A fighting chance to fix LA's sidewalks!

Did you catch the news about our sidewalks?

Recently, the LA City Controller released an audit of our City's sidewalk repair program and it wasn't too flattering. Some of the major points include:

  • In the past five years, the City paid over $35 million in settlements related to sidewalk injuries. In 2020 alone, the City paid $12 million.
  • Less than 1% of sidewalk parcels have been certified as repaired and there is a backlog of 50,000 repair requests.
  • It takes on average 41 days to complete a sidewalk repair with asphalt, compared to only 3 days for potholes.
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A Walking Story for Watts and Florence-Firestone

Growing up in Watts and Florence-Firestone in the early 2000s, I remember the neighborhoods being really unsafe due to high levels of crime. I avoided walking and only walked when it was truly necessary, such as if neither of my parents were available to pick me up from school. My parents emphasized that the best way for us to stay safe was to stay at home; the weekends were the time when we would go run errands by car. After having experienced the walkability of college life and becoming more comfortable walking and riding public transportation, I was eager to explore that within my own neighborhood once I had moved back, even though Watts and Florence-Firestone are very, very different environments than Berkeley.

Walking gives you a perspective on neighborhoods in a way that driving around (and navigating Google Maps) simply cannot.

I wanted to walk more and get to know my neighborhood (with the added benefit of increasing my daily steps). And that’s exactly what I did for about five months - along with my younger brother, we walked to the library, to the park, to the grocery store, to and from his elementary school, and to nearby convenience stores. Walking gives you a perspective on neighborhoods in a way that driving around (and navigating Google Maps) simply cannot.

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No more "Thoughts & Prayers" for LA Pedestrians

Did you hear? We're half way through 2021 and Los Angeles is already on its way to exceed last year's traffic death count. According to this LAist article:

[the] normal relationship in L.A. means a person is killed as a result of a crash about every 36 hours on average. For the first half of 2021, the city is averaging one traffic death about every 30 hours.

We've had enough.

Around 40,000 Americans are killed every year from traffic violence, which has worsened in cities across the country in the past decade. In 2021, LA saw a 45% increase in pedestrian injuries from traffic crashes.


Our parents & friends wave signs at a memorial for siblings Eli & Lexi. February 2020

 

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Say Hello to our New Safe Street Promotore Graduates!

When it comes to your street and community design, who knows better than you and your neighbors? That is the central belief when it comes to our Safe Street Promotore Educators: that community members - armed with organizing tools and technical expertise - are best equipped to direct cities and governments on their infrastructure needs.

Through a 10-month Ped Power Workshop series, LA's Wilmington and San Pedro parents gained knowledge on topics like safe street infrastructure, navigating City programs and systems to secure said infrastructure, Google Earth/GIS mapping tools, and more. Now as graduates they're prepared to not only deftly navigate City systems and power to secure safe street infrastructure but train their neighbors and peers to do the same.

So say hello to our first graduating class of Safe Street Promotore Educators! 

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We're part of the Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program!

We've got some big news! Los Angeles Walks is an official Champion organization of the Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program!

Our friends at LA84 Foundation, the Play Equity Fund, the National Football League (NFL) Foundation, and the Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee are honoring 56 Champion organizations doing tremendous work across the Los Angeles region.

The program is recognizing Los Angeles Walks for our impact in local neighborhoods that often goes unrecognized. For many Angelenos recreation and physical health begins at home, on the streets and sidewalks. And so we're proud to be advocating for pedestrian rights and access on such a platform!

 

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Media Advisory🚨 State of our Streets Press Conference this Wednesday

Subject: Parents of Los Angeles harbor communities call out pandemic related safe street problems and their solution: build a community-led pedestrian movement.

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LA PAC to the City: Don't Re-Activate 'Beg Buttons'

Have you noticed those no-touch signs on pedestrian signal buttons? During the early months of the pandemic, the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) deactivated many of these buttons, making them touch-free by turning on automatic walk cycles. 

Having had negligible impact on traffic congestion and delay, the LA Pedestrian Advisory Committee recently called on the department to make the no touch signs permanent. Consistent and reliable walk cycles not only make our streets safer but treat those walking and rolling: our essential workers, our seniors and our children with dignity.

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We raised $30,000 for pedestrian advocacy!

You all did it! We asked you to support LA's pedestrian advocacy non-profit and you came through! Last Thursday, we hosted our Spring Forward with Los Angeles Walks: a Fundraiser in 4 Stories and we had over 45 participants in our digital world, the LA VILLAGE. And thanks to all the love, we raised $30,000!


Los Angeles Walks family relax at the bar post-event.

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Anti-Pedestrianism & Echo Park

by Mehmet Berker, Board Member of Los Angeles Walks

On Wednesday, March 24th, after a series of opaque statements and actions by Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s office, the LAPD was sent in to forcibly evict an unhoused community who had been encamping in Echo Park for some time. During the night, coordinated with the police violence, the City of Los Angeles erected fencing around Echo Park as well as the playground south of Bellevue Avenue to ostensibly “make repairs”.

if people of color are not free to exist in public space without the threat (and reality) of state violence, they can’t exist peacefully in the pedestrian realm

This action was incredibly irresponsible and “anti” a lot of things, but we do want to talk briefly about how it specifically was anti-pedestrian and also how the state of affairs the City was ostensibly “solving” in Echo Park is now worse for people walking. We hope this serves as a reminder that when those in power use walkers in their rhetoric to further state control and violence, that one should be extremely skeptical of their claims.

Pedestrianism is about a lot more than just people walking of course. Crucial to pedestrianism is Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Association, and the Freedom of Assembly. Inherent to pedestrianism are also informality, negotiation and cooperation, and tolerance. It is why, for just one example, criminal justice reform and ending police violence is inherently a pedestrian issue: if people of color are not free to exist in public space without the threat (and reality) of state violence, they can’t exist peacefully in the pedestrian realm--they are being excluded and being denied their Freedom of Movement, and that is anti-pedestrian.

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Don't tear down Encino Ave's Pedestrian Bridge!

Last week, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced their intention to permanently remove and not replace a pedestrian bridge connecting communities divided by the 101 Freeway

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