The city of Los Angeles has started a street improvement project that will widen sidewalks, improve bus stops and bring more shade trees to Melrose Avenue between Highland and Fairfax avenues.
Construction on the Melrose Avenue Pedestrian Improvement Project started in early July and is expected to run through June 2023. The Bureau of Street Services, known as StreetsLA, is overseeing the project, which was made possible by a $3.9-million grant from Metro. StreetsLA held two virtual meetings on July 18-19 to inform the public about the project.
The work began between Orange Grove Avenue and Ogden Drive on the south side of Melrose Avenue in front of Fairfax High School. Crews are pouring concrete for a new 12-foot-wide sidewalk.
“We wanted to start construction during the summer months when school is out to have the least amount of impact possible for students and faculty, and the community at large in that area,” said Victor Cortes, senior civil engineer with StreetsLA.
Once complete, the work will shift to the other side of Melrose Avenue, where the sidewalk will also be widened to 12-feet between Orange Grove Avenue and Ogden Drive. He said the left turn lanes in the middle of Melrose Avenue at Ogden Drive will be removed to allow for the extra sidewalk space without removing any traffic lanes or parking.
The Melrose Avenue Pedestrian Improvement Project also includes improvements at bus stops along Melrose Avenue. Two of the bus stops are located on the south side of the street in front of Fairfax High School, while others are at the intersections with Spaulding Avenue, Gardner Street, Poinsettia Place, La Brea Avenue and Highland Avenue. New lighting and seating will be installed at the bus stops.
StreetsLA also plans to plant new shade trees on both sides of Melrose Avenue between Fairfax and Highland avenues. The trees will be maintained through a partnership between Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz’s office and the Melrose Business Improvement District. Koretz backed the project, which has been in the planning stages since before the pandemic.
“Councilmember Koretz is very much in support of these types of neighborhood enhancements,” Koretz’s spokeswoman Alison Simard said. “We are happy to partner with the community on neighborhood improvements.”
Melrose BID executive director Donald Duckworth also praised the project, adding that the BID helped secure the funding.
“The Melrose BID board is proud of their successful attraction of a $3.9 million [Metro] grant to enhance the pedestrian amenities available on Melrose Avenue that benefit local residents, customers, tourists, employees and business and property owners,” Duckworth said. “The goal is to revitalize Melrose so that the entire community will realize its fondest dreams. Construction of the [Metro] grant project is the next step to achieving that goal. We are looking forward to its completion.”
StreetsLA senior project coordinator Adeena Bleich said community members can email her with questions and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information about the project is also available at streetsla.lacity.org/melrose.
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