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.

Away from L.A.’s congested core, wide streets like these can invite speeding or rapid lane changes. Adding taller buildings or trees that arch into the roadway could narrow drivers’ field of view, Murphy said, adding more shade for pedestrians and subconsciously signaling drivers to slow down.

Another factor that makes Slauson and Western so dangerous, Murphy said, is that pedestrians must cross five lanes of traffic, or about 70 feet, to reach the opposite corner.

“That’s a long way for an able-bodied person,” Murphy said. “Now think about people who do it in a wheelchair.”

At each corner of the intersection, one ramp points people with wheelchairs or strollers into the middle of the intersection. The better, but more expensive option, Murphy said, would be to add one ramp at each crosswalk. The city also could install sharper curbs that force drivers to brake as they turn, she said.

In other coverage about the LA Times study, you can hear Deborah on KPCC discussing dangerous intersections and how they might be made safer. Special thanks also to Curbed LA who nodded to our own map of dangerous intersections published in our Footnotes publication last year.

Finally, the LA Weekly followed up on the Hyperion Bridge story by interviewing Deborah as well and featuring the work of LA Walks. A group of residents are suing the city, claiming that the city violated the California Environmental Quality Act by not fully considering pedestrian safety:

“Why would we restore the historic belvederes and then not let pedestrians experience them on the south side?” asks Deborah Murphy of Los Angeles Walks. A key force in the debate, Los Angeles Walks wants city officials to take more seriously the physical safety of those on foot — as well as access for the disabled.

Read more here and share these stories to spread the good work being done by pedestrian advocates everywhere:

Los Angeles Times – Walking in L.A.: Times analysis finds the county’s 817 most dangerous intersections

KPCC – LA Times crunches data to reveal county’s 817 most dangerous intersections

Curbed LA -The Five Most Dangerous Places For Walkers in Los Angeles

LA Weekly – Do You Have to Sue to Get the City of LA to Design with Pedestrians in Mind?

Los Angeles Walks Is Looking for a Policy & Program Manager

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Help Los Angeles Walks Grow! Full-Time Position Starts September 2015

Los Angeles Walks seeks an enthusiastic and experienced Policy & Program Manager to help take this small, dynamic organization to the next level. The Policy & Program Manager will be responsible for leading the Vision Zero campaign and coordinating with partners on this long term campaign to improve roadway safety across the City of Los Angeles. This is a great opportunity to have a real impact on the city you live in and to help guide a small and growing organization. Our work promotes safe, active transportation, justice for under-served communities, and better health for all.

Los Angeles Walks is led by an active, engaged steering committee. This position will be the first paid position for the organization. The potential candidate will have the opportunity to shape the growth and long term direction of the organization in partnership with the steering committee. We are looking for someone with strong leadership and organizational skills and a desire to make change in Los Angeles.

Hiring is on a fast track; the position will start in September; applicants should send in materials by 5pm on Thursday, August 6th.

View and download the full job description here.

For consideration, please forward resume, cover letter and writing samples to hello@losangeleswalks.org

Community Speaks Up and Acts Out For Hyperion Bridge Safety

As Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx stated during the recent UCLA Complete Streets Conference, “the design of our roads are a reflection of who we are”. let’s hope that we are an inclusive and thoughtful city who cares for everyone, whether they walk, bike, roll or drive. ‪#‎safestreetsforall‬‪#‎saveoursidewalk‬

Don Ward spoke for the community in opposition to the proposed bridge redesign plan. Watch the video above or read full text here:

Good morning.  My name is Don Ward, I was born in east hollywood, I grew up in the area and I care deeply about my city. This morning we are announcing legal action to defend the community against the City’s rushed and ill-conceived approval of an unsafe design for the Hyperion Avenue Viaduct. The project approved by the City Council last month fails to provide safe access to everyone who uses the bridge and falls short of the City’s vision of promoting safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods. This project fails to safely and conveniently connect an entire region of Angelenos starving for park space to what is arguably our city’s greatest natural asset, the LA river. We love this city and believe it is capable of building great public works, and so we challenge the City of Los Angeles to reconsider this project and build a bridge that lives up to its ideals.

