Today, around Noon, a car stopped suddenly when a jaywalker darted across Kester near Gilmore. The driver who stopped was slammed from behind by a woman with young children in her car. LAFD and LAPD responded quickly.
This same intersection was the site, last week, of an fatal accident between a 19-year-old on a motorcyclist and a speeding car.
Fast drivers, distracted drivers, tailgating drivers, aggressive drivers, all these types are packed together, on the road, making our commutes ever more dangerous despite the increasing technical safety of modern cars.
“L.A. County has begun to rewrite the “DNA” of its streets with a new Model Streets Manual that will set guidelines to support improved safety, livability and active transportation options.
This effort was supported through a grant from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, through its RENEW initiative. RENEW stands for “Renewing Environments for Nutrition, Exercise and Wellness.” It’s inspiring to see a health-focused organization embrace a leadership role in Placemