The 4th Street Neighborhood Greenway is a proposed high-quality, low-stress bike route on West 4th Street from Cochran Avenue on the west to Hoover Street on the east. It involves calming and diverting autmobile traffic at strategic locations, as well as modifying intersections to be easier for bicyclists to cross.
The idea, first proposed in the mid-2000s by local resident and bike advocate Ingrid Peterson, has been an on-again, off-again campaign of LACBC since 2010. This segment of 4th is designated as a Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) and part of the Neigborhood Bikeway Network in the LA Bike Plan. It is officially a Year One (FY 2011-12) project for the purposes of the Bike Plan's Five-Year Implementation Strategy.
Fourth is seen as an important link in the City of LA bike network. It is the only low-volume, low-stress residential side street that runs continuously east-west through the Hancock Park area; all other side streets are interrupted by either the Wilshire Country Club or the Fremont Place gated community. It connects Koreatown and eastern neighborhoods with the Miracle Mile and points west, passing close to Larchmont Village along the way. For these reasons, it's already a well-used crosstown route and has been an official city bike route for decades.
LACBC's campaign originally used the term "bicycle boulevard" after similar projects in Berkeley and Palo Alto; more recently, it has adopted the term "neighborhood greenway" as this better captures the more inclusive vision the organization has for 4th Street.
Since 2010, sharrows have stretched over nearly the entire length of the street, from Cochran to Commonwealth Avenue (just west of Hoover). Additionally, LADOT has recalibrated the loop detectors at all signalized intersections (La Brea, Wilton, Western, Normandie, Vermont, Shatto, Virgil) to detect bikes on 4th, and also painted stencils to aid cyclists in correctly positioning their bikes over the loops.
LADOT has secured neighborhood support to build two mini-roundabouts to replace stop signs -- one at Norton Avenue and one at New Hampshire Avenue. Both of these intersecting streets are, like 4th Street, BFSs in the LA Bike Plan. At last report, the mini-roundabouts were slated for construction sometime in 2012, and LADOT was working with neighborhood groups to plant additional greenery in the roundabouts, to be maintained by residents.
LADOT also proposed intersection treatments where 4th crosses Highland and Rossmore Avenues. Currently these are two-way stop-controlled intersections, and cyclists on 4th must wait for (sometimes busy) cross traffic to clear. In fall 2011, LADOT proposed bike and pedestrian-only signals at these intersections with accompanying right-turn-only restrictions for cars approaching Highland and Rossmore on 4th, but this proposal met with opposition from Hancock Park homeowners and was withdrawn at Councilmember Tom LaBonge's request.
Advocates and stakeholders have, over the last several years, put forth various informal, unofficial ideas and proposals for 4th Street, in the form of roundabouts, traffic diverters, bioswales, etc. The most ambitious of these is the diverter and bioswale envisioned at 4th and Catalina , an offset intersection located in a low spot in Koreatown.