Some have said that Angelenos are addicted to cars and so it is unreasonable to create safe convenient spaces for people walking and biking. But our outreach to local residents around the bridge found the exact opposite: well over 1,000 people in Atwater Village and the surrounding neighborhoods signed petitions in support of a more balanced project. That support includes dozens and dozens of letters written by businesses, school principals, parent and student groups, religious and even political leaders. People want options. Their voices should count for something.

It is not Angelenos that are addicted to cars, but our city government that refuses to provide safe convenient alternatives. In the face of overwhelming support for a better bridge, the City steamrolled the community. In order to force through a cars-first project, the City overturned its community advisory committee, ignored the neighborhood councils, the businesses, the parent groups, the petition signatures. The city manipulated the results of its traffic study and manufactured an arbitrary deadline to create pressure and to coerce the Council’s approval before the end of the term. Just a matter of weeks after settling another lawsuit over sidewalks, the City will again go to court to defend its second-class treatment of people who walk. The public deserves better. The public deserves safe convenient options.

We are under no illusions that rebalancing our streets is easy. It will require robust public discussion and some hard tradeoffs. In order to do that, we need the City to be an honest broker in these conversations so that we can make decisions based on hope, not fear. CEQA is the public’s defense to ensure that our leaders make decisions based on accurate information and in full view of the public. That didn’t happen in this case, so regrettably we must take this action to ensure transparency and accountability.

We hope that with more time and another chance to evaluate the options with open minds, thought and reason will prevail. Our communities deserve a historic bridge that is safe and accessible for people walking and biking, and people with disabilities. Only by breaking this addiction to cars-first thinking will we be able to restore our city to health and create great streets worthy of our great city.

With that, I’d like to refer any questions to our attorneys. Thank you.

Follow along as we track the lawsuit unfolding. Also watch how StreetsBlogLA and the Los Feliz Ledger cover the news.

City of Los Angeles Sidewalk Infrastructure Program

We’d love to see all Los Angeles City sidewalks as a smooth as the path at Echo Park lake for strolling and rolling for people of all ages and abilities. #lasidewalks

We’d love to see all Los Angeles City sidewalks as a smooth as the path at Echo Park lake for strolling and rolling for people of all ages and abilities. #lasidewalks

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.

And currently, Public hearings on this issue are being held across the city. City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Joe Buscaino are hosting a series of joint meetings of the Budget and Finance and Public Works committees to get input from the public on what the city’s program to repair sidewalks next to homes and businesses should look like.  See meeting flyer here.  For questions on the Public hearings call City Clerk Michael Espinosa at 213 -978-106. For substantive questions about Los Angeles Sidewalks call Staci Sosa in the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) at 213-978-2752.

SOUTH LA
Tuesday, June 30, 6pm
Estelle Van Meter Senior Center
606 E. 76th St., Los Angeles 90001

WEST LOS ANGELES
Tuesday, July 28, 6pm
Mar Vista Recreation Center
11430 Woodbine Street, Los Angeles 90291

EAGLE ROCK/EASTSIDE
Wednesday, July 29, 6pm
Center for Performing Arts
2225 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles 90041

VALLEY
Thursday, July 30, 6pm
Van Nuys City Hall
6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Los Angeles 91401

And the Los Angeles Times is asking people to share their broken sidewalks (and location) using #lasidewalks andsubmit them here. Share your LA City sidewalk pictures and stories with #lasidewalks with the Los Angeles Times or email Investing in Place – we’d love to hear them.

Through transportation finance research done over the past few years, it has shown that sidewalk maintenance and quality are consistently underfunded and represent great infrastructure need. As the region considers a new transportation sales tax for the ballot in 2016, should sidewalks be part of this conversation? According to Los Angeles County voters polled by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the answer is a resounding yes.

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

MMondayTake 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.

What does the Mobility Plan do?

  • Makes safety the City’s #1 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.
  • Doubles city funding for walking and bicycling.
  • Calls for annual bicycle and pedestrian counts by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT).
  • Sets a performance metric of zero increase in car travel per person.

You can see the entire Mobility Plan 2035 and EIR here.

