Your Turn: What Do You Want to See on Los Angeles’ Streets in 2010

12_15_09_new_years.jpgPhoto: Zazzle.com

Last summer, Streetsbloggers wrote stirring defenses of the transit-friendliness of their communities for a series aimed at finding the most transit-friendly community in L.A.  I’m hoping to repeat that success with a short series, to run the week between Christmas and New Years, on what you want to see change on Los Angeles’ streets in 2010.  There’s no limit on words, but there is a minimum.  For example, a post such as this won’t get published:

I want to see Sharrows.

The only limit on what is acceptable is your imagination.  You could write a lengthy piece on how the City of Los Angeles should spend its share of Measure R funds to balance the crippled DASH Budget; or you could write about a CicLAvia on Wilshire Boulevard from Santa Monica all the way to the Downtown.  Send your submissions to damien@streetsblog.org.

h/t to Jen Peterson who originally suggested this idea in a slightly different format.

  • I want to see more guerrilla sharrows, home-made roundabouts, and block parties.

    It would be nice if the Villaraigosa administration used the parting of senior staff at the LADOT as an opportunity to remake the department – shifting the focus from cars only (and expensive way of doing business) and becoming more focused on walking, bikes and transit use.

    I’d like to see an annual (or quarterly) report on the city’s most dangerous intersections; compiled traffic count data for cars, bikes, pedestrians, and transit.

    More large employers starting up employee bike share programs and more hotels offering a bicycle service to their clients.

    It would be nice if the Board of Transportation Commissioners would finally wrangle a medallion-based system for pedicabs out of the LADOT. Can you imagine the bustling trade in pedicab rides in the busier parts of Los Angeles? It would be a phenomenon, and a boon for those seeking casual employment while they pursue other dreams.

    Finally, I look forward to having more customers buying city bikes made for normal people to ride around town, doing everyday things on. That is more of a personal wish, but since I live and work in LA, it is an LA goal as well.

  • I would love to see bolder investments in shopping district construction, specifically to 1) calm traffic and 2) create additional merchant space. Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade transformed itself, and I think other streets are ripe for change.

    For instance, Montana Ave. in Santa Monica is five lanes wide. Close it off to cars from 17th to Lincoln, split it in two by adding a row of kiosk shops in the middle, and you’ve just increased your merchant space, tax revenue, and shopper volume. Adjacent parking structures for the increased volume could mean even more revenue for the city as Montana becomes a true destination.

    Santa Monica Boulevard in West LA/Century City has plenty of shops & offices, but is separated by a whopping 9 or so lane widths. Idea: split the street in two by adding in a new row of city blocks in the middle. Run a streetcar down its length. New property taxes, new revenue sources, new reasons to visit & stay longer.

    Opportunities like this exist everywhere, and I wish cities would take bolder moves. It’s as if they’re afraid to think of their neighborhoods as attractive destinations and instead only consider themselves as a conduit to move the highest volume of cars as fast as possible. Store owners would never think that way. Neither would web site owners. So why do cities? Mid-Wilshire. Hollywood. Downtown. All of these areas have massive streets that hinder livability but also represent huge business opportunities.

    Yes, traffic will be impeded, but let’s not forget the chicken-and-egg argument that wider streets only invite more car use. That vicious cycle has to end at some point, and filling in popular destinations & either calming or eliminating traffic would give people a bigger incentive to walk, bike, or take public transport.

    James Kunstler once said to me that “LA is basically fucked,” and I understand his exasperation. But I really believe we can make our streets truly awesome, and not just by planting strips and speedbumps, but by commerce, entertainment, cafes, real life–real reasons to live in “attraction destinations” instead of constantly commuting to them.

  • Bally

    Less drug dealers.

  • BWil

    I’d like to see the mayor hire Janette Sadik-Khan away from New York City, in same way that we got William Bratton.

  • @Bwil – come hear Janette Sadik-Khan speak at the L.A. Street Summit – in March!

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