Join us for a Westwood Walk 5/16

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Won’t you join us for a walk in Westwood? On the Bruin Walk, we’ll meander through Westwood Village and UCLA while discussing the area’s history and the pros and cons of its pedestrian environment. How do street and neighborhood design come together in this hub of commerce, housing and higher education? What changes are people in the neighborhood trying to make? How does the Great Streets program fit in? What lessons does this charming area have for the rest of the City? What is Rancho San Jose de Buenos Aires? Come find out, while having fun, getting exercise and supporting a great cause: Los Angeles Walks!

Westwood Walk
Saturday, May 16
10am to 1pm

Meet outside Peet’s Coffee and Tea
1124 Westwood Boulevard (at Lindbrook Drive), Los Angeles, CA 90024

$10 per person, get tickets here

Share event and invite friends on Facebook

Arriving by Walking: By all means, this is Westwood after all! Sidewalks are mostly intact except for some nearby construction to the west and east on Lindbrook Drive.

Arriving by Bike: The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has a map of bikeways on its website. Bike parking is a bit scarce, but there are a few places to lock up bikes on nearby sidewalks.

Arriving by Transit: The starting point is within easy walking distance of several bus lines, including Metro Lines 20, 720 & 761; Big Blue Bus Lines 1, 2, 3M, 8 & 12 and Culver City Bus Line 6. Subway service expected within a few decades.

Arriving by Car: The City parking structure at 1036 Broxton Avenue is a good bet (cash only). Generally speaking expect to pay for parking on or off-street. Bring cash, quarters and a credit card and pay attention to time limits.

The Big Parade marches through LA May 2 and 3

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Alert your calf muscles: It’s almost time for The Big Parade, one of the most exciting walks in LA, happening May 2 and 3. Our own steering committee member Dan Koeppel has been coordinating this annual adventure since 2008 which travels up and down over 80 public stairways in its 35-mile route from downtown to Griffith Park.

A big part of this year’s Big Parade will also be creating awareness around the fact that public stairways are public streets. Advocates will be talking about how to open stairways that have been closed over the years, and how to launch efforts to maintain staircases forgotten by the city.

Check out The Big Parade on Facebook for detailed information about routes and how to join for a few minutes or a few miles. There’s also a prologue walk May 1—and yes, some hardy souls do indeed complete all three days! See you out there!

Sign up to Finish The Ride in 2015

FTR 2015 eFlyerSign 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!

Get more information on Finish The Ride:

Visit the Finish The Ride registration page.

 

LA will invest $1 billion in new sidewalks

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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.

In order to leverage the funds for this scale of infrastructure rehab (over 10,000 miles of sidewalks within the city), an inventory and prioritization process is needed to develop a citywide strategic plan. The data collected and metrics used will enable articulation of detailed costs and an implementation program. Social equity and public health data will need to be critical parts of the performance metrics process to ensure the best outcomes for the highest needs communities in the City. Having a solid strategic plan will enable the city to compete for federal, state and regional transportation funds to complete the infrastructure repair.

Project delivery, transparency and coordination with other Citywide transportation projects will be critical for the sidewalk repair program. 30 years seems like a long time to wait to fix the city’s broken sidewalks, and this process should be accelerated to be completed within 10-15 years. Metro’s 30/10 program offers an example of how this could be done.

However, the City of Los Angeles struggles with delivering transportation projects in timely manner. During the October 2014 Street Transportation Project Oversight Committee and Transportation Committee meetings (audio of meeting, discussion at 58 minute mark), staff discussed the current backlog of safe routes to school, walking, and bicycling projects. This backlog of projects, totaling close to 1/4 of a billion dollars, is waiting for delivery by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Bureau of Street Services (BSS). These are combination of federal, state, and Metro grant funds that the city has been awarded but has not yet implemented.

It is exciting to see the City of Los Angeles ready to fix its broken sidewalks and focus on improving multi-modal travel as seen in the draft mobility plan and DOT strategic plan, but it is critical that the funding and efficient project delivery becomes aligned with these policies goals.

—Jessica Meaney, Investing in Place

Photo via @sidewalksinla

How to Make Walking Better in Your Neighborhood

Photo by LA Times

Photo by LA Times

By Marc Caswell – Pedestrian advocate and transportation policy expert. Download 311 at lacity.org/myLA311 

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.