As with any significant progress, skeptics and naysayers are vocally opposing the Plan, either in whole or in part. Some neighborhood groups are fearful that a transition away from a car-dominated city to a balanced system might snarl traffic or delay emergency responders. Meanwhile, a vocal minority are taking this opportunity to attack specific projects, which threatens to piecemeal a well-planned citywide network. This Plan is supported by a broad base of residents, business groups, environmental organizations, and health advocates. Now is the time to demonstrate that support to the City Council.

Continue reading

If you walk in Los Angeles, support legal sidewalk vending

Photo by Rudy Espinoza

Photo by Rudy Espinoza

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.

3. Vendors and pedestrians can share space on our sidewalks. LA Walks worked with The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign to recommend that vendors be required to locate so as to leave at least 5 feet for pedestrians to pass by. This exceeds federal ADA requirements.

4. The war on vending has long been linked to car dominance. LA banned sidewalk vending in major business districts starting in the 1930s and citywide in 1980. Vending on sidewalks was restricted partly to make space for pedestrians – after the city defined people as jaywalkers and kicked them out of roads. Banning vending drained life from city streets. The irony of eliminating sidewalk vending to make space for pedestrians, pointed out by Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Renia Ehrenfeucht in their book Sidewalks: Conflict and negotiation over public space, is that removing vendors as ‘obstructions’ also removed one of the main reasons why people liked going outside and walking.

5. Immigrant vendors helped bring pedestrians back to Los Angeles streets. Sidewalk vending is the original tactical urbanism. When immigrants from Latin America started coming to Los Angeles in large numbers in the 1970s and 1980s, they brought with them life experience in cities where people used public space. By returning commerce to (and placing culture on) the sidewalks, vendors have brought people back to streets as or more effectively than most intentional street-changing designs, programs and policies. As the City moves to make walking safer and more convenient, it would be wrong to exclude these pioneers of a more walkable Los Angeles.

6. Legal vending can help make LA a just and diverse place worth walking in. Walking is the most democratic form of transportation. People can walk (or roll in a wheelchair) even if they lack funds to own a vehicle or if they are too young to have a drivers license. Walking also exposes residents to each other. It fulfills one of the basic purposes of a city- which is bring people in contact with those different than themselves. As Los Angeles becomes an increasing costly place to live, legalizing vending can help ensure that low income residents can start a business and have a future in LA.

7. Vending is Los Angeles. What Roy Choi said when he introduced his Koji truck in 2008 applies to vending in general: it takes “everything about LA and put it into one bite.” I think we all know in our hearts that we can’t have ‘great streets’ in the City of Los Angeles without sidewalk vendors.

For more information on sidewalk vending in LA, visit http://streetvendorcampaign.blogspot.com/ or look for these book chapters by LA Walks’ Mark Vallianatos:

  • “Compl(eat)ing the Streets: Legalizing Sidewalk Food Vending in Los Angeles,” in Incomplete Streets: processes, practices and possibilities. Routledge, 2015
  • “A More Delicious City: how to legalize street food,” in The informal American City: beyond taco trucks and day labor, MIT Press, 2014.

Moving Forward for a More Walkable Future

hyperion-bridgeAfter 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.

While the Glendale/Hyperion Bridge retrofit is a stinging defeat for the safety of Angelenos — Los Angeles Walks is hopeful for the upcoming policy debates around the Mobility Plan and a citywide Vision Zero policy in the coming months.

In the coming weeks, we need you to speak up in favor of the Mobility 2035 Plan. The City Council’s Planning and Land Use (PLUM) and Transportation committees will review the City’s new Mobility Plan after more than four years of community input and it is likely to heard by the full City Council before the end of the month. The Mobility Plan sets citywide goals and policies for transportation for all modes in the City of Los Angeles. It includes a Vision Zero goal of eliminating transportation related deaths in LA by 2035. The Plan establishes a new Complete Streets Design Guide as the manual that determines how our streets are designed: from the width of sidewalks, bike and vehicle lanes to the design of crosswalks and curb ramps. The Mobility Plan also proposes that the city should increase funding for active transportation and create pedestrian enhanced districts on major streets and a neighborhood network of traffic-calmed residential streets.  Once adopted, the Mobility 2035 Plan becomes part of the city’s General Plan, the guiding document for how Los Angeles grows and invests in infrastructure.

