A $5.3 million initiative to revamp infrastructure in dozens of locations across Little Tokyo began last week with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Los Angeles Councilmember Jose Huizar.
The project will introduce 50 curb ramps, over 50 pedestrian lights, over 100 trees, improved crosswalks at six intersections, two new traffic signals, and more than 22,000 square feet of sidewalk repairs.
The improvements are part of Councilmember Huizar’s DTLA FORWARD initiative, a program aimed at improve the functionality of many of many of Downtowns busiest areas for pedestrians and bikers.
“Little Tokyo is a historic neighborhood, rich in tradition and Japanese culture,” said Councilmember Huizar in a prepared statement. “For generations it has been one of the City of Los Angeles and DTLA’s premier destinations. These upgrades will vastly improve the pedestrian experience so that locals and visitors can continue to enjoy Little Tokyo, a true Los Angeles treasure.”
Along with pedestrian safety improvements, changes include extending the pedestrian plaza by the Japanese American National Museum and plans to close the slip lane at 2nd Street and Alameda Street for use as a public art space.
The scope of the project encircles Little Tokyo, from Alameda on the east, 3rd Street and San Pedro to 4th on the south, to Main Street and Judge John Aliso Street on the west, and First Street and Temple Street on the north.
Funding for the improvements comes from about $3.1 million in Active Transportation Program funds and $2.2 million in Prop. C funds, which was passed in 1990 to fund programs improving transit in the city.
The project is estimated to finish by 2020.