City Leaders Announce Strategic Plan to Make L.A. Safer for Pedestrians

City officials today, Sept. 30,  unveiled “Great Streets for Los Angeles,” a first strategic plan to turn the city’s essential infrastructure–its streets and sidewalks–into safer spaces for pedestrians or for people that use them.

 

A photo of Spring Street parklet in Downtown L.A. If built, the Palisades parklet would have been one seven such pocket parks.
A photo of Spring Street parklet in Downtown L.A. If built, the Palisades parklet would have been one seven such pocket parks.

The controversial parklet proposed for La Cruz in front of Palisades Garden Cafe is part of this greater strategic plan by city officials toward more pedestrian friendly spaces.

City officials say that the pocket parks promote  pedestrian activity by providing a space that breaks from the flow of foot traffic. They call the pocket parks especially useful in areas that have  narrow or little to no sidewalk space.

 

A rendering of the proposed parklet, which will replace a parking spot in front of Palisades Garden Café.
A rendering of the proposed parklet, which will replace a parking spot in front of Palisades Garden Café.

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) General Manager Seleta Reynolds made the announcement via a joint news release Tuesday, Sept. 30.

“We are changing our approach to transportation by building a system that offers Angelenos multiple options for how to get around,” said Garcetti in the news release.  “LADOT is at the heart of making this vision a reality in L.A., and the strategic plan establishes the concrete steps the department will take to accomplish this over the next few years.”

City leaders have coined the plan as building on Garcetti’s “back to basics agenda and Great Streets Initiative, which looks at L.A.’s streets as valuable assets that can help revitalize neighborhoods across L.A.”

The controversial parklet proposed for La Cruz in front of Palisades Garden Cafe is part of the People’s Street Initiative, which is part of this greater push.

The plan also emphasizes collaboration between city and regional agencies, such as the Bureau of Street Services and Metro, to improve safety, accessible transportation services and infrastructure, according to the news release.

“This strategic plan is an urban constitution for what L.A.’s streets can be and how to make them safer and better for the economy and for all Angelenos, no matter how they get around,” said  Reynolds in the news release.  “We look forward to partnering with stakeholders and city leaders to bring it to life.”

Councilmember Mike Bonin, who chairs the City Council’s Transportation Committee, also commented in the release.

Bonin supported the idea of the parklet in the Palisades,  which was approved after an application from Palisades PRIDE, a local non-profit, was submitted to the city program.

“Having a forward-looking strategic transportation plan is essential for neighborhoods in L.A.,” Bonin said. “I’m excited to work with the Mayor and Seleta in putting this plan into action so we can put neighborhoods first.”

Key goals in the LADOT’s initiative include:

  • Vision Zero:  Eliminate traffic deaths by 2025 and design streets to increase the safety of pedestrians–including adding 100 new high-visibility continental crosswalks
  • Great Streets:  Implement changes to the 15 Great Street corridors and launch programs to reduce dangerous speeding in residential neighborhoods. Increase bike infrastructure and launch a regional bike share program.  Expand bus service and improve its quality and connectivity with surrounding neighborhoods.
  • A 21st Century DOT:  Streamline LADOT’s operations to implement needed safety and mobility projects quickly and efficiently.  Make the agency a great place to work and work better with other agencies.  Enhance technologies to manage traffic, meters, and parking operations.
  • Customer Service:  Make LADOT accessible and responsive to Angelenos, provide more and better information to residents, and improve parking enforcement
  • World-Class Streets for a World-Class Economy:  Real-time traffic information and more efficient allocation of the street to support local foot traffic and better manage freight traffic.  Build Great Streets for vibrant and prosperous neighborhood business districts.

The LADOT Strategic Plan, Great Streets for Los Angeles, can be found at http://www.ladot.lacity.org/WhatWeDo/AboutUs/AnnualReport/index.htm