We need you to let City Council members know that you care about walking, safety and complete streets and want the Mobility Plan to be adopted. Help make Monday, June 15th ‘Mobility Monday’ in LA:

  1. Call or email your councilmember to ask them to support and adopt the Mobility Plan. Contact info is at http://lacity.org/city-government/elected-official-offices/city-council/council-directory or email all 15 councilmembers at cityhall@empowerla.org
  2. Use the hashtag #MobilityMondayLA on twitter and facebook, tagging city council offices so they see support for the Plan

We are also hard at work launching a greater Vision Zero campaign, because no loss of life on our streets is acceptable. We will have more information about our Vision Zero campaign in the coming days and look forward to continuing to work with you to make Los Angeles a safer and more walkable city.

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

LA Walks - HyperionPressStatement final w attach 20150512

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!

How to help?

1) Come to City Council on Tuesday, June 9 at 10 a.m.!

When: Tuesday, June 9; 10 a.m.

Where: Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles

2) Email the City Council!

Use this email template to email all the City Councilmembers. Include the council file: Agenda Item #7, Council File: 05-0173. And be sure to cc us.

To: cityhall@empowerla.org
Bcc: hello@losangeleswalks.org
Subject: Save Our Sidewalk on Hyperion Bridge

Honorable Councilmembers,

I am distressed by the Bureau of Engineering’s recommendation to remove one of the sidewalks on the Hyperion Bridge. At a time when the City of Los Angeles is working to become more walkable and bikeable, we need more sidewalks connecting popular destinations like the L.A. River to neighboring communities–not fewer. Traffic counts have shown that we can have two sidewalks and protected bike lanes and still keep traffic flowing between Atwater Village and Silver Lake. There’s no need to rush a bad project through with so many questions remaining:

1) Why should people with disabilities be forced to walk over 15 minutes out of their way to access the one remaining sidewalk? Why does BOE consider people in wheelchairs less important than people in cars?
2) Why can’t we keep access to the bridge’s beautiful and historic belvederes on both sides of the bridge? Why do we want to prevent people from enjoying one of the city’s best views of what will soon be a revitalized L.A. River?
3) Why did BOE change the traffic study only after they wanted to preserve four lanes? For more than a year, studies showed that there would be no impact from removing a vehicle lane.

I agree with Councilmember-elect David Ryu who supports Option 3 for a more people-friendly Hyperion Bridge with sidewalks AND bike lanes. This is a bridge that connects communities and matters to the whole city. Please don’t approve this plan without fully studying these issues.

Agenda Item #7, Council File: 05-0173

Sincerely,

Your name
Your address


 

 

How “Option 3″ Makes Walking Safer and More Accessible for All Angelenos

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Option 3 Conceptual Design Sketch from Enrich LA

Los Angeles Walks joins neighborhood councils, small business owners, parents, principals and residents to call on the City of Los Angeles to preserve sidewalks on both sides of the Hyperion Avenue Viaduct between Atwater Village and Silver Lake. At the request of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Bureau of Engineering convened a Citizens Advisory Committee to study alternatives that would enhance the safety, accessibility and mobility benefits of the bridge retrofit project. This committee voted 6-3 to recommend an option that would preserve two sidewalks, add bike lanes and calm traffic driving into Atwater Village by reducing an extra lane that is not needed to maintain traffic flow. With the community-supported “Option 3,” the bridge can support wheelchair-accessible sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, new protected bike lanes and business-friendly traffic speeds on Atwater Village’s main street.

The community’s support for Option 3 is overwhelming. Businesses and organizations have written over 150 letters of support and more than 1,200 stakeholders have signed petitions in favor of Option 3. In addition, the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council and Silver Lake Neighborhood Council both voted unanimously to support Option 3. The incoming Councilmember-elect for District 4, David Ryu, has pledged support for Option 3 as well.

OPTION_pressconference-01

“Everybody walks, but not everybody drives. The City of Los Angeles shouldn’t build a bridge that only allows you to walk on one side of the bridge. Without both sidewalks, pedestrians—children, students, seniors, the disabled, parents with strollers and everyone else—would have to walk, roll or be pushed almost a 1/2 mile, over 2200 feet, over a 12-minute walk (up to Glenfeliz Blvd, across Glendale Blvd and back) to get to destinations on the other side of the street like Red Car Park,” said Deborah Murphy, Executive Director of Los Angeles Walks. “If a driver was detoured this far out of their way, the City would never find that acceptable and they should not find it acceptable to require pedestrians of all abilities and disabilities to go that far out of their way just to make connections in their community.”

