Day 102: Garcetti Launches “Great Streets Initiative” (UPDATED: 1:25)

Council President Eric Garcetti celebrates the installation of Los Angeles' first Sharrows in 2010 with the LADOT Crew that he helped toinstall them. Photo: LADOT Bike Blog

Update: A copy of the executive directive is available after the jump.

I’ve been hearing from friends in the Mayor’s Office and LADOT for weeks that I needed to be patient. That good things were just around the corner. While Streetsblog has been more critical of Mayor Garcetti than most other non-partisan publications, we’ve felt the criticism justified. This morning I posted an “open thread” asking our readers what they thought of the Mayor’s first 100 days while highlighting some of the best and worst from the city.

I guess I should have been patient for another couple of hours.

Moments ago, during the keynote speech of the Urban Land Institute’s “Transit Oriented Los Angeles” conference; Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an executive order called the “Great Streets Program” which is focused on bringing order to the chaos that sometimes mars the cities efforts to create a coherent transportation strategy.

“Today, I issued my first Executive Directive – establishing the City of Los Angeles ‘Great Streets’ program – creating jobs and making city government work better. We are taking another big step towards a fundamental change in how we perceive, interact, and build around us. A great neighborhood needs a great street as its backbone, and, as city leaders, we need the backbone to make the bold changes necessary to build great streets,” said Garcetti.

Part of the program sounds similar to his predecessor’s “Transit Corridors Cabinet” calling for interdepartmental cooperation between LADOT, Engineering, Planning, Cultural Affairs, Public Works, and Street Services to work together to create a unified calendar for street planning and programs. A working group between the departments is created to coordinate these efforts. While he doesn’t have direct control over these agencies, the working group is expected to closely coordinate with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power as well as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

“Their first priority will be to make sure streets projects are coordinated.  No more Bureau of Street Services paving a street on Monday, DWP digging it up on Tuesday,” said Mayor Garcetti.  ”Let’s also combine a DWP pipe project with some street furniture funds and with a sidewalk repair project all at the same time.”

Throughout the years, Streetsblog has countlessly covered stories where one hand didn’t know what the other was doing. From LADOT not knowing when streets would be resurfaced to the city’s unintentional destruction of Sharrows or their even more bizarre attempts to preserve them when a repaving was scheduled shortly after a Sharrow installation.

According to the press release, The Great Streets Working Group will be tasked with the following deliverables:

1.     Criteria and strategy for identifying streets to be included in the Great Streets Program

2.     Candidate list of 40 potential streets

3.     Comprehensive matrix of project elements and associated costs

4.     Strategy for the coordination of city services to Great Streets

5.     Project implementation timeline

6.     Funding strategy

7.     Metrics and benchmarks to evaluate and track project impacts

“There are two essential elements to a strong city: a thriving economy that creates opportunity and pays the bills and a city government that delivers the core services that improve the quality of our life – safe streets, clean streets, and streets in good repair,” added Garcetti.

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