Sign the Step in the Right Direction

PeopleStWebsiteGraphicWalking is the active solution to a safe, accessible, fun, and equitable city. Everyday freeways are set in gridlock emitting noxious fumes and make the need for immediate change more apparent. The February 2015 report prepared by UC Berkeley and UCLA, found that transportation causes nearly 40% of the carbon emissions. However, 90% of California’s state budget is currently invested into highway development. As of now, CA’s spending is in direct conflict with its environmental goals.

SIGN THIS PETITION TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

Increasing the budget for active transportation will provide the critical resources that will actually improve air quality, health, and happiness in our communities. 1 in 5 trips in CA are already on foot or by bike; if you design for pedestrians, then you get more pedestrians. There is no more time to invest in highways, we must take the steps to mitigate these problems.

Sign up to Finish The Ride in 2015

Sign up for the second annual Finish The Ride on Sunday, April 19th, to either ride, run, walk, or roll, to help raise awareness of the safety issues faced by vulnerable road users on L.A. and California roads.

Take 10% off the registration price and help support LA Walks by using promo code SUPPORTLAWALKS while registering. In addition to getting a discount, you’ll help LA Walks with 10% of the registration fees collected under the LA Walks promo going to LA Walks!

Visit the Finish The Ride registration page.

FTR 2015 eFlyer

Join us March 7 for Dry River Walk

fg-arroyo-seco-bike-path

The Dry River walk, led by walk ambassador Jack Moreau, will exhibit the Arroyo Seco Bikeway and Eugene Debs Park as community assets for Los Angeles and discuss the issues behind connecting the areas with bicycle and pedestrian transportation.

The Arroyo Seco is a natural creek running from the Angeles National Forest into Downtown LA where it meets the Los Angeles River. It now serves as the only piece of bicycle and pedestrian exclusive roadway in the North East LA. While this path offers an incredible asset to the community, chain link fencing encloses it and greatly decreases usage. Parks border the majority of the path, but there are only four access points each about a mile apart. The Arroyo Seco can become a major alternative transportation corridor for all of NELA and beyond. The path could be extended north into Pasadena as well as south into DTLA. Eugene Debs Park can be connected to the City of LA through the bike path and become a leading green space advocacy center for everyone. However, rising rates of homelessness in the area bring very difficult questions as to the equitable course of redevelopment.

As we walk, we will view hidden treasures of NELA and learn from community leaders about access to the Arroyo Seco.

Purchase Tickets through Eventbrite here

The walk is a little over 2 miles. There is one pretty significant hill in Debs Park, but it is very fun and pretty! 

  • We will meet up at the Highland Park Station
  • Walk Avenue 60 to the Arroyo Seco
  • Walk down Arroyo Seco path
  • Exit bikeway through “stairs to nowhere
  • Hike through Debs Park to the Audubon Center. Walkers can then continue hiking if they please or follow us back to the Gold Line.
  • (Here is the map)

5 Truths About the Economic Impact of Walking

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 1.51.14 PMDeveloper Yuval Bar-Zemer discusses five ways he’s seeing pedestrian improvements contribute to a more financially viable L.A. As told to Los Angeles Walks steering committee member Daveed Kapoor.

We know walking is good for our communities and good for our health. But how does designing for walking help businesses—and the city—improve their bottom lines? As  founder of Linear City Development, Yuval Bar-Zemer has led the transformation of several neighborhoods by paying special attention to pedestrian life. Over lunch at Urban Radish, a new Arts District grocery store developed by Linear City, Bar-Zemer described five ways he’s seen walking boost L.A.’s economy.

Continue reading

Roll With Me: A Different Perspective on Pedestrian Travel in L.A.

LA Sidewalkphoto by LA Weekly

Like many of you, I prefer getting places without driving whenever possible. There’s a convenience store, a family taco stand, and a coffee shop a few blocks from my house. I live across the street from a park where I take my dog, and if I need a bus, there are two stops close by. All I need to do to get there is head down the middle of the street.

Why, you may ask, would a guy in a wheelchair brave busy Blake Street, going head-to-head with semis who seem to be on their way to Fast and Furious 18? The tacos are good, but c’mon, I’m risking my life for that al pastor! My nice convenient neighborhood is, in many ways, a microcosm of the problems associated with pedestrian travel for people with disabilities in L.A. There’s a good chance that you’ve actually seen people in wheelchairs or scooters on the road before. Trust me, these are not people trying to start some kind of impromptu disability rally or Critical Mass: Wheelchair Edition. They are simply pedestrians who do not have the physical ability to maneuver through the labyrinth of cracks, holes, and other obstacles that litter city sidewalks. Although incredible progress has been made in the realm of public access since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, there is no regulatory body roaming around ensuring that standards are being upheld. That being said, sidewalks that were completely accessible via wheelchair when the concrete was poured in the 90s may today look like a demolition crew just took a lunch break. Continue reading

Re-Zoning Los Angeles: Can we legalize a walkable City?

