identity and increased spaces for social gatherings while simultaneously promoting a network of green infrastructure practices to improve the health and quality of the overall environment.
Currently, the intersection of Fletcher and San Fernando is dominated by automobile traffic, surface parking lots and drive-thru fast food restaurants making it undesirable and unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists to inhabit the space. In the first phase of this project, this intersection can be improved through the incorporation of clearly demarcated bike lanes and street crossings and a distinctive streetscape design that promotes the identity of the neighborhood and signal the welcoming and safe conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
Until new development opportunities emerge to improve the general urban form and create a more continuous street frontage, interim phases could include enhancing building facades and space between the sidewalk and storefronts/ businesses. Fletcher corridor could benefit from recent City of Los Angeles street initiatives including "People Streets", "Bike Friendly District", and is a strong candidate to become one of the Mayor's "Great Streets" projects. These initiatives would enable funding streams and provide opportunities to achieve a more vibrant and distinctive street experience.
The renovation of Fletcher Drive Corridor should embrace the 'Complete Streets' ideology, whereby mobility is enhanced through the consideration for all ways of movement including pedestrian, bike, bus and personal automobile. To increase pedestrian safety, sidewalks, shared pathways and crossings should be designed so people can easily find a safe and direct route to a destination free of hazard, while providing ample space for cyclists. Cyclist safety can be enhanced by appropriately sized and clearly identified bike lanes, safe crossings and protected intersections that take advantage of extended curbs and protected portions of the bicycle pathway whereby the cyclists are separated from motorists via a curb, planting strip or furnishing zone.
Through the installation of art at key locations, including the intersection at Fletcher and San Fernando, the underpass beneath the rail corridor and extent of the blank walls along Fletcher, will further evolve the character of this important corridor of the NELA Riverfront District and express the unique quality of the community. In addition, way-finding signage that reflects the identity of the NELA Riverfront District should be prominently placed intermittently along the corridor.
To express the journey to the Los Angeles River, a series of stormwater infrastructure elements are expressed through a series of planters, curb extensions, and larger rain gardens to capture, convey, filter and release stormwater back into the River. This improves the quality of water and makes for a more didactic riparian experience. In addition to filtering stormwater runoff, incorporating a native plant palette can enhance the identity of the corridor and adjacent neighborhoods, contributing to a 'riverly' sense of place.
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