What would you do if you had $20 million dollars and were tasked with turning three and a half miles of one of Los Angeles’ most iconic streets into the kind of street that encourages people to be outside? That’s the question the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is asking at two workshops on Saturday, October 2, and next Tuesday, October 5, about Figueroa Street from the southwest corner of Exposition Park, past USC, and Staples Center in to Downtown Los Angeles. Flush with $20 million in state “Proposition C” funds, the CRA is asking residents and business owners “what’s your Figueroa” and what do you want Figueroa to look like in the future.
While its easy to imagine what Figueroa could look like with $20 million in streetscape improvements and new crosswalks; the CRA is asking people to think a little outside the box. For example, on the MyFigueroa Facebook page they actually provide a link to an article on separated bike lanes written by Aaron Naperstek for Streetsblog in 2006. It makes me think of a Figeuroa Corridor with separated bike lanes, scramble crosswalks, and some greenery to make the street a place people want to be outside. Heck, I’ll be disappointed if the project ends up being about paint at intersections and a handful of trees.
The people behind the outreach for the project have certainly been pushing an integrated campaign to draw participants to the public outreach. In addition to mailing postcards throughout the corridor they’ve been active on the Internet soliciting feedback on a blog, twitter account and Facebook. We’ll find out this weekend. For more information on the public hearings, visit the Streetsblog calendar section, or any of the social media outlets linked to above.