Model-of-downtown-LA cropDo you ever wonder why different neighborhoods and streets in Los Angeles look the way they do—and why some places seem to be more walkable than others? The history of how our land was developed includes economic demand, neighborhood preferences, and transportation infrastructure. But the most direct way that we collectively influence what our communities look like—and how walkable they can be—is through government regulation of land use, especially by planning and zoning.

Zoning is a regulatory system that most local governments employ to control how land is used. As the name suggests, it divides places into different zones. Depending on what zone a piece of land is located in, there are rules that restrict what types of activities can be carried out on the lot, as well as the location, size, and shape of buildings allowed on the property. And the physical structure of these communities influences how people live and how they move about their neighborhoods.

The City of Los Angeles is facing one of the biggest changes to the way it looks and functions—it is fundamentally updating its zoning code for the first time since 1946. The 1946 code helped shape a postwar city of single-family subdivisions with a growing reliance on cars. Revised zoning rules can hopefully strengthen the ways that a 21st century Los Angeles is transforming and help residents build a city where walking is a convenient and safe way to travel. Zoning is potentially our most powerful tool to create a more walkable Los Angeles.

Continue reading

“L.A. Is Changing In Some Profound and Dramatic Ways” Q&A With Christopher Hawthorne

by_the_numbersLos Angeles Walks steering committee member Alissa Walker talks to the Los Angeles Times architecture critic.

Alissa Walker: First, thank you for such a great conversation with Mayor Garcetti at Occidental College in February. With Villaraigosa we saw this empire-building when it came to transit, bike lanes and CicLAvia but we didn’t get to hear him talk much about walking. Now we’ve got a mayor who walked five miles to City Hall on Walk to Work Day! How else is Garcetti’s approach different, in your opinion?

Christopher Hawthorne: Villaraigosa, near the end of his time in office, really began paying attention to pedestrian safety and the crucial connections between walking and transit. But it took almost eight years for his administration to get to that point. Garcetti is unusually knowledgeable about and genuinely interested in these issues, as was clear in the Occidental conversation we had; and we’re still very early in his term. The question with him will be execution—or maybe a combination of execution and nerve. How willing will he be to fund improvements to pedestrian access, and sidewalks when they conflict with some voters’ (and media outlets’) desires to keep car traffic moving as swiftly and efficiently as possible? And how willing is he to defend controversial or even unpopular changes to street design?

 

 

Continue reading

Stories From The Streets: Walking To School In South LA

RANDY MANAL TAJ AND SADIQ on ASCS Campus 3.25.14

Text Español

It’s 7:20 on a brisk, sunny Monday morning in Crenshaw Manor. Brothers Taj and Sadiq check the velcro on their Hush Puppies and take one last look to make sure lunch pails and homework folders are tucked into their backpacks. Check. Off they go to the nearest Metro station, about a 12-minute walk. Many people walk in the neighborhood, so most days, Taj and Sadiq say hello to other walkers along the way.

If the car traffic on Coliseum Street isn’t too heavy and the lights at Crenshaw and Rodeo are just right, they’ll stroll up the platform just in time for the 7:40 train. They might even have an extra moment to find a penny someone’s left behind at the TAP machine. Some days they get stuck waiting for a lull in the steady stream of cars at an unmarked crosswalk at Coliseum or the light at Crenshaw won’t turn until they’ve seen the eastbound train bolt through the intersection. In that case, they wait for the 7:52 train. But, either way, the seven-minute train ride will get them to school well in time for their 8:05 bell.

Continue reading

Street Vendors Can Help Make Great Streets

icecream in hp

(Photo Credit: Rudy Espinoza)

Texto Español

Street vending is illegal in Los Angeles. This surprising fact is something that 40  L.A. organizations hope to change this year, thanks to a motion currently making its way through City Council.

Legalizing street vending will create thousands of jobs and bring healthier food into low-income food deserts through a proposed incentive program. It’s about  time that we embrace the thousands of vendors who are operating in the informal economy, many of them women who are chronically unemployed and in desperate need of income to support their families. They are not criminals; they are entrepreneurs.

But street vendors offer us more than just their food, they offer an example of how creativity and a people-centered approach to entrepreneurism can make L.A.’s streets safer and more pedestrian-friendly. Street vendors contribute to great streets.

Continue reading