Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Will Los Angeles Get Behind Livable Street Model Published in GOOD?

livablestreetgoodmag.jpg
Play with the numbers on the real image here | Image via GOOD Magazine
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

The description of American urban city streets printed in GOOD Magazine pretty much sums up Los Angeles:

Throughout the 20th century most of the human beings designing our streets were traffic engineers. For the most part, they viewed the city from behind a windshield and saw the street as a problem to be solved for automobiles. The result is the American city that most of us know today: sprawling, traffic-choked, hostile to pedestrians and cyclists, dependent on a vast, never-ending flow of cheap oil, and deeply unsustainable.

Here's our experience from one of LAist's many mobile headquarters (hey, we telecommute). Coffeeshops, yoga studios, restaurants all make up Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. One block north is Moorpark followed by residential homes. A walk to Ventura Blvd. should only be a few minutes and is when it's not rush hour. But during rush hour getting across the street in an unmarked crosswalk is a dangerous and timely one. For the most part cars won't stop, even with you standing a few feet out in the street obviously trying to cross. If you want to avoid this, it's a 10 minute round trip to get to the other side of the street by going to the nearest traffic light. At one point, the city came out to study the intersection and said they did not observe enough pedestrians trying to cross, therefore there was no need to help the situation. And they were right, no pedestrians could be found because they have all been trained not to walk. Catch 22?

With that said (and many more experiences like it), today GOOD introduced the Livable Streets Initiative, which is part of the Streetsblog network and has been around for many years. There, you can learn how to redesign your street to be more livable.