Los Angeles Is Talking About Safe Streets

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It was an energizing week for pedestrian rights here in LA, with plenty of discussions in the media about what it will take to make the city safe and accessible to all walkers. Los Angeles Walks was honored to be included in four articles on the growing movement around safe streets in the city.

First the Los Angeles Times released its map on the most dangerous intersections for walkers in the city. Our own Deborah Murphy was interviewed by Laura Nelson about the corner of Slauson and Western:

“There is so much work to be done here,” Deborah Murphy, an urban planner who runs Los Angeles Walks, a pedestrian advocacy group, said as she surveyed the streets on a recent afternoon. The wide intersection, anchored by three strip malls and a gas station, felt like a highway: Cars sped through it, and vehicles leaving parking lots narrowly zipped past children on bikes and old women with wire carts.

 

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City of Los Angeles Sidewalk Infrastructure Program

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Jessica Meaney, managing director of Investing in Place, is a transportation advocate who has been living intentionally car free in Los Angeles for over 15 years. Academically trained as a sociologist, Jessica’s approach to transportation policy began with looking at the key roles public transit, walking and bicycling play in social cohesion and  community health. Jessica’s policy approach has focused on using transportation finance research and advocacy efforts to achieve those outcomes, particularly in low income communities and communities of color.

The sidewalks in the City of Los Angeles represent one of the most critical public spaces, but are not yet afforded the same luxuries many other transportation infrastructure projects enjoy such as strategic planning, data and inventory collection, comprehensive funding or being viewed as a core part of the transportation network. The City of Los Angeles has backlog of broken and unmaintained sidewalks totaling over 10,000 miles with a estimated price tag to fix over $1 Billion. Since the mid 1970’s the City has not kept up with maintaining its sidewalks, and for the past ten years has been discussing this issue in committees that consider motions, staff reports, and numerous public testimony on how sidewalks should be funded and maintained. Yet still no inventory or strategic plan exists on this basic infrastructure need (see recent Los Angeles Times article).  A recent legal settlement with disability advocates on the quality of the City of Los Angeles sidewalks has the potential to change all this.

 

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#MobilityMondayLA; Support a Safer, More Sustainable Transportation Future for L.A.

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Take Action to Support the City of Los Angeles Mobility Plan!

Please join us today, Monday June 15th for #MobilityMondayLA to show support for Mobility Plan 2035:

  1. Email and call your councilmember (find your councilmember here) - sample below
  2. Share/tweet that you did it! (sample tweet: “I just called @PaulKoretzCD5 to support Mobility Plan 2035. You should too! #MobilityMondayLA”)

Later this month, the Los Angeles City Council will consider Mobility Plan 2035, the first comprehensive update to the city’s transportation policies since 1999. A lot has changed since the 1990s: we now have regular CicLAvias, everyday bike ridership has spiked, and the voter-approved expansion of the region’s transit system is rapidly under construction. Our streets are now seen as places for people, not just thoroughfares for cars. Technologies like real-time transit info, ride hailing apps, and bike share promise to give Angelenos new tools to take full advantage of the new infrastructure being built. The adoption of the unprecedented Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles earlier this year has grounded mobility conversations in the context of health and equity, recognizing that better transportation policy provides economic mobility for underserved residents while promoting community health and active transportation. And, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn calls for increasing walking, biking and transit to 35% of all trips in just 10 years to help meet the city’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The resulting Mobility Plan 2035 is a plan that is right for Los Angeles and right for our multimodal future.

 

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If you walk in Los Angeles, support legal sidewalk vending

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The Los Angeles City Council is considering whether and how to legalize sidewalk vending. Public hearings are being held to get residents’ viewpoints before a vending ordinance is drafted. LA Walks supports the legalization of sidewalk vending. We encourage everyone who cares about walking in LA to attend one of the two remaining vending hearings:

  • Downtown LA. Thursday, 6/18 at 6 pm. 200 N. Spring Street, LA 90012
  • South LA. thursday 6/25 ay 6 pm. 10950 S Central Ave, LA 90059

Here are some reasons why people who like to walk in LA should support a permit system for legal sidewalk vending:

1. Sidewalk vending makes LA more walkable. Walkable cities have a mix of uses and destinations, people out on the sidewalks at all hours, sights and smells and interactions to keep streets lively. Sidewalk vendors are destinations, gathering places, eyes on the street, colors and flavors all in one.

2. Legalizing vending helps ensure that everyone has a right to use our streets. Rebecca Solnit, in her book Wanderlust: a history of walking, reminds us that walking has long been a political act. Women, minorities and gays and lesbians have all had to struggle to gain the social right to walk out in public. Environmentalists. pedestrian groups and disability rights advocates had to campaign to gain ordinary people open space and infrastructure on which to walk/roll. Unions helped win time for people to stroll and recreate. Legalizing sidewalk vending is part of this legacy of expanding access to the city.

 

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Moving Forward for a More Walkable Future

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After two years of community organizing and outreach from neighbors and pedestrian advocates, the Los Angeles City Council unfortunately voted 11-0 to approve the plan to retrofit the Glendale/Hyperion Bridge with just one sidewalk this week. Los Angeles Walks is deeply disappointed by this decision and we feel it is a direct result of the lack of a comprehensive policy to improve the safety of people walking and bicycling throughout the City of Los Angeles.

