Stories From The Streets: Walking To School In South LA

RANDY MANAL TAJ AND SADIQ on ASCS Campus 3.25.14

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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.

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Street Vendors Can Help Make Great Streets

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(Photo Credit: Rudy Espinoza)

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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.

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Help match our $25K donation!

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We are very excited to announce that Los Angeles Walks has received an anonymous end of year donation of $25,000! This donation is a HUGE step towards our goal of hiring a staff person in 2015. We are humbled by the generosity of this donor—THANK YOU!

As a volunteer run organization, we have been able to accomplishment a lot to date. However, we have some very big efforts in 2015 — like Vision Zero and addressing the hit and run epidemic — that need a lot of attention and time. We need to hire a staff person to move forward with this work.

Join us in honoring this anonymous donor by helping to match this donation. We challenge the rest of our friends, partners, and followers to donate $25, $250, or $2500. If we can raise another $25,000, we will be able to hire our first staff person to focus daily on our ongoing work. Until now, Los Angeles Walks has been entirely volunteer driven, and we need someone who can represent us at active transportation meetings and public hearings, organize walks and other fun events, communicate regularly with supporters like you. Your support will make the difference for our organization to build energy, constituency, and success.

We have seen many changes as the result of our efforts. Just last month, DOT installed a crosswalk at the unsafe intersection on Humboldt St. and Ave. 26!  We identified and reported that problem on our Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park walk, then DOT conducted a survey and fixed the problem. These actions matter and we need to make more of them to achieve our goals.

DONATE NOW TO MAKE OUR STREETS SAFE FOR ALL!!

Walk This Way LA — working group meeting **Tuesday, Feb. 3**

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Have you heard about our pedestrian wayfinding project Walk This Way LA? We’re developing wayfinding signs to make it easier for Angelenos to walk in their neighborhoods. We need volunteers to help with planning and outreach in our pilot area of Leimert Park, as well as other neighborhoods around LA. If you want to get involved with this project, our first working group meeting will be

**the evening of Tuesday February 3, 2015**
(note, time is corrected from an earlier post that said February 2)

Save the date and stay tuned for meeting location, TBA.

Why isn’t there better pedestrian access to the Arroyo Seco?

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I started the DRY RIVER project to map out the legal and “homemade” entrances to the Arroyo Seco Bikeway as well as potential new points of access along the route.  As a resident of Highland Park, I commonly use the space for running, biking, and relaxing, however, I noticed several points of surprising oversight in its construction.

The Arroyo Seco Bikeway stretches through Northeast LA to South Pasadena winding beside the 110. It offers excellent pedestrian and bike only transportation through some of the largest parks in the region.  However, access to the bikeway is extremely limited by chain link fences lining each side.  Half of the entire bikeway does not have any access points as it runs alongside Ernest Debs Park and Hermon Park.

Opening access to the Arroyo Seco Bikeway opens access in NELA to parks and alternative transportation.  It is easy to add gates where there is fencing so that local residents can easily access the river.  As of now, NELA’s greatest alternative transit corridor is simply closed behind a chain link fence.

Read more about the project here!

-Jack Moreau

 

Become a Walk Ambassador!

B2gIDOPCcAE1aiRPassionate about your neighborhood, Los Angeles history, art, food, culture and walking? Then share your passion with the Los Angeles Walks community! We rely on passionate individuals to share their Los Angeles with us each month as Walk Ambassadors. Walk Ambassadors design and lead us on walks to explore the many diverse neighborhoods that make up the City of Los Angeles. Our walks range from being 1.5 miles to 10 and along the way we meet artists, residents, community leaders, and learn about the past, present and future of our communities.

Pitch your idea for a walk by submitting a completed Planning Your Walk form to hello@losangeleswalks.org. Walks need to be in the City of Los Angeles, but other than that there are no limits! Check out some of our 2014 walks by scrolling through our archives.

**Deadline extended through January 20**

12/7 Is the Next CicLAvia: Walk with us & Join us in Leimert Park!

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Join Los Angeles Walks  at the next CicLAvia on Sunday December 7. We’ll be walking the whole route, starting at Central and Washington at 9am.

And you can also find us at the Leimert Park Plaza hub, collecting feedback for our “Walk This Way Leimert Park” pedestrian wayfinding signs. Come tell us where you walk in Leimert Park! And if you can volunteer for an hour or two to help us with outreach, sign up here!

 

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Shop Small Business Saturday in Mar Vista

mar-vista-pop-up-bannerThanks to Small Business Saturday, Mar Vista is going to be host to numerous pop-ups for your perusal!

The Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce encourages everyone to Shop Local and Shop Small at the first-ever Small Business Saturday Pop-Up Mar Vista event.

Over 35 businesses along Venice Blvd will be participating; welcoming customers shopping for Holiday gifts, enjoying art galleries, getting some pampering done, or just enjoying a stroll or bike ride.

The Mar Vista Chamber will hand out maps listing all the participating stores. You’ll be able to find the Chamber at our “Home Base” for the day – at the South East corner of Venice & Centinela. Each store will stamp the map every time someone comes in to shop or browse – and for every stamp on their map, customers will earn a raffle ticket for some terrific prizes donated by local merchants.

If you ride a bike to any of the stores, you’ll earn an extra stamp on your map, which will earn you an extra raffle ticket, too!

The raffle prizes will be given away at the end of the day, and winners need not be present to win. Join the Chamber after the Pop-up event at Louie’s of Mar Vista, beginning at 4:30pm, to find out who will win the prizes!

Join us to #ShopSmall on this very fun day supporting local businesses!

Saturday, November 29
1:00-4:00pm

At the Great Streets route on Venice between Beethoven and Inglewood Blvd

Walk NoHo With Us November 22

lankershimThis Saturday, November 22nd we’re partnering with the Mayor’s Great Streets Initiative and City Impact Lab on a tour of NoHo’s Arts District evolution, including a brand new People St plaza!

The plaza will be located just one block off of the Great Street development in the alley at the corner of Lankershim and Magnolia. People St is exactly what makes Great Streets and their efforts to transform the city have brought beautiful plazas into fruition.

If we are lucky, we may even catch a glimpse of Magic Johnson, who is rumored to walk through the alley on the way to his gym. Soon he’ll be walking through a People St. instead!

Afterwards, you might want to meet up with the Great Los Angeles Walk, which is venturing eastward down Ventura!

NoHo Neighborhood Impact Walk
Saturday, November 22
Meet at 9:45am at the Northeast corner of Lankershim & Chandler
NoHo Metro Red Line and Orange Line Station (Lankershim and Chandler in NoHo)

Tickets for the walk are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the walk.
Click here to RSVP and purchase tickets.