Fountain Avenue Streetscape Project

The City of West Hollywood is studying making Fountain Avenue more comfortable and inviting for people of all ages and abilities who choose to bike and walk by adding protected bicycle lanes and widening sidewalks.

Fountain Avenue used to be one lane in each direction with wide sidewalks and overhanging street trees. But in about 1963 (before West Hollywood was a city), the county of LA decided to make Fountain two lanes in each direction. There wasn’t enough room for all those lanes, so they ripped out all the trees and narrowed the travel lanes and the sidewalks. 

What’s there now?
Today Fountain Avenue has sidewalks that are so narrow that pedestrians have been hit by passing cars’ side view mirrors while they were walking on the sidewalk. These sidewalks are far too narrow to be ADA accessible, meaning people using wheelchairs have to use the very busy street to maneuver around obstacles on the narrow sidewalks.

These sacrifices have made possible two very chaotic lanes of traffic in each direction (except during non-rush hour traffic times when certain blocks go down to one lane). Because of this, Fountain Avenue has many collisions between cars, pedestrians and bicycles, and sees a lot of road rage.

Despite all this, Fountain Avenue is a much-needed link in the bicycle corridor as it’s the only East/West street that’s been marked for bike travel in the northern part of West Hollywood. It is also a popular bicycle route through Hollywood since it goes east all the way to Hyperion Avenue. Technically, Fountain Avenue is a Class II Bike Route, with shared lane or “sharrow” markings on the street, which means bikes have to ride in traffic with cars. So in other words, there is currently no bike lane on this heavily trafficked residential street that experiences a high number of pedestrian, bicycle, and car collisions every year.

What’s proposed?
WeHo is proposing widening the sidewalks, planting street trees and other green space along them, and creating a completely protected bike lane in both directions on Fountain Avenue. This would mean bringing Fountain Avenue back to its historic usage of one traffic lane in each direction. It would also mean cyclists can safely use this street, which is the only way to get east and west in the northern part of West Hollywood, and it would make it a safer, less polluted street for pedestrians, cyclists, residents, and cars.

What’s next?
The city will do a pilot program first where they put up temporary bike lanes protected by bollards. Then, based on community input, they will create a more permanent solution. The widening of the sidewalks still needs funding and so could take a few years longer. The West Hollywood City Council has delayed the pilot program by asking for a Fountain Avenue Streetscape Design Steering Committee to be formed and to have several meetings to discuss potential design elements. Those meetings have started as of April of 2024, and hopefully will quickly progress to a pilot program.

How You Can Help
Stay tuned for more information on upcoming city meetings and other opportunities to let the city of WeHo know how important this project is for us. And stay in the loop about bike projects, resources and events coming up in WeHo by signing up for our email list.