Los Angeles Walks is thrilled that Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Tom La Bonge have plans for a permanent pedestrian and bike bridge over the Los Angeles River on the Red Car Trolley tiers that will connect the north and south sides of the river, but it does not replace the need for a ‘Complete Street’ bridge on Hyperion Avenue that will truly connect our communities for all users.

With so many pedestrian-friendly policies and plans in place for the City of Los Angeles, now is the time to ensure our most long-lasting infrastructure reflects the forward-thinking values of our community. The new Hyperion Bridge will last over 100 years. Los Angeles Walks hopes that the City makes people walking this project’s top priority, by preserving and enhancing the sidewalks on this beautiful and historic structure.

 DOWNLOAD FULL PRESS PACKET HERE

Download BOE Staff Report

Download BOE Agenda

Excerpts from Community Support Letters in Favor of Option 3

“Please let’s not take a step “backwards” and consider anything other than sidewalks and bike lanes on BOTH sides of the Hyperion Bridge.” – Gareth & Christine Kantner, owners of Sunset Junction Center & Cafe Stella

“…in a presentation to the citizen’s advisory committee, the City showed the results of its technical study, which analyzes how the different options can be expected to perform and Option #3 not only improves traffic flow, but is the only one to do so.” – Ava Bromberg, Senior Vice President Business Development, Atwater Crossing

“Please make sure that the historic Hyperion bridge keeps BOTH sidewalks, has bike lanes on both sides and crosswalks at the base so that the future generations can get to the L.A. River from our part of town safely with their families young and old…Any loss in commute time will be worth the unprecedented safe access to the L.A. River that people will gain.” – Jim Ferraro, owner of Dresden Restaurant in Los Feliz

“A large part of our children and students’ development occurs in our neighborhood and it is crucial that

we create a safe neighborhood where our families and children feel comfortable exploring, learning and

growing. The burgeoning Los Angeles River continues to develop into a beautiful recreational and

artistic learning space — one to which our children and families must have safe access. We must keep both sidewalks on the bridge in order to provide our children and families safe access between Atwater Village and Silverlake, whether they be walking, jogging or getting pushed in a stroller or wheelchair.” – Executive Board, Friends of Atwater Elementary School

“Right now, only a small percentage of Atwater Village and Silver Lake residents venture into the other neighborhood except by car. This is tragic.” – Dustin Lancaster, owner of Eastside Establishment Inc., which owns 8 local restaurants, 4 of which are within a few miles of Hyperion bridge

“Bike lanes and sidewalks spanning the Hyperion Bridge would encourage people to spend time in Atwater, enjoy its life and culture…rather than just driving through it…Keeping sidewalks on both sides [of Hyperion bridge] allows for the special vantage point of the L.A. River, an amenity and destination in and of itself that Golden Road wholeheartedly endorses.” – Tony Yarrow, owner of Golden Road Brewery in Atwater Village

“The first thing I noticed about our customers was how many chose to walk or bike to get their morning coffee…keeping BOTH sidewalks…[and] bike lanes in BOTH directions [is] the only option that truly considers the future of our city and the incalculable potential it has yet to unlock. The loss of a single lane heading into Atwater is unequivocally miniscule by comparison.” – Alexander Mirecki, owner of Kaldi Coffee in Atwater Village

“Atwater Village has a thriving community of young people. Many of these students have to walk or bike to school over Hyperion Bridge. We feel it is vitally important to keep both sidewalks on the bridge…” – Executive Board, Friends of Glenfeliz Elementary School

“The success and growth of our studios depends on these neighborhoods [Atwater Village and Silver Lake] being as walkable and livable as possible.” – David Trumfio, owner of Kingsize Soundlabs in Atwater Village

