Project Overview

Project Overview


The City of West Hollywood is making changes to Fountain Avenue to improve safety and access for all modes of travel. Improvements include widening sidewalks and installing protected bike lanes.

Fountain was originally designed to be a local street. In the '60s, this was a pedestrian-oriented, tree-lined street that was as narrow as 40 feet in some segments.

Before West Hollywood was incorporated, the County of Los Angeles widened the street to accommodate more lanes of traffic by narrowing the sidewalks and removing street trees. - see "History of the Corridor" for more information.

Data shows that 64% of the traffic on Fountain doesn’t have an origin or destination in West Hollywood, which means that most drivers are just passing through. This presents an opportunity to develop a future Fountain Avenue that is more local-serving and safer for everyone, with wider sidewalks and improved access for those walking, biking, and in wheelchairs. - see "Fountain Today" for more information.

A feasibility study was completed in 2022 to envision a future for Fountain Avenue. Over 1,400 people responded to the community survey - 60% of respondents chose a protected bike lane and widened sidewalks as their preferred vision. - see "Feasibility Study" for more information.

The project will be implemented in two phases, allowing the City to implement safety improvements quickly while seeking funding for the long-term vision. Phase 1 will implement a protected bike lane. Phase 2 will implement the sidewalk widening and landscape improvements. - see "Corridor Vision" for more information.

Design for Phase 1 began in Fall 2023. Check back for updates on ways to stay engaged throughout this process. You can leave a comment for the project team in the Your Feedback tab at the top of this page.

Project Timeline


Timeline of project phases from 2022 to 2026


History of the Corridor

History of the Corridor


Fountain Avenue in the 1960s


Fountain Avenue was originally designed to be a local street. In the '60s, this was a pedestrian-oriented, tree-lined street that was as narrow as 40 feet in some segments.

Before West Hollywood was incorporated, the County of Los Angeles widened the street to accommodate more lanes of traffic by narrowing the sidewalks and removing street trees.

Before: Engineering plan showing Fountain Avenue in 1926 After: Overlay of engineering plan on current Google street aerial

Prior Planning Efforts


The City has been studying how to reimagine Fountain Avenue and undo the negative impacts of the County-led street widening since the early 2000’s. After years of analysis, City Council directed staff to transform Fountain Avenue into a welcoming community street that is safe for all modes of travel, enhances pedestrian activity, and adds a protected bike facility to the corridor.

Timeline of prior planning efforts conducted by the City of West Hollywood identifying Fountain Avenue as a corridor in need of improvements

Fountain Today

Fountain Today


Fountain is not your typical street. The width between the curbs varies from 46 feet in some sections to 65 feet in others.

There are seven variations in cross sections throughout the day and along the corridor. Parking is only available midday or overnight in some segments. Sometimes there are two lanes in each direction, sometimes there is only one.


Safety


Speeding

Drivers on Fountain are regularly going above the speed limit. The observed speed on Fountain is 39 mph, despite the 35 mph posted speed. A pedestrian struck at 40 mph experiences a 46% likelihood of death. If they do survive, they will likely experience life altering injuries.

Graphic demonstrating the likelihood for pedestrian death at different crash speeds

85th Percentile Speed (2014), "Speed Kills" Source: Vision Zero Network

Injury Collisions

Each year there are multiple injury collisions on Fountain Avenue. A disproportionate number of these are people who are walking and/or biking.

The map below shows where severe and fatal collisions have occurred between 2013 and 2022.

This project presents an opportunity to make safety improvements that help everyone, regardless of how they travel.

Map showing collision data along Fountain Avenue

Source: TIMS 2013-2022



Auto Behavior


Fountain serves a lot of motorists passing through West Hollywood. Almost 35,000 cars travel on Fountain on a typical day. However, just 13,000 of those trips have an origin and a destination within the City of West Hollywood. That means that 22,000 are just passing through.

Graphics describing annual daily traffic and number of trips along Fountain Avenue

ADT (2014), Trips Analysis (2017)


On-Street Parking


Parking availability varies by time of day. The variability can lead to confusion for people unfamiliar with the street.

