While Jose Sigala, president of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, and architect Peter Lassen helped construct their group’s model of Glendale Boulevard from plastic eggshells and hair curlers, imagination came into conflict with reality. Lassen wanted to see a park sprout near the Glendale Boulevard exit of the 2 Freeway, but Sigala explained an affordable housing complex would already be placed in that same area.
“We’re going to do things ideally, and that means a park,” Lassen said.
Whether people struggled or found it easy to realize the future of a major thoroughfare in Echo Park, Saturday’s “Rethinking Glendale Boulevard,” sponsored by Echo Park Patch and the Latino Urban Forum, at the Echo Country Outpost allowed them to show their dreams of what the street could be.
Led by urban planner, and Los Angeles Streetsblog board member, James Rojas, participants were asked to create their ideal city out of toys and found objects, and then condense it with other members’ ideas to fit Glendale Boulevard. Middle-aged, children, and senior participants came up with big ideas such as closing the 2 Freeway to make it recreational space, and having streetcars run the length of the street. Simpler ideas such as making a skate parks and petting zoos were also well received by the audience which included representatives from the L.A. City Planning Department and Eric Garcetti, the City Councilman for the area.
Here were some other notable ideas from the workshop: Read more…