Even with thousands of signatures from neighbors supporting ‘Option 3’ which included two sidewalks, buffered bike lanes, three traffic lanes and signalized crosswalks connecting the Glendale Blvd and Hyperion Ave sections of the bridge complex, the Council ignored the community wishes and instead voted for ‘Option 1’ which would preserve four lanes of traffic, provide a sidewalk only on the north side of the bridge and narrow unbuffered bike lanes with no condition of approval for a signalized crosswalk between the two bridges. The City of Los Angeles must do better -- and that begins with a comprehensive, citywide policy to ensure the safety of people walking and bicycling is the top priority of all projects. We will continue to work to ensure the Hyperion Bridge design includes additional crosswalks to enable safe crossings and improved access for people with disabilities.

 

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Call to Action: Support Hyperion Bridge Sidewalks at City Council June 9

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Residents seeking to overturn the Bureau of Engineering's recommendation to remove a sidewalk on Hyperion Bridge over the L.A. River scored a small victory at the City Council Public Works Committee when committee members Joe Buscaino and Curren Price refused to support the staff recommendation and forwarded the project on to Council without recommendation. The project is going to City Council on Tuesday, June 9th at 10 a.m., at L.A. City Hall, Agenda Item #7, Council File: 05-0173.

Your support to Save our Sidewalk is critical as the design of this bridge will set a precedent for the design of bridges and streets in the City of Los Angeles for years to come. Read more coverage at KPCC and Streetsblog LA and take action below!

 

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Walk Instead to Dodger Stadium with Metro!

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Baseball season is upon us, and we want to show you our favorite way to get to the game: a short walk from Metro's Chinatown Gold Line Station, through the hills of Solano Canyon and Elysian Park.

Join Los Angeles Walks and Metro for Dodgers v. Giants on Friday, June 19th.

If you want to sit with us, we have a few tickets to the game that can be purchased here for $42/ea (profits benefit Los Angeles Walks)

You can also purchase your own ticket and join us for free on the walk. You can RSVP here for only the walk. 

Join us at the Chinatown Gold Line Metro Station at 6:15. We'll walk to the stadium and enjoy the game followed by fireworks.

Thanks to Metro for sponsoring this walk, as part of their Walk Instead campaign!
They will be providing Metro sunglasses and bandanas, and you may be able to score a Los Angeles Walks button or sticker too :)

 


Action Alert: Support a More Walkable LA

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On Thursday at 8:30AM, the City Planning Commission will consider the Mobility Plan 2035 at their meeting at Van Nuys City Hall, Council Chamber 2nd Floor. We'd like you to join us to speak in favor of the Mobility Plan, which carries forward the best parts of the L.A. Bicycle Plan, while adding in family-friendly protected bike lanes to the City's toolbox of street improvements. The Plan also connects a much-needed improvements for people walking with a better bike network and transit. Most importantly, the Plan promotes complete streets that serve all people who travel on them, with special focus on the most vulnerable road users: children, the elderly, pedestrians and bicyclists. Please join us at the meeting and/or add your voice by emailing the City Planning Commission (see sample below).

The Commission needs to hear from you. People that are opposed to the improvements we've seen on L.A. streets are already mobilizing against this new Plan. We are counting on supporters like you to share your thoughts at the hearing and by email. If you can come to the meeting, please email hello@losangeleswalks.org.

 What does the Mobility Plan do?
  • Makes safety the City’s number one transportation priority, particularly the safety of children walking to school
  • Sets design speeds for city streets and provides engineering and enforcement solutions to stop the constant increase in speed limits
  • Proposes a new network of protected bike lanes across L.A.
  • Doubles the share of Measure R Local Return for walking and bicycling
  • Calls for annual bicycle and pedestrian counts by LADOT
  • Sets a performance metric of zero increase in car travel per person
Los Angeles Walks, LACBC and other stakeholders were involved in the development of the plan to ensure that the needs of L.A.’s bicyclists and pedestrians are a priority. Los Angeles Walks worked with the Department of City Planning to prioritize pedestrian mobility throughout the plan, because walking is a component of every trip, and high quality pedestrian access in needed on every streets. Let's make this a reality in Los Angeles by passing this Plan and supporting its implementation.
 
You can see the final EIR and staff report here.

Mobility Plan at City Planning Commission

When: Thu, May 28, 8:30am – 12:00pm. The Mobility Plan will be the first item on the agenda, so please make sure to be there at 8:30 AM.
Where: Van Nuys City Hall, Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, 14410 Sylvan Street, Van Nuys, CA 91401(map)
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Los Angeles Walks Congratulates CD4 Councilmember-elect David Ryu

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Los Angeles Walks congratulates David Ryu on his victory in yesterday's Council District 4 election

As LA's pedestrian safety advocacy organization, Los Angeles Walks has been strongly advocating for the two-sidewalk option (known as "Option 3") for the improvement project planned for the Hyperion Bridge. Although it is only one bridge in a city of many, the Hyperion Bridge renovation is critical as this project will set a precedent -- and the proposed design fails to serve all users in the City of Los Angeles. We are pleased that Councilmember-elect Ryu, who counts the bridge in his council district, supports Option 3.

During the campaign, the Councilmember-elect showed himself to be a strong supporter of making our streets safer for all road users. On the eve of the election, Ryu even sent his campaign manager to a Board of Public Works hearing to fight for more sidewalk space on the future Glendale-Hyperion Complex of Bridges.

 

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We're Taking a WalkLAvia in Pasadena on 5/31

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Los Angeles Walks returns to CicLAvia, this time in Pasadena on Sunday 5/31. Join us to explore the historic sites of Old Pasadena, South Lake, Raymond Avenue, and East Colorado. Here's all the details about the day.

Walk with us!

Meet at the Del Mar Gold Line station at 10am
We will learn about the California Cycleway and then walk east to the end of the 3.5-mile route and back, ending at the Memorial Park Station.

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Say you're going and invite friends on Facebook


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