After several years of litigation the City of Los Angeles agreed to fix the city’s broken sidewalks and ensure accessibility and safety for all. This legal agreement represents the largest disability payout in the country. The settlement calls for a citywide sidewalk repair plan and spending over $1 billion in funds to fix and improve sidewalks throughout the city (see LA Times and Legal Aid Society coverage and analysis).
Next steps include developing a work plan and prioritization of efforts. Right now the City has over $27 million in approved budgeted funds to get started on this work this year. The source of transportation funds for this work beyond the initial $27 million has not yet been identified. The city is also creating a position to monitor the work and will draft reports on its progress twice yearly.
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!
By Andy Martinez - Board Member of Multicultural Communities for Mobility, ﬁnd more at multicultimobility.org
From our 2014 report Footnotes: A Report On the State of Walking in LA. Donate to get a printed copy. Special thanks to Melendréz for funding the printing of our 2015 Footnotes report. Read more from Footnotes.
On Valentine’s Day, when people normally spend time with their loved ones, I received the terrible news that my cousin Marlene Barrera was killed by a driver in a crosswalk at the intersection of Bronson and Fountain across from Le Conte Middle School. As my cousin and her nine-year-old daughter walked into the crosswalk, the driver of the big rig truck sped through a stop sign into the intersection. Her maternal instincts immediately came into play, and she pushed her daughter out of the way to protect her from the oncoming truck.
The dangerous intersection now serves as a memorial site where many of the parents’ biggest fears came to reality. Right now, the daughter is experiencing intense trauma from witnessing the death of her mother. It has impacted her to the point where she can hardly speak. She directs the very few words she does manage to say to her grandmother: “When is Mom coming back?”
Emotionally, it has taken a toll on me, and I feel regret for not having seen her as much during the last few years. My extended family, including Marlene and I, lived together in the early 90s in MacArthur Park after they had recently immigrated to the U.S. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are playing with her when I was four years old.
Los Angeles City Council ﬁle Number 87-2261 S4, dated December 18th, 1987
My, how far L.A. walkers have come—or have we?
"In the City of Radials, it's nothing short of radical" claimed LA Times writer Patt Morrison in 1987 after the "Pedestrian Bill of Rights" was first declared by two councilmen. 27 years later, we’re still ﬁghting for many of these basic pedestrian rights.
Improving streets is an ongoing process between many partners. It is important that we do not miss the mark on safe street designs. Strong policies and leaders will help us realize the rights granted to all walkers in Los Angeles decades ago.
Los Angeles City Council ﬁle Number 87-2261, dated December 18th, 1987
MOVE that Council adopts the following statements as the “pedestrian Bill of Rights” for Los Angeles
The People of Los Angeles have the right to:
- Safe roads and safe places to cross the street
- Pedestrian-oriented building facades, trees, ﬂower stands, trash cans, awnings, etc.
- Safe and comfortable bus stops and public
- Transit stations
- Appealing use of landscaping and available
- Open space
- Full notiﬁcation of all street widening that impinge on public open space and sidewalks
- Access to streets and buildings for disabled people
- Clean surroundings, requiring removal of grafﬁti and advertisements from public property
- Have needs of pedestrians considered as heavily as the needs of drivers
- Public works of Art
FURTHER MOVE that City departments use this pedestrian Bill of rights of Way to evaluate the needs in future decisions.
On Sunday March 22, Los Angeles Walks will walk the CicLAvia route – this time in the Valley! – starting at North Hollywood Red Line Station at 10am. Look for the Los Angeles Walks banner and our Executive Director Deborah's bright dress to find our group. Walk with us!
Find your way along the route with the CicLAvia Neighborhood Guide to discover the foundations of today's vibrance, secrets, and smells in the San Fernando Valley.
Amuse your friends, family, and self with LOADS of activities throughout the route. Pop up cycle tracks, nature walks, jazz groups, climbing walls, we honestly couldn't list it all here. See the Activities Along the Route section on CicLAvia's page for a very full list of how to fill your Sunday. And just so that you know absolutely everything about what you can get into this weekend - CicLAValley provided the Mother of All Valley CicLAvia Guides.
Perceive the Valley guided by a shifting musical landscape as geo-sonic harmonies come through your headphones. Walk With Me app offers fiction fused with reality while natural, musical, and vocal sounds superimpose the live noise of the surrounding area.
Have a good week and hope to walk with you Sunday!
Map researched and designed by Rosten Woo – an artist, designer, writer, and educator in Los Angeles.
Safe streets bring positivity to our communities. Currently, 20-25% of all trips taken are on foot or bicycle, but they account for 39% of fatalities and only 1% of funding. Take a look at some of the most dangerous streets in our city and help us build the solutions for a SAFE city.
D.J. Waldie is the author of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir and Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles among other books. His essays on the politics and history of Los Angeles appear weekly at KCET.org. Portions of these pieces, in a substantially different form, were originally posted to KCET.
Place. The other day while walking to mass, I crossed the cement apron that leads out of the alley behind the houses on Clark Avenue. I’ve crossed the alley from the time I was a boy and through the 32 years I walked to work following my father’s death.
But this time, a sheet of water—probably leaking from a backyard hose—spilled across the concrete.
For the ﬁrst time, I noticed that inscribed in the concrete were names, but almost worn smooth. Children had written awkwardly, haphazardly in the wet concrete but with respect for each other. Their names didn’t overlap.
The loose water had brought out the faint letters.
I’m not inattentive. The qualities of the everyday interest me. Yet here were persistent marks of lives that had neighbored mine for years and which I had never seen, would never have seen except for the contingencies of that moment.
Valerie Watson is the Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles. For more information on People St visit peoplest.lacity.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bring plazas, parklets, and bicycle corrals to life in your neighborhood through this new citywide program
Are you interested in ways to make your neighborhood better for people walking, bicycling and taking transit? Is the street you spend time on challenged by narrow sidewalks, fast-moving vehicles, or a lack of nice places to linger, meet a friend, read a book, check your email, have a coffee, sit with your charming canine companion, or people watch?
We ultimately want to bring permanent physical changes to our streets that address mobility, quality of life and public space accessibility issues within our communities. Typically, we think about our local government and elected ofﬁcials initiating big projects to create public space opportunities, like neighborhood parks with grass and trees, or streetscape plans and road diets with physical infrastructure. However, these types of projects can sometimes take years—even decades—to come to fruition. The funding required is nothing to sneeze at, involving hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars. At the same time, neighbors don’t always agree on improvements like sidewalk bump-outs or cycletracks for bike riders. Pouring concrete is permanent, and we all know people sometimes don’t like change.Read more
Deborah Murphy featured on a panel at Zócolo Public Square: Cars and freeways didn’t just shape the landscape of contemporary America; they shaped the national culture as well. Southern California in particular has reveled in the pleasures of the automobile, from Sunday drives and drive-in theaters to the car race in Rebel Without a Cause. But between the pressures of climate change and a younger generation’s preference for denser living and public transportation, there is a serious backlash against the car, especially in L.A., where drivers spend more than 60 hours a year stuck in traffic. Are our cruising days over forever? Petersen Automotive Museum executive director Terry Karges, DUB Magazine founder Myles Kovacs, Los Angeles Walks founder Deborah Murphy, and Drexel University Center for Mobilities Research and Policy director Mimi Sheller visit Zócalo to discuss the future of car culture, in Southern California and beyond.
Walking 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.
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.