By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — City engineers are beginning the schematic design phase of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Master Plan makeover, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell announced Wednesday.

The plan envisions wider sidewalks, more space for amenities like sidewalk dining, additional shade trees, enhanced lighting, a mobility lane and additional pedestrian safety features.

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(credit: Heart Of Hollywood)

“This began as an effort to bring a cohesive, holistic design centered around residents and pedestrians to the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” O’Farrell said.

“In the wake of COVID-19, the goals of this project are even more important. Enhancing public spaces is not only good for our collective psyche, but also for a local economy that is being challenged by the pandemic.”

The project, which began early last year, is being led by global design firm Gensler and overseen by the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering.

The area has seen a 14% rise in commercial vacancies since the coronavirus pandemic began, and O’Farrell said the project will be essential to revitalizing the boulevard.

The project has the potential to create hundreds of construction jobs, along with other economic, environmental and public health benefits, the councilman said.

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The concept plan proposes roadway changes to Hollywood Boulevard, including removing the parking lane between Gower Street and La Brea Avenue and reducing traffic to one travel lane in each direction between Argyle and La Brea avenues.

That space would then be dedicated to the new amenities, which would be designed and constructed in collaboration with local stakeholders, O’Farrell said.

An initial analysis showed that the proposed change to the roadway is not anticipated to result in heavy traffic in the area, according to city officials.

The schematic design, expected to be complete by early 2021, will include a more detailed study of any corresponding impacts to traffic, and updates will be provided on the analysis.

The full concept plan is available at the Heart of Hollywood website.

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(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)