Making Safer Streets in Reseda

A 2.9 mile stretch of Reseda Boulevard, from Victory Boulevard near the LA River and Reseda Park to Parthenia Street near Cal State University Northridge, is undergoing a series of improvements in an effort to improve traffic safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

The $24.7 million project is part of the Los Angeles’ Complete Streets Program, led by the city’s Bureau of Engineering, and features a collaborative effort of various city agencies including the Department of Transportation (LADOT), Streets LA, the Bureau of Street Lighting and the Bureau of Sanitation.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power began water mainline construction in September. Curb ramp and sidewalk construction is underway, with traffic signal construction, bus “island” construction and street repairs and improvements to follow. The entire project, barring unforeseen delays, is expected to be completed in April of 2023.

City officials have noted this section of Reseda has “significant” safety issues. Between 2009 - 2019, 110 people ranging in ages from 20 to 91 were killed or severely injured while traveling on Reseda Boulevard with 41 percent of them walking or riding a bike.

Along the corridor between Victory Boulevard and Parthenia Street, 12 people have been killed during the past 10 years, with nearly half of them being pedestrians.

“Speed is a major factor in causing collisions that result in severe injuries and fatalities,” a LADOT spokesperson said. “People on Reseda Boulevard often drive faster than the 35 mph speed limit, and collisions at such speeds are highly likely to result in fatalities.”

Reseda Boulevard also has some of the highest bus ridership in the West Valley, according to city officials, with 5,600 riders per day on weekdays and 5,000 riders per day on weekends.

The boulevard is also considered a key north-south bike corridor in the Valley. Riders presently can travel 6.5 miles in a bicycle lane from Porter Ranch to Valerio Street and another 4.5 miles from Vanowen Street to Tarzana. Once the project is completed, the Reseda Boulevard bike lanes are expected to connect to the forthcoming LA River path, which is in various stages of design and construction.

Among the scheduled improvements are the repaving of sidewalks and streets, more street lighting and shade trees, “left-turn arrow” traffic signals, new traffic lanes and high-visibility crosswalks, protected bicycle lanes, bus boarding “islands for passengers, and more accessible passenger loading zones.

There are currently about 700 on-street parking spaces along the length of the project, and it is expected that 240 of them will be eliminated when the project is completed. Officials say the elimination is necessary for increased visibility at driveways and intersections, and to make the design continuous through narrower portions of some streets.

A video of the entire project can be viewed at https://la.streetsblog.org/2020/10/01/reseda-boulevard-is-getting-a-three-mile-safety-upgrade/

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