March 4 Opening of Sunset Triangle Plaza

Streets for People (S4P) is proud to announce the opening of Sunset Triangle Plaza at Griffith Park and Sunset Boulevards in Silver Lake! Come join us on March 4th, for a community celebration as we turn a street for cars into a street for people.

Although Sunset Triangle Plaza draws its inspiration from the successful pedestrian plazas created with a painted street surface, potted plants and moveable tables and chairs in New York and San Francisco, the original concept of a pedestrian plaza in Silver Lake was developed by community members in 2006.

Sunset Triangle Plaza will be located on Griffith Park Blvd between Edgecliffe Dr. and Maltman Ave and will be temporary closed to automobile traffic for the duration of the pilot project (approximately one year). Cars will continue to be able to use Edgecliffe Dr. to travel around the plaza.

At Sunset Triangle Plaza, the twice-weekly farmer’s market will continue to operate uninterrupted, additional parking spaces will be created along Sunset Blvd to accommodate for some of those lost, and all street furniture will be brought inside each evening to maintain its quality and cleanliness.

There has been increased demand in Los Angeles for safer and more welcoming streets for residents to play, walk, run, bicycle and rest.  Sunset Triangle Plaza offers a destination for people of all ages, backgrounds and physical abilities to sit and relax, visit local business or engage with members of your community in a vibrant public space.

We invite you to join us at the opening celebration on March 4!

Gil Penalosa & Gabe Klein Keynote Speakers at March 2nd Conference

Complete Streets superstars Gil Penalosa from 8-80 Cities and Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein from Chicago will be the keynote speakers at an upcoming conference in Los Angeles. 8-80 Cities promotes cities that are safe and enjoyable for people whether they are 8 years old or 80 years old. Gabe Klein, under appointment of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is working to implement 100 miles of protected bike lanes in the Windy City, and while a Commissioner in Washington D.C., the city installed the nation’s first bike-sharing program among other innovative improvements.

Given these speakers and based on my experience at the 2011 Complete Streets conference, which had great energy and provided current information on Complete Streets in Los Angeles, I highly recommend signing up for the 2012 event while slots are still available (note some of our Living Streets LA folks are participants).

The conference takes place on Friday, March 2, 2012 from 8 am to 5 pm at the Kyoto Grand Hotel in Little Tokyo. The full agenda and registration information can be found here. Sponsors include the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and County of Los Angeles Public Health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redesigning Our Streets Event – March 15

SAVE-THE-DATE

“Redesigning Our Streets: A Manual for Healthy, Livable Communities”

Download the PDF with the Event Information

Come see our national team of experts report on their model design manual for living streets.

DATE: March 15, 2011

TIME: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Reception at 6:30 pm

LOCATION: 3rd Floor Gateway Building Board Room

One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952

Please RSVP by March 10, 2011 to Rebecca McKenzie at rmckenzie@ph.lacounty.gov

 

Give Us Your Ideas For the York Living Streets Project


Living Streets LA is excited to be partnering with Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar on the York Living Streets project. Our team will be working with the community to create an action plan and to build small-scale living streets projects–such as streetside mini-plazas, bike features, pedestrian landscaping, neighborhood art and more. The focus will be York Boulevard from Avenue 50 through Avenue 56, though some projects and ideas may reach nearby areas as well.

While finalizing all the preparations for the project, we’ve worked with the council office to introduce the project through two community meetings, an initial street analysis walk and a design discussion.  For an article about one of the workshops, read this article at 90042 blog.

We had planned to do two more community workshops in November; however, due to administrative delays, we must move these meetings to the new year.  We now plan to do our first full-fledged design workshop in early January.  Our apologies for the delay.  We too are eager to get started. In the meantime, we’d like to hear your ideas! If you have thoughts on what you’d like to see for the future of York Boulevard, please comment below. Give us ideas big and small!

Give Us Your Ideas For the “new York Boulevard”

September 26th York Workshop Event

Living Streets LA is excited to be partnering with Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar on the York Living Streets project. Our team will be working with the community to create an action plan and to build small-scale living streets projects–such as streetside mini-plazas, bike features, pedestrian landscaping, neighborhood art and more. The focus will be York Boulevard from Avenue 50 through Avenue 56, though some projects and ideas may reach nearby areas as well.