During midday and overnight, there are roughly 320 parking spaces, in the morning peak period there are ~240, and in the evening peak period just ~130.*

The City conducted a parking utilization study in Fall 2022 and found that midday and overnight occupancy levels were at just 60%. Through public meetings, community members expressed that they don't feel comfortable parking their cars on Fountain overnight.

*Assuming 20 feet of curb per parking space.


Pedestrian Crossings & Intersection Amenities


The City is making improvements. There have been several pedestrian crossing enhancements on Fountain in recent years, including signals and new crosswalks and other safety improvements such as speed feedback signs and turn prohibitions.

Sidewalks

Sidewalks are narrow and constrained. Enhancements are necessary to accommodate all neighborhood activity on the sidewalks, including people with strollers, residents in wheelchairs, dog walking, and walking with neighbors.

Tree Canopy

The narrow sidewalks leave very little room for landscaping or trees. While there are some trees on private property that provide shade coverage for portions of Fountain, there are just a handful of trees within the public right-of-way. While there are landscape strips along portions of the corridor, they are underutilized and too narrow for street trees.


Bicycle Conditions

The corridor is currently designed for the “fearless” cyclist only. The high volumes and high speeds of cars paired with the lack of a dedicated bicycle facility create an uncomfortable experience for the typical bike rider. A lot of these same conditions create an uncomfortable experience when walking as well.

Graphic demonstrating how different street criteria determine a bicyclist's level of comfort when biking


Feasibility Study

Getting to a Corridor Vision


Alternatives Development


In 2021, City Council directed staff to explore the feasibility of a protected bike lane on Fountain Avenue.

A feasibility study began in 2022, building off of all the planning work that has already been done for the corridor. The first step was understanding how the street operates today – those findings are outlined in the “Fountain Today” tab.

With a solid understanding of the issues and opportunities on Fountain, the City put together some options to bring to the community for feedback. Community and stakeholder feedback established corridor “musts” that all alternatives should address.

Graphic describing the corridor

Alternative 1: Protected Bike Lane


Typical cross section of Fountain Avenue with a protected bike lane implemented

Typical Cross Section

Alternative 2: Standard Bike Lane


Typical cross section of Fountain Avenue with a standard bike lane implemented

Typical Cross Section


Evaluation


Fountain Avenue should speak to West Hollywood values.

Safety and comfort for residents and climate resilience to plan for our collective future are common threads through the City’s guiding documents. Parking was also a common thread in community feedback.

Graphic showing 3 different West Hollywood plans, including the Mobility Plan, the Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan, and the Climate Action Plan

Alternatives Evaluation

Table describing pros and cons of different street configuration options

Feedback Received


Timeline of all feedback received on Fountain Avenue, including public workshops and surveys/mailers

Survey Responses

Project mailers with survey information was sent to 13,000 households all within 500 feet of the project area and broadcast through the City’s social media channels.

We received over 1,400 responses over the course of the six-week survey (October 4-November 13, 2022).

Pie chart showing that 61% of survey respondents were Fountain Avenue residents

Preferred Alternative

Over 60% of all 1,400+ respondents stated they preferred the protected bike lane alternative. Similarly, the majority of the 870+ respondents who stated they live within 500 feet of the project area also preferred the protected bike lane alternative.

Pie charts showing that a majority of survey respondents prefer the protected bike lane alternative

Priorities for the Corridor

Respondents were asked to rank their priorities for Fountain Avenue. The ranked scores when looking at all responses and people who live on the corridor are shared below.

Graphic showing residents prioritize the widening of sidewalks and a dedicated, comfortable bike facility

Corridor Vision

Corridor Vision


On November 21, 2022 City Council unanimously voted to implement a Fountain Avenue streetscape improvement project that incorporated protected bike lanes and sidewalk widening among other enhancements. The City immediately started the process of identifying funding to continue the design and implementation process.

Typical cross section of Fountain Avenue with a protected bike lane implemented

The project will be implemented in two phases, allowing the City to implement safety improvements quickly while seeking funding for the long-term vision. Phase 1 will implement a protected bike lane. Phase 2 will implement the sidewalk widening and landscape improvements.

Design for Phase 1 began in Fall 2023. Check back for updates on ways to stay engaged throughout this process.

Your Feedback

Design for Phase 1 began in Fall 2023. Check back for updates and ways to stay engaged throughout this process.

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