Help us welcome new LADOT general manager Seleta Reynolds

la-me-ln-garcetti-transportation-20140620-001Join LACBC, L.A. Walks, Streetsblog L.A., and Safe Routes to School National Partnership for a reception to welcome new L.A. Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds.

Welcome Reception for LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds
When: Tuesday, September 23; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: The Hub LA, 830 Traction Avenue, LA, CA 90013

The event is free but you must RSVP here.

Join us for a walk in Whitley Heights on Saturday 9/13

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Come explore the history and architecture of the Golden Age of Hollywood with Walking Ambassador JJ Hoffman. Whitley Heights was designed by the Grandfather of Hollywood Hobart Whitley specifically for Hollywood’s most glamorous residents. Stars like Rudolph Valentino, Barbara LaMarr, Maurice Chevalier, and Betty Davis lived there. The homes are all in a Spanish style, yet no two floor plans are exactly alike. The gardens are also unique. Whitley was meticulous and gave each home its own view and made fantastic use of the space.

The main road in this neighborhood is a spiral like a wedding cake. Additionally, the neighborhood is filled with staircases leading to most dwellings. In one area there is still a car park for residents to leave their cars below then take stairs and an old (but still working) elevator up to their home. It is rumored that many homes have secret tunnels and passageways so that the rich and famous could indulge in whatever proclivity they enjoyed in secret. It is also rumored, that there is a passageway under the hill that leads to the Grauman’s Chinese theatre.

We will be climbing stairs, so the walk is not accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.

Saturday, *September 13* (an earlier version of this post had the incorrect date)
5:00 to 7:30pm
This walk will start and end at Hollywood and Highland. Meet up point will be on Hollywood Boulevard at the entrance to the Red Line station. Look for the LA Walkers!

Tickets are $8 in advance/$12 at the door
Buy your tickets via Eventbrite here!

You can park at Hollywood and Highland or take the Red Line, of course.

See who’s going and invite others on Facebook!

Apply to become a Los Angeles Walks Steering Committee Member!

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We’re expanding the Los Angeles Walks Steering Committee with up to five more members. Apply today to be considered! While we’re looking for any Angelenos who are interested in making LA more safe, accessible, fun and equitable for walkers, we would especially like to expand our geographic diversity and will be prioritizing candidates that live in South LA, East LA, West LA, and the Valley. We also strongly encourage people who speak Spanish and other languages to join our efforts and help us reach new communities.

Fill out our application here and follow the directions to submit it to us by Friday, September 19. Thanks so much, and we can’t wait to welcome some new voices to our team!

Union Station getting its much deserved makeover

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While policy makers and planners beefed up transportation options at Union Station with the addition of the Gold Line station and FlyAway bus, they neglected to make it a desirable location for travelers to use as a central transfer point. Now coming, a new terminal, train track redesign, and green public plaza will likely change everything you know about the station. With restaurants, outdoor seating, trees and flowers, Union Station is about to become your favorite pitstop on the way to anywhere in the city.

However, what might be most important in the upcoming development is the centralized focus on pedestrian and bike access to the station. Next up: The Regional Connector. By connecting Downtown together under a simple and efficient underground rail, several very critical gaps will be closed in the transportation loops. We can hardly wait to watch the city change.

Our Chicano Utopia Tour is August 23

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James Rojas of Place it! will lead us on an exciting walk around Boyle Heights and into East Los Angeles to explore Chicano history and it’s influence on the built environment.  The Spanish Law of the Indies is alive and well in Boyle Heights and East LA, manifesting itself in many physical forms from front yards designs, names of business, murals, community alters, but more importantly the social life of the community. We’ll learn about the Latino visual landscape by experiencing a community steeped in cultural, social, and economic patterns, but also feeling the pressures of gentrification. 

Join us for this exciting walk on Saturday, August 23. This walk will start at Mariachi Plaza and end at El Mercado de Los Angeles, both locations are at or near Metro Gold Line stations. This walk is approximately 4 miles and is stroller/roller friendly. Get your ticket today!

Chicano Utopia Tour
Saturday, August 23
9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Start at Mariachi Plaza / Boyle Heights Station
1831 E 1st Street
Los AngelesCA 90033

Tickets for this walk are $15 and support the pedestrian advocacy work of Los Angeles Walks. We realize many community members may not be able to afford the $15, therefore there is a sliding scale donation ticket option and we encourage folks to give what they can to support Los Angeles Walks and participate on this exciting walk. Tickets the day of the event will be $20.

