Since coming on board in August, Matthew Hissom – our newest transportation planner – has been sent out to attend public meetings related to transportation infrastructure around Westwood. One of his latest meetings pertained to the expansion of the northbound 405 through the Sepulveda Pass to add a northbound HOV + space for a light-rail or BRT connection (405 NB Expansion Overview (pdf)).

As a  cyclist who lives just west of the 405 Freeway, Matthew has taken a  interest in gathering ideas on how Wilshire Boulevard under the 405 could be re-designed to provide better access for pedestrians and cyclists. Read on for his request for your input.

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As anyone that has walked or biked between UCLA and any location west of the 405 can tell you, the Freeway is a significant impediment to non-motorized movement.

Wilshire & 405

Plans are currently underway to widen the 405 to accommodate a northbound HOV (carpool) lane between the I-10 (Santa Monica Freeway) and US-101 (Ventura Freeway).  In addition to the benefits for motorists, this project presents an opportunity to improve the bike/pedestrian environment along this corridor, particularly in the Westwood area.

UCLA Transportation staff will be meeting with Metro, Caltrans and community members in January to discuss potential pedestrian and bicycle improvements that could be made to the 405’s bridges and underpasses in conjunction with this freeway widening project.

We would like to hear from the UCLA community on how to make these crossings safer and more attractive for pedestrian and bike travel.  Efforts are currently focused on Wilshire Blvd. and Ohio Ave., since these are the undercrossings closest to UCLA, but we welcome suggestions on any crossing between the 10 and the 101.

While big ideas are always welcome, we would also like to look at small improvements that could produce significant results:

  • Street lighting
  • Sidewalk improvements
  • Crosswalks
  • LandscapingWilshire Boulevard, just west of the 405

Please send your suggestions to mhissom at ts.ucla.edu. We welcome your ideas in any form, including written suggestions, diagrams and photos.  Please submit your ideas no later than January 15th, 2010.

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Matthew Hissom is a senior transportation planner at UCLA Transportation. To get to UCLA, Matthew walks and rides the Big Blue Bus 3. In his free time, Matthew is an avid cyclist.