How to Make Walking Better in Your Neighborhood

By Marc Caswell - Pedestrian advocate and transportation policy expert. Download 311 at 

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 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!

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