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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We're taking on "jaywalking"!

You heard right! Los Angeles Walks and our partners at California Walks and Cal Bikes are co-sponsors to Assembly Member Phil Ting's AB1238, the Freedom to Walk Act, which would repeal California's "jaywalking" laws.

But isn't this law meant to protect pedestrians?

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Safe Street Promotora Educators Taking to Facebook Live!

What do you imagine when you think of safe streets? A mural, trees, safe spaces to walk?

For years, the LA community of Wilmington has been fighting for safe streets, including a much needed major crosswalk. We are excited to share a design beyond the decorative intersection at L St. and Figueroa St., created by Cal Poly Pomona Professor Nicole Lambrou.

We invite you to join us in reimagining L St. and Figueroa St. this Wednesday, March 17th from 1pm - 2pm via Facebook Live.

Join the community discussion!

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Hands off our LA Buses!

Remember in September 2020 when LA Metro cut bus services by 20%? You all responded with a flood of emails and calls. By January 2021, the Board directed their staff to restore funding. But something's still not right. 

The plan proposed by LA Metro fails to meet the directive and goals originally set forth by the Board and community to restore bus service. It overlooks an obvious public health hazard of overcrowded buses that many of our neighbors, our essential workers still face.

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Reimagining Wilmington's L St. & Figueroa St.

For the past two years, the LA harbor community of Wilmington and our promotora educators have been working with LA City's People Street Program for safer pedestrian infrastructure. Dubbed as the Wilmington Calles Seguras Familias Sanas (Wilmington Safe Streets Healthy Families) campaign, local parents and grandparents quickly identified the popular intersection of L St. & Figueroa St. as an ideal candidate for a crosswalk.

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Got in a car cash? Here's what to do ✅

No one plans to get into a car crash but if you're one of the many Angelenos injured or lost a loved one in traffic violence, it can be incredibly painful, confusing, and frustrating. Who do you call first? What resources are out there for victims? 

Well, no worries. We got you. Click below to find our Resource Guide created by Southern California Families for Safe Streets, families who have been impacted by traffic violence themselves. 

 

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Our Annual 2020 Report: An Extra-Ordinary Year in Review

We're ending this year by sharing our 2020 annual report: An Extra-Ordinary Year in Review. 

In this report we share our work, our theory of change, and how we've been community organizing during this extra-ordinary year of the pandemic, national racial reckoning, and turbulent politics. 

You can find it here!


Have you ever done a walk audit?

Ever heard of a walk audit? Well, it's a powerful City planning tool used by engineers and community members alike. And it's simple. You walk around your neighborhood and assess needs related to transportation, access, and walkability. Need a stop sign? Flat side walks? More signal time? Street lighting? That all part of a walk audit.

Now imagine dozens of your neighbors doing their own and you combined those stories and data. You've essentially built a community roadmap for safe streets.

 
Safe street promotoras Gaby and Nancy virtually hosted their own walk audit in Wilmington to showcase and example to community members. 

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With sidewalk accessibility already awful, don't let City Council blame the houseless to "fix it"

By Mehmet Berker of Los Angeles Walks and Aziz Fellague Ariouat & Jessica Meaney of Investing in Place

Today, on Tuesday the 24th of November, the Los Angeles City Council is set to take up an amended version of Council File 20-1376. This ordinance purports to amend Section 41.18 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (which makes it illegal to sit, sleep or lie down on the sidewalk) in a way that would pass muster under the decision in Martin v. Boise, a Federal court case that determined that such a blanket ban was unconstitutional. In the immediate term, thanks to the tireless effort of activists, the City Council seems to be not voting on the item today. 

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