LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Streetscape improvements along the Hollywood Walk of Fame will begin next summer, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell announced Thursday.
O'Farrell, whose district includes Hollywood, said his office has been working on improvements along the famed stretch of Hollywood Boulevard for the last three years. He was aided by $7.2 million in funding from LA Metro's Measure M Metro Active Transport (MAT) program for improvements on the street.
"Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19, we have continued to move forward, and I'm proud to share that major upgrades are on the horizon," O'Farrell said in a statement. "The city's partnership with Metro will bring to life beautifully designed improvements, centered around pedestrians and transit riders, to the heart of Hollywood."
In January 2021, the MTA board approved a total of $63.1 million for several projects in the MAT program. Measure M, which was approved in November 2016, is expected to fund more than $857 million in transportation infrastructure projects over the course of 40 years.
The funding will help enhance safety and quality of life on Hollywood Boulevard, according to O'Farrell.
The improvements to the street include:
-- Converting the parking lane on Hollywood Boulevard, between Orange Drive and Gower Street, into an expanded pedestrian zone;
-- Designing a system of street furnishings, including bus shelters, transit kiosks, benches and tables and chairs for sidewalk dining;
-- Consolidating bus stops;
-- Increasing space for activities including sidewalk vending, temporary art installations, music and cultural performances.
Kathleen Rawson, president and CEO of The Hollywood Partnership, described the improvements as a "game changer."
"The place-making infrastructure will not only enhance the pedestrian experience by providing a more pleasant environment, it will also serve as a motivating factor for reinvestment in the private properties along the street," Rawson said. "Now is the time for bold moves in Hollywood, and this project is an example of how our local leaders can make real change in the public realm for the betterment of our community."
O'Farrell is also working on an initiative called the Hollywood Walk of Fame Master Plan, which envisions further improvements to Hollywood Boulevard that include wider sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes, additional shade trees and pedestrian safety enhancements.