311 is a walker’s best friend

While Los Angeles Walks continues to push for large-scale changes across the City, we need you to help make sure the City is aware of needed repairs and improvements in your neighborhood. The City of L.A. has launched 311—a one-stop customer service program where residents can let the City know what they need, and we want to make sure better walking infrastructure is a top issue.

To get started, you can dial “311” on your phone or go to lacity.org/myLA311. If you have a smartphone, you can download the MyLA311 app.

So, what walking improvements can you request with 311? 

Curb ramps: If you see an intersection crossing that doesn’t have a curb ramp, be sure to include not only the intersection but which corner specifically.

Uneven pavement: If there is a broken sidewalk or some other defect that could cause someone to trip, be sure to note the nearest address.

Blocked sidewalks: If there is garbage or a plant that is making walking on the sidewalk difficult, you can report the offending address to 311.

Crosswalk repairs and installations: If crosswalk paint is faded (or was never painted), snap a photo to make your report more clear.

Signal timing: Federal law require all traffic lights to have a pedestrian countdown that is white for at least three seconds, and then flashes red for at least one second for every four feet of street width.
If the timing seems too quick, you can report it.

Broken streetlights: If you notice a damaged or missing streetlight, you can easily request a repair.

To get your issue prioritized higher, identify these repairs as a “hazard.” Once the city is made aware of a dangerous condition, there is a greater legal urgency to fix it if it can help them avoid lawsuits. So, by mentioning that it is a hazard, you can expedite your request. While the City might not act upon your requests immediately, it’s important to show the demand for better walking conditions by making as many requests as we can. Thanks for your help!

Car Free SFV Earth Day

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San Fernando Valley residents pledge to use alternative transportation on April 26, 2015

Celebrate the day with community events and promotions.  Log on to the website to pledge to go car-free on April 26.

www.carfreeSFV.com

WHATCar Free San Fernando Valley, Sunday, April 26, 2015 is a collaborative event sponsored by non-profit organizations, businesses and local residents to empower the community to go Car-Free (or even car-light) just for a day.

By choosing to walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit on April 26, you will see how easy it is to use alternative transportation and how enjoyable it is to minimize traffic congestion.

WHY:   To raise awareness of the need to reduce traffic congestion and create a greener environment.

WHEN/WHERESunday, April 26, 2015

EARTH DAY FAIMLY BIKE RIDE (hosted by LA County Bike Coalition)

Time: 9:30 a.m. (registration); ride starts at 10:00 a.m.

Start location: LA River at Valleyheart Drive (North) and Fulton Avenue in Sherman Oaks.

Ride Description: A 14 mile ride on bike lanes and bike paths (riders must be over 10).  We’ll ride along the Chandler Bike path to the Chandler bikeway, and on the way back we’ll visit the first bike corral in the SFV.

CAR FREE SFV SCAVENGER HUNT (organized by LA River Revitalization Corp)

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Place: LA River at Valleyheart Drive (North) and Fulton Avenue in Sherman Oaks.

Team up in groups of 3-4 to solve trivia and other challenges while spending the morning along the LA River and beyond!  All clues are located along the LA River Greenway and surrounding Sherman Oaks and Studio City communities. Smart phones are allowed, motorized transportation is not.  One person on each team should have a fully charged camera/camera phone and a few dollars to complete the challenges.  Wear comfortable shoes, you will be walking around one mile. Water, hats and sunscreen are encouraged. All ages welcome and it’s pet-friendly.

 

MORE INFORMATION AND TAKE THE PLEDGE AT carfreesfv.com. 

Media Contact: Rebecca Gundzik-(818) 807-7852

Stories from the Streets: Remembering My Cousin Marlene

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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.

The intersection currently lacks a traffic light or significant safety design. Parents had been pleading with the City of Los Angeles for years to get a crossing guard but the City claimed there weren’t sufficient financial resources. Parents became discouraged after such a minimal response and disappointed that their families’ safety wasn’t considered a priority. Parents of Le Conte students I have spoken to after the tragedy now refuse to let their children walk by themselves to school because of the
fatal collision.

Last year, as an active board member with Multicultural Communities for Mobility, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering low-income cyclists, pedestrian, and transit users, I spearheaded several pedestrian and bicycle safety workshops throughout L.A. County. Only five months ago, I planned a pedestrian safety workshop right here in Hollywood.

This is why I feel ever more determined to seek justice for low-income pedestrians. We have met with Council Member Mitch O’Farrell’s office and are working to both rectify the intersection and look at citywide legislation to improve safety for pedestrians.

 

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. 

WalkLAvia – The Valley 3/22

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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!

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