Re-Placing LA with Living Streets – Get Involved!

We are looking for a few good streets…streets where local residents and businesses see the potential to create demonstration Living Streets.  For the past few decades the City of Los Angeles, like many other U.S. cities,  has largely built its streets with one purpose in mind – to move cars as rapidly as possible.  Now, there is a growing movement in cities around the country to redesign streets to serve bicyclists and pedestrians and to provide usable public space.  It is time to ramp up similar efforts in Los Angeles – which Living Streets LA is prepared to do.

While this may seem like a complex undertaking, we can learn from what others are doing.  The best way to learn about what we have in mind for our pilot projects is to look at the examples from the Pavement to Parks movement in San Francisco:

People Enjoying a New Plaza in San Francisco

We believe the time is ripe to try this in LA.  People have put great energy into Park[ing] Day LA in the past three years, transforming ordinary parking spaces into hip urban spaces for a day.  Now we need bigger and more permanent interventions such as this mini park being carved out of an underused turning lane in Silver Lake.

To this end, we are hosting a two-part workshop at the March 20 LA StreetSummit 2010 on Living Streets and following it up by soliciting proposals from communities around the city to select our first project(s).  We’ll be posting the details in a separate entry for those who missed the Summit.

We will be hosting a community meeting to rank the proposals based on various factors such as level of community support, feasibility, creativity, conformance to our 10 Living Streets Tenets and likeliness for success.  We’ll then go down the list and meet with City of L.A. officials to ensure official support is there for at least a 6-month pilot project.  We hope to implement one or two pilot projects, depending on the level of participation, before Street Summit 2011.  We invite you to join us and share your ideas for making the streets of your neighborhood more people friendly!

More information to come, so stay tuned to the Living Streets LA channel…