Los Angeles Walks has come a long way in the last few years, growing in new and exciting ways to help make walking in LA even more safe, accessible, equitable, and fun. And as part of that, we’ve hired our first-ever policy & program manager Emilia Crotty!
We asked Emilia a few questions about what she hopes to bring to LA Walks, so read on to learn about how bike safety led her to Martha Stewart (no kidding), hear what LA does better than New York when it comes to walking, and find out why her grandmother was her walking hero.
Emilia and her chihuahua terrier Chewy
Emilia! Welcome to LA! What’s been the coolest thing you’ve done so far?
Thanks! I’ve been covering a lot of ground since I landed here a month ago, but the coolest thing I’ve done so far has to be CicLAvia, which took place a few days after I arrived. Walking the route with members of the Los Angeles Walks steering committee, who have so much love for LA, and then riding the route later that day, provided such an energizing and positive first impression of the city and my place here.
You come to us from New York City, tell us about what you did there.
I lived in New York for 16 long years! While there, I developed Bike New York’s education program, which I’m really proud of, and then became part of the small team that launched Citi Bike, the city’s bike share system. I did a little bit of everything at Citi Bike, but mainly developed the system’s community-based initiatives. I earned a master’s degree in public health, and for five years served as a voting member of my community board (read: neighborhood council). All the while, I was a member and activist with Transportation Alternatives, the city’s bike/ped/transit advocacy group.
And you were on MARTHA STEWART! Tell us more!
Ha! Yes, I was on the Martha Stewart Show, largely thanks to Bike New York’s terrific communications staff, who aimed to make me famous. Martha is big into biking, which was pretty clear – I don’t think I actually got a word in during my appearance! I was grateful for the opportunity to educate and encourage a predominantly female audience, though, and was really satisfied when former high school friends messaged me to say that the segment inspired them to go for a ride with their kids.Read more
Thank you to everyone who attended our January 23, 2016 Sidewalk Soirée awards dinner and fundraiser. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we received from our longtime and new friends. Proceeds will help Los Angeles Walks maintain our momentum into 2016 and grow over the next year.
For the past two years, Los Angeles Walks has published Footnotes, our annual report on the state of walking in LA. Over the next few months we will be posting pieces from our April 2015 edition here, particularly as the articles become most relevant. Today, one day after celebrating the new pedestrian crossing at Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave., we present an essay about that place written by LA Walks steering committee member Alissa Walker.
Hollywood and Highland
For three years I watched pedestrians cross the intersection of Hollywood and Highland every morning while I brushed my teeth. I lived on a hill two blocks away, just far enough away to feel like I was gazing down upon a distant, miniature city, but close enough to see people waiting for the 780 bus as it sighed to a halt.
What I remember most about living so close to Hollywood and Highland were the horns. Honking at drivers trying their darndest to turn left on a very yellow arrow. Or hapless selfie-taking tourists jogging across five lanes of traffic. Or one of several costumed Spidermen taking too much time in the crosswalk. And then, every once in awhile, the horn would be punctuated by a smash.Read more
On Friday, November 6 applications are due for the City of Los Angeles' first Creative Catalyst Artist in Residence. The artist will spend the next two years "stimulating creative thinking and innovative projects" at the Department of Transportation (LADOT), and will be selected through a community-driven process managed by both the Department of Cultural Affairs and the LADOT.
LADOT's award-winning People St program is a citywide initiative that invites community members to partner with the City to install plazas, parklets, and bicycle corrals in their neighborhoods, transforming underused asphalt into vibrant community spaces.
People St is a competitive application program, and will open its second application cycle on November 1. Potential partners will have until December 15, 2015 to submit their applications for all People St plaza, parklet, and bicycle corral projects. Find more information here.
Need some guidance? On Tuesday, November 3 at 6pm, LADOT will offer a People St community application workshop, a 90-minute information session about the program and application process.
Need some inspiration? Check out People St on Facebook for photos and updates.
It's Walktober! How are you celebrating? Walk with us at CicLAvia on Sunday, October 18!
Meet up at the MacArthur Park Metro Red Line Station plaza at 10am and walk with us to Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights. Bring your family and friends for this one-way six mile, accessible walk that ends just a few blocks south of the Marachi Plaza Metro Gold Line Station. The walk should take around 2-hours and we'll tweet along the route so folks can join us at any point along the walk. See you this Sunday!!
RSVP on Facebook to receive updates about the walk.
Please join the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance and the City of Los Angeles for a conversation about Mayor Eric Garcetti's new Vision Zero Initiative and what it means for Los Angeles communities. Leah Shahum, founder and director of the Vision Zero Network, will share inspiring stories from other Vision Zero cities around the county and world and Seleta Reynolds, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, will preview the City's next steps toward eliminating all traffic deaths here in Los Angeles. Community members are invited to discuss the opportunities and challenges of making Los Angeles streets safe for everyone.
Traffic deaths are avoidable and that's why many cities around the world have pledged to eradicate them in a movement known as Vision Zero. We have championed this important movement and now we are so happy to announce that the City of Los Angeles is launching its own Vision Zero initiative, working across city departments to end traffic deaths—and that means everyone on LA roads, not just walkers—within 10 years.
From the press release:
Traffic violence is devastating for families and communities, touching people’s lives unlike other issues. Every year in Los Angeles over 200 people are killed moving about our city, with many more suffering potentially life-changing injuries. No death should be considered acceptable or inevitable. Working together, we can save lives.
We are therefore launching a City of Los Angeles Vision Zero initiative to end all traffic deaths by 2025.
Who Gets Counted Counts: We Need YOU to Volunteer for the Los Angeles Bike + Ped Count this September
The fourth biennial Los Angeles Bike+Ped Count is just around the corner! Join LACBC, Los Angeles Walks, UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, and many other community partners at over 180 locations throughout the City of Los Angeles. We need your help as volunteers to collect vital data that will be used to advocate for better bicycle and pedestrian funding for years to come.
Please sign up HERE for a count location for one (or more!) of the following shifts:
- Wednesday, September 16, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Wednesday, September 16, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday, September 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sign up to volunteer today!