Gehl Architect’s Amazing Bird’s Eye View of Parking on the Figeuroa Corridor

Image by ##http://gehlarchitects.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/gehl-architects-in-los-angeles/##Gehl Architects##
Image by ##http://gehlarchitects.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/gehl-architects-in-los-angeles/##Gehl Architects##

Making Cities for People, the official blog of Copenhagen super-architects Gehl Architects, gives us another look at the Figueroa Corridor as it is and as it could be in South Los Angeles. The above image shows how our city’s lifeblood is literally being drained away by the collective demand for car parking. Even Gehl’s team, which has worked on street projects around the world, seems taken aback by the over-abundance of car parking offered in Los Angeles.

Honestly, I don’t think that I need to even say anything about the image above. It speaks for itself and shows many of the problems facing the corridor that connects USC to the Downtown.

The image that accompanied Tuesday’s piece on the Figueroa corridor isn’t the only option for the street. Gehl’s team offers two more at Making Cities for People. One shows a vastly expanded pedestrian plaza and another shows a smaller pedestrian area and a separated bike lane. That these projects are earning the support of the CRA and local business community is a step forward for Los Angeles. Of course, actually building it is a much bigger one.

The images can be found at Making Cities for People and are available after the jump.

An expanded pedestrian plaza...
An expanded pedestrian plaza...
L.A.'s first separated bike lane.
L.A.'s first separated bike lane.
  • LAofAnaheim

    And yet people always complain about the lack of parking……..

    Question I hate: “Where can I park?”

  • Chris L

    Great visualization. I’m going to keep this bookmarked for the next time I hear someone railing about how Downtown needs more parking. Parking is the one thing Downtown DOESN’T need more of.

  • Bob Davis

    There’s an old story about two friends who hadn’t seen each other for a while catching up on life events.
    One says, “Remember that land I inherited from my grandfather? They’ve found something really valuable on it.”
    Other friend, “What is it? Gold? Oil? Diamonds? Uranium?”
    Reply, “Even better! Parking space!”

  • True Freedom

    They should make a similar picture with color highlighted for number of people. Then I could say, “look at all that red, LA doesn’t need any more people”

  • Here’s hoping that the “people centric” approach takes hold and something akin to options presented becomes a reality. We really need this to happen in DTLA as well as some of the less dense city town centers as well.

  • True Freedom

    @Steve: don’t forget that “people” drive cars. I’m all for walkability and alternative to auto… but if we simply build where there is parking without dramatically improving infrastructure that increases the utility* of walking, transit, etc… then we’ll just have EVEN MORE traffic and pollution as EVEN MORE people vulture around in their cars looking for parking that no longer exists.
    (* – utility, here, is the inverse of a cost measure.. higher utility, lower cost.. cost being defined by the individual and is subjective, but may contain factors like time, money, comfort, etc.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expected_utility)

  • well, in all fairness these parking lots aren’t built out of spite.

    many exist because some schmuck owns a piece of vacant land which used to be part of something — like say, a now bankrupt auto dealership — and the real estate market isn’t what it used to be and hey, a parking lot’s better than weeds. at least, from the owner’s point of view, it’s better than nothing.

  • Rich Alossi

    These are all surface-only lots, from what I can tell. The number of single-use structures dedicated to parking is tremendous.

  • And this map also excludes the hundreds of acres of parking provided on city streets, much of which is “free”.

  • These renderings are very good, but the LADOT’s own blogger has stated that an on-street protected bike lane would be an experimental use of the right of way (i.e. “It will take an enormous amount of political pressure to make protected on street lanes to be installed”).

    If anything will push our political class, it is a good rendering and the endorsement of large rent-seeking interests.

  • The quotes above are not quotes, but a translation from LADOT-speak to English.

  • ndr

    And yet I never know where to park downtown, if I have to. All the private lots are a confusing nightmare. Contrast to Santa Monica whose public lots are well located and clearly marked with fair and easy-to-understand rates.

  • And yet the CRA/LA just voted to spend another $52 million mainly on new parking downtown — for Eli Broad’s Museum. Perhaps Jan Gehl can talk to them about that . . .

  • These are excellent comments! Come to one of our workshops and tell the project team what you think: Feb 8th, 6-8pm @ FIDM (919 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles 90015) and Feb 10th, 4-7pm @ EXPO Recreation Center (3980 Bill Robertson Lane, Los Angeles 90037)