“My business, LA Sports Acupuncture, is located on Glendale Blvd in Atwater Village, where it has been for the last 6 years. For the last 17 years, I have lived on Monon St., just off of Hyperion…For the past few years, I have chosen to ride a bicycle rather than drive for a great deal of my commuting. This decision has increased my quality of life…Riding my bike down the Hyperion Bridge is generally fun, but there are times when I am frightened…As a cyclist, a health practitioner, and a business owner…I am unequivocally in support of Option 3 for the redesign of the Hyperion Bridge.” – Jorga Houy, owner of LA Sports Acupuncture in Atwater Village

“I am a business owner in Los Feliz and a father…I live on Rowena just down the street from Hyperion Bridge. My son is 6 years old and one day I want to be able to get to the LA River on our bikes or by walking safely. Let’s not leave my son a world in which using your own two feet is not a protected form of transportation…Please support Option 3.” – Nicolas Hipolito, Macho’s Tacos in Los Feliz

“Preserving a sidewalk on both sides of Hyperion Bridge and installing wide, buffered bicycle lanes are crucial to attaining safe and convenient access to our neighborhoods.” – Jesse Rogg, President & Producer, Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake

“I am very well aware that traffic can get backed up [around Hyperion bridge], but I believe part of the solution to that is to do everything in our power to encourage as many people as possible to seek out alternative transportation methods…it is incumbent on us…to encourage the flow of foot traffic into our local businesses.” – Emiliana Dore, President of Friends of Glenfeliz Elementary & long-term Atwater resident

“As advocates, as residents, as property owners and as business operators, we ask that you join us in advocating for a more livable Los Angeles with significantly improved access to our Los Angeles River and pedestrian-scaled connectivity between our communities and we request that you support Option #3 at a minimum for the future of the Hyperion Bridge.” – Kevin Mulcahy, AIA, Managing Partner, RAC Design Build, Inc. in Elysian Valley

“As a current automobile commuter, I cross the bridge every weekday morning and evening…I currently walk the Hyperion Bridge every weekend…Maintaining sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, adding bike lanes and providing pedestrian crosswalks are all vital…” – Mark Motonaga, co-owner of The Kitchen in Silver Lake & Principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios

“…Customers with dogs on leash and children that visit my shop have often inquired about a safer alternative to cross the [Hyperion] bridge. My response has always been “By car!”. It is unfortunate that currently there is no safe way of crossing the bridge by foot, thus, negatively affecting our business.” – Jacob Gonzales, owner of Woof Dog Boutique in Atwater Village.

Action Alert: Support a More Walkable LA

Not only is this sidewalk in disrepair but it's also not possible for someone in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller to naviagate.  Send us your pictures of sidealks or social media with #lasidewalks

Not only is this sidewalk in disrepair but it’s also not possible for someone in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller to navigate. Help ensure this no longer happens in LA.

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)

Los Angeles Walks Congratulates CD4 Councilmember-elect David Ryu

DavidRyu

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.

Ryu’s campaign gave this testimony for the Hyperion Bridge:

“I am writing to you to express my strong support for “Option 3″ for the Glendale Boulevard-Hyperion Avenue Complex of Bridges Improvement Project. I first expressed my support for  “Option 3″ at a Democrats for Neighborhood Action (DNA) meeting because this option would maintain 2 sidewalks and buffered bike lanes on both sides, all while improving traffic flow. This option has wide community support and many dedicated community members have been working for over a year and a half on this issue. From sidewalk access for students walking to school, to families seeking to travel by foot to local businesses, I believe “Option 3″ is the best option to help meet the mobility needs of our community…I stand with both the Silver Lake and Los Feliz Neighborhood Councils and support the need to save the sidewalk on this historic bridge.”

How you can help

Please join us congratulating Councilmember-elect Ryu on his victory and thanking him for his support and leadership on the bridge project so far.
Email: info@davidryu.com  |  Twitter: @davideryu


Some updates on Hyperion Bridge from the news this week:

Can LA Make “Great Streets” If the Mayor Won’t Stand Up for Good Design? (Streetsblog)

Making LA walkable? Hyperion bridge remake brings only one sidewalk
  (KPCC)

Silver Lake and Atwater Village Getting New Pedestrian/Bike Bridge Over the LA River  (Curbed)

To Road Diet or Not on Glendale-Hyperion Bridge
(KCET)