“Summer Night Lights” Makes the Case for Livable Streets

Yesterday, the Mayor’s Office announced the expansion of the popular "Summer Night Lights" program, which keeps the lights on at 24 recreation centers and parks in some of the high crime areas around the city.  The purpose of the program is to provide a fun, reliable and safe alternative to gang-life for youths around the city.  By keeping the lights on, and organizing events such as basketball leagues the city wants to get kids off the streets to divert their energy somewhere safe.

While it’s hard to statistically prove the success of a program such as "Summer Night Lights," it’s not as though there’s a box on the census form for "gang membership," but the stats we can measure are promising.  From the LA_Now blog at the Times:


The mayor said the program, which is staged in some of the city’s
more dangerous neighborhoods, helped crime to fall last summer to its
lowest level in 40 years. “It should be at every park in every
neighborhood, but we just don’t have the resources to do that,” he

The theories behind such a program are the same as those behind the Livable Streets Program: that a community is strengthened by creating gathering places that are clean and safe for people to live, work and play.  One of the hopes of a program such as CicLAvia is that people will realize that are streets are public spaces as well, and fight for them to be "open" for residents to use them 24 hours a day.


Transforming “Summer Night Lights” to “Year-Round Lights” Could Work Wonders for Communities Where Access to Public Space is Limited

Since we’re in the mood to talk transitioning this week, I’d like to put in a plug for Eric Garcetti to continue to support and significantly expand one of the most important community efforts to reclaim public space for recreation. No, not CicLAvia (although it is indeed amazing). I’m referring to the Summer Night Lights […]

The Week in Livable Streets Events

Aaaah, predictability.  The Tuesday after a holiday is often considered the first “real” day of work.  This week’s glut of important public meetings on Tuesday really should have been spread out a little more. All Summer – The 5th Annual “Summer Night Lights” program kicked off over the weekend.   Summer Night Lights, or as most Angelenos […]

In Defense of Red Light Cameras

Last week the Los Angeles Police Commission, the citizen panel that oversees the LAPD, unanimously voted to reject the LAPD’s recommendation to extend the city’s contract with an Arizona based group that provides, maintains, and utilizes “red light cameras” at 32 Los Angeles intersections.  The move came as a shock to the LAPD, but has […]

City Makes Space for Zipcars on Public Streets

Zipcar parked at Gramercy Park in NYC in 2006. Photo: NannyinNY/Flickr For car-sharing to every truly work, the cars used in the program need to be easily accessible to the members who have access to rent them.  To that end, the City Council has cleared out 10 parking spaces near USC and UCLA to pilot […]

Filed Under: Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?

A few days ago a sad message popped in my inbox. It was from a West Adams neighbor decrying the heist of approximately $300 worth of plants that members of the community had lovingly put in at the entrance to the 4th Ave. pedestrian bridge spanning the 10 freeway just last month. The landscaping effort — […]