While finalizing all the preparations for the project, we’ve worked with the council office to introduce the project through two community meetings, an initial street analysis walk and a design discussion.  For an article about one of the workshops, read this article at 90042 blog.

We had planned to do two more community workshops in November; however, due to administrative delays, we must move these meeting to the new year.  We now plan to do our first full-fledged design workshop in early January.  Our apologies for the delay.  We too are eager to get started. In the meantime, we’d like to hear your ideas! If you have thoughts on what you’d like to see for the future of York Boulevard, please comment below. Give us ideas big and small!

Seeing LA in a New Way at CicLAvia

On Sunday tens of thousands of Angelenos discovered what life in LA is like without cars. People rode through neighborhoods they never knew, saw architecture they never noticed, connected with all kinds of other people and had lots of fun doing it. Spirits were high as people talked to strangers, listened to music, negotiated for position and pedaled leisurely through some of Los Angeles’ most distinct neighborhoods. Many commented on how fast it was to cycle the 7 and 1/2 mile route without traffic. They realized how close things are when streets aren’t choked with cars.

My impression is that the event came off significantly better than imagined. Prior to the event, some people expressed concern that the publicity might not reach enough people. Well, it did. While some merchants took advantage by selling their wares on the street, others played music to impromptu live audiences, I expect the next time around that more people will realize the opportunity that all these people bring along the route.

Photos by Ryan Snyder

SCI-Arc Exhibits Cleantech Corridor Winners through October 27

Public spaces including living streets are central to the winning entries in this design competition that asked entrants to envision forward thinking strategies for the redevelopment of a four mile corridor along the L.A. River.  I attended the jury discussion at the opening of the exhibit on Saturday and would urge anybody interested in the future of Los Angeles to head over to SCI-Arc to be inspired by the great ideas on display.  The sponsors, SCI-Arc and The Architect’s Newspaper, asked entrants to re-conceptualize LA’s urban fabric, including ideas about circulation and public space, as part of a broader strategy to support the industries of tomorrow.

Exhibit Venue – SCI-Arc, 350 Merrick Street, Los Angeles (Directions)

Hours – Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm through October 27.

More information can be found in The Architect’s Newspaper and on the SCI-Arc website.

Primeros pasos en Boyle Heights/First steps in Boyle Heights

I joined the Living Streets: Boyle Heights Initiative as its Coordinator at the end of July, and began my work by meeting with our local community organization partners, as well as with members of the project teams for the funded improvements. In meeting with leaders from the East Los Angeles Community Corporation (ELACC) and Union de Vecinos, we began the discussion of how to best integrate the work of the Initiative with their ongoing community programs and groups in Boyle Heights, including upcoming holiday plans for el Dia de los Muertos and numerous Posadas planned around Christmas.

Alexis Lantz, of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) has begun outlining with me a proposed program of community events for the Initiative, but their specific timing and programs will depend upon how we can most effectively collaborate with both ELACC and Union de Vecinos’ efforts, together with the community outreach activities planned as part of the design process of the funded projects. We will also take advantage of the opportunity provided by CicLAvia on October 10, when the stretch of 4th Street from Hollenbeck to the L. A. River will be closed to traffic.

Another of my current tasks is that of collecting all relevant policy, public agency plans and community initiatives specific to Boyle Heights and/or Living Streets tenets. I’m starting with the plans that most impact and control the ‘menu’ of what’s possible to implement in the public street rights-of-way, such as their current street-type classifications and the proposed updates to the street standards through the Community Plan Update process (especially as one of our partners, ELACC, has been so active in this). I’ve also been paying special attention to other such plans or policies that are currently in motion, such as the City of Los Angeles’ Bike Plan Update.

In examining these various plans, I’m looking for how their goals and recommendations overlap, complement or contradict one another, or else leave out key streets identified by community members for improvement–but that’s just a starting point. Using the example of the Bike Plan, Alexis and I have ridden an initial survey of these streets and develop a draft opinion paper weighing the feasibility of the various options over the next week or so–such as which streets should/should not be selected in the Bike Plan Update–and then we will take this to our community partners for their feedback before passing along our comments as part of the public process. My assumption is that the ‘selection process’ for our prototype Living Streets will follow much this same outline over the course of the Initiative, and collecting feedback for the Draft Bike Plan in this way is only its first iteration.