“Thank you for liberating our streets,” City Council Transportation Committee Chair Mike Bonin greeted LADOT staff last week. While LADOT staff may not be used to a hero’s welcome, Assistant General Manager Dan Mitchell and Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator Valerie Watson weren’t there to present a typical transportation project, or even to talk about why some five-lane street in The Valley needs to have its speed limit increased.
They were there to talk about People St.
For those that missed it, People St is a new LADOT program, which will be formally launched next week, to partner with community groups to create more bike corrals (L.A. has 2), Parklets (L.A. has 3) and pedestrian plazas (just one…and it has polka dots). Mitchell and Watson were there to ask the City Council to approve a timeline for an application process.
In other words, People St isn’t just a flashy website. It’s a real program that’s going to create more space for humans on a small portion of the thousands of underused miles of streets in Los Angeles. The first application process will begin on March 1. The next one will begin October 1 with future cycles beginning on October 1 in future years. While the second application process is beginning, the city will actually begin installing the first People St programs.
The full proposed timeline is available below.
Once approved by the full Council next week, community groups will be able to propose their own parklet, plaza and bike corral locations and work with the city to make them happen. Some local advocacy groups are already working on their own People St projects. For example, the Los Angeles Eco-Village is already planning for a new plaza located near their Bimini St compound.
“Communities that know their neighborhoods best propose project locations and are responsible for long-term maintenance,” explains Watson. Costs will be split between the city and the community partners for construction.
Currently, the People St website is informational. An expansion of the website is planned for early next year. On March 1, 2014 the city plans that the site will be a two-way portal for people to learn about the program and for the city to collect project ideas from community groups and businesses.
At the hearing, there was no stated opposition to the program. Most of the time spent on People St was spent by Mike Bonin asking technical questions and Watson responding. The audio from the hearing is available here
Mayor Eric Garcetti is another supporter of People St.
“I’m focused on a back to basics agenda to make City Hall work better for our neighborhoods,” Garcetti wrote to Streetsblog. “People St is one of the many tools in our Great Streets toolbox as we work to transform the way Angelenos interact with the built environment. People St’s bottom-up, community-based approach will bring the focus back on the street, and we’ll use existing government resources to make streets safer and more enjoyable.”
When the People St website is updated, Streetsblog will let you know.
Proposed People St Application Timeline
• December 2013: City Council Adoption of People St Program
• January i-February 28,2014: Full Program Launch; Supporting Materials
Available (Application Manuals, Kit of Parts documents, etc.)
• March 1,2014: One-Time, Introductory Application Window Opens
• April 30, 2014: One-Time, Introductory Application Window Closes
• May 1-June 15, 2014: LADOT Application Evaluationeople St Program -6- November 20,2013
• June 2014: LADOT reports back to City Council on approved project locations;
selected applications identified and applicants notified
• July-September 2014: Project Design Development
• September 2014: Pre-Installation Evaluation Data Collection
• October-November 2014: MOUs Executed; Project Installation
• October 1, 2014: Regular, yearly 2-month Application Window Opens