Walk with us to celebrate LA’s 233rd birthday on August 30

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Did you know that Los Angeles was founded by a group of walkers? It’s true! The Pobladores, or founding families, walked nine miles from the San Gabriel Mission to downtown LA in September of 1781, and every year since then a group of their ancestors have retraced their steps.

Join us for the annual walk on Saturday, August 30 starting at 6:00 am! Meet at the Mission for the walk to Olvera Street, and free shuttles will take you back to your car at the end of the day. There’s also a bike ride for those who want to do the route on two wheels. See you then! More details on Facebook.

Building Safe and Healthy Streets with Vision Zero

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LA Walks has partnered with LA Streetsblog and Place It on an LA2050 proposal in search of support for our Vision Zero campaign. Vision Zero aims to decrease fatalities and injuries from vehicle crashes to as close to zero as possible. Unsafe streets kill hundreds and injure thousands, thus discouraging residents from biking and walking in their neighborhoods. As part of this proposal, LA Walks will conduct community workshops, local walks, media coverage, and policy advocacy as a means to educate and build support for vision zero policies. Vote for us today!

Vision Zero policies will benefit large populations and regions of Los Angeles by making streets safer and encouraging active transport. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 5-14 and the second overall cause for people aged 15-44. More support for non-car based infrastructure and development can decrease these fatalities and encourage more active transportation. More biking and walking will reduce obesity rates and air pollution further making our cities healthier places to live. Safer streets directly benefit low-income families (who are more likely to live in areas with busy roads) that either do not own a car or suffer from high transportation costs due to their necessity of a car. Furthermore, women and elderly who currently are less likely to bicycle due to discomfort riding in fast and dangerous traffic are expected to bicycle at greater rates with Vision Zero policies.

We can only accomplish a #VisionZero goal with your help. You can vote for our proposal until September 16, so vote for us today and help us spread the word!

The New Streets of LA Panel on August 7

New StreetsCome downtown to the Levi’s Commuter Workspace this Thursday, August 7 to see LA Walks’ executive director Deborah Murphy, among other leading policy makers, talk about building a more livable Los Angeles with safer streets and vibrant communities. This event is first installment a program new series called CicLAvia Explores, where the organization aims to further engage Angelenos to positively transform their relationships with their communities and each other.

The New Streets of LA
Thursday, August 7
7:00 to 10:00 pm

Levi’s Commuter Workspace
157 W 5th St 

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Register for the event here.

The Levi’s Commuter Workspace will be open all month with events and workshops. Check out more about the space here.

Game Changer: Walk with us to a Dodger game!

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LA Walks is taking a swing at the walkability of Dodger Stadium! Join us for a superb afternoon of walking, cheering, eating and drinking as we walk to the stadium from Chinatown. Guest speakers will guide the way and explore new walkability improvements as well as the issues that prevent Angelenos from walking or taking public transit to the games. We’ll help document the points of improvement along the way so that we can build a better plan to change our streets.

We’re going to knock this walk out of the park by sitting in the ALL YOU CAN EAT section in the stadium and watch the Dodgers destroy the Milwaukee Brewers. The walk is August 16th and begins at the Chinatown Gold Line Station. We look forward to watching baseball just as much as discussing improvements to our streets.

Tickets are $45, which includes a seat in the All You Can Eat Section and a $15 donation to LA Walks (equal to a game day parking pass). Game time is 6:10 pm.

Update: Here’s some really cool news, as part of the Movies at Dodger Stadium series, they’ll be screening The Natural after the game. You can watch from the field as part of your ticket!

Game Changer: Scoring one walk at a time
Saturday, August 16
Meet at the Chinatown Gold Line station at 4:00 pm
Purchase tickets here on Eventbrite!

See who’s going and invite others on Facebook!

Hooray for People St: New parklets and plazas announced

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Congratulations to People St! Three plazas and four parklets supported through the LADOT’s program will find new homes in communities parched for the space in an effort to strengthen communities, build business, and improve health. We’ve seen how the first four pilot parklets in Highland Park, El Sereno and Downtown have provided pedestrian space for these communities. This time the lucky winners are North Hollywood, Pacoima, Palms, Pacific Palisades, Downtown, and Leimert Park.

These projects can have very profound effects on communities because they offer a special destination for community members and businesses to congregate. If we can gain more support for these projects then we can ensure that every community has public space to visit! Read more and check out the proposals at Curbed LA, and if your neighborhood didn’t get picked, don’t worry, there’s another application window opening on October 1.