Los Angeles Pedestrian Bill of Rights, 1987

car in crosswalkLos 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:

  1. Safe roads and safe places to cross the street
  2. Pedestrian-oriented building facades, trees, flower stands, trash cans, awnings, etc.
  3. Safe and comfortable bus stops and public
  4. Transit stations
  5. Appealing use of landscaping and available
  6. Open space
  7. Full notification of all street widening that impinge on public open space and sidewalks
  8. Access to streets and buildings for disabled people
  9. Clean surroundings, requiring removal of graffiti and advertisements from public property
  10. Have needs of pedestrians considered as heavily as the needs of drivers
  11. Public works of Art

FURTHER MOVE that City departments use this pedestrian Bill of rights of Way to evaluate the needs in future decisions

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. 

Mapping LA’s Pedestrian Collisions

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.

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Click to enlarge.

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. 

Map: The Worst Intersections for Pedestrians – LAist

Mapping LA’s Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians – Curbed LA 

Confessions of a Ped

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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.

I stopped. Continue reading

People St. Invites Communities to Reimagine Streets Across L.A.

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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 peoplest@lacity.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. Continue reading

Sign the Step in the Right Direction

PeopleStWebsiteGraphicWalking 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.

SIGN THIS PETITION TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

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.

5 Truths About the Economic Impact of Walking

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 1.51.14 PMDeveloper Yuval Bar-Zemer discusses five ways he’s seeing pedestrian improvements contribute to a more financially viable L.A. As told to Los Angeles Walks steering committee member Daveed Kapoor.

We know walking is good for our communities and good for our health. But how does designing for walking help businesses—and the city—improve their bottom lines? As  founder of Linear City Development, Yuval Bar-Zemer has led the transformation of several neighborhoods by paying special attention to pedestrian life. Over lunch at Urban Radish, a new Arts District grocery store developed by Linear City, Bar-Zemer described five ways he’s seen walking boost L.A.’s economy.

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Roll With Me: A Different Perspective on Pedestrian Travel in L.A.

LA Sidewalk

photo by LA Weekly

Andy Janicki is an ADA Compliance Analyst with Los Angeles Metro’s Civil Rights Department.

Like many of you, I prefer getting places without driving whenever possible. There’s a convenience store, a family taco stand, and a coffee shop a few blocks from my house. I live across the street from a park where I take my dog, and if I need a bus, there are two stops close by. All I need to do to get there is head down the middle of the street.

Why, you may ask, would a guy in a wheelchair brave busy Blake Street, going head-to-head with semis who seem to be on their way to Fast and Furious 18? The tacos are good, but c’mon, I’m risking my life for that al pastor! My nice convenient neighborhood is, in many ways, a microcosm of the problems associated with pedestrian travel for people with disabilities in L.A. There’s a good chance that you’ve actually seen people in wheelchairs or scooters on the road before. Trust me, these are not people trying to start some kind of impromptu disability rally or Critical Mass: Wheelchair Edition. They are simply pedestrians who do not have the physical ability to maneuver through the labyrinth of cracks, holes, and other obstacles that litter city sidewalks. Although incredible progress has been made in the realm of public access since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, there is no regulatory body roaming around ensuring that standards are being upheld. That being said, sidewalks that were completely accessible via wheelchair when the concrete was poured in the 90s may today look like a demolition crew just took a lunch break. Continue reading

Re-Zoning Los Angeles: Can we legalize a walkable City?

Model-of-downtown-LA crop

Mark Vallianatos is a Los Angeles Walks steering committee member and policy director at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policy Institute. You can read more about the updates to L.A.’s zoning code, and find out how you can get involved at recode.la

Do you ever wonder why different neighborhoods and streets in Los Angeles look the way they do—and why some places seem to be more walkable than others? The history of how our land was developed includes economic demand, neighborhood preferences, and transportation infrastructure. But the most direct way that we collectively influence what our communities look like—and how walkable they can be—is through government regulation of land use, especially by planning and zoning.

Zoning is a regulatory system that most local governments employ to control how land is used. As the name suggests, it divides places into different zones. Depending on what zone a piece of land is located in, there are rules that restrict what types of activities can be carried out on the lot, as well as the location, size, and shape of buildings allowed on the property. And the physical structure of these communities influences how people live and how they move about their neighborhoods.

The City of Los Angeles is facing one of the biggest changes to the way it looks and functions—it is fundamentally updating its zoning code for the first time since 1946. The 1946 code helped shape a postwar city of single-family subdivisions with a growing reliance on cars. Revised zoning rules can hopefully strengthen the ways that a 21st century Los Angeles is transforming and help residents build a city where walking is a convenient and safe way to travel. Zoning is potentially our most powerful tool to create a more walkable Los Angeles.

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“L.A. Is Changing In Some Profound and Dramatic Ways” Q&A With Christopher Hawthorne

by_the_numbersLos Angeles Walks steering committee member Alissa Walker talks to the Los Angeles Times architecture critic.

Alissa Walker: First, thank you for such a great conversation with Mayor Garcetti at Occidental College in February. With Villaraigosa we saw this empire-building when it came to transit, bike lanes and CicLAvia but we didn’t get to hear him talk much about walking. Now we’ve got a mayor who walked five miles to City Hall on Walk to Work Day! How else is Garcetti’s approach different, in your opinion?

Christopher Hawthorne: Villaraigosa, near the end of his time in office, really began paying attention to pedestrian safety and the crucial connections between walking and transit. But it took almost eight years for his administration to get to that point. Garcetti is unusually knowledgeable about and genuinely interested in these issues, as was clear in the Occidental conversation we had; and we’re still very early in his term. The question with him will be execution—or maybe a combination of execution and nerve. How willing will he be to fund improvements to pedestrian access, and sidewalks when they conflict with some voters’ (and media outlets’) desires to keep car traffic moving as swiftly and efficiently as possible? And how willing is he to defend controversial or even unpopular changes to street design?

 

 

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Stories From The Streets: Walking To School In South LA

RANDY MANAL TAJ AND SADIQ on ASCS Campus 3.25.14

Randal Henry and Manal Aboelata-Henry are the founders of Crenshaw WALKS. You can find them on their Facebook Page.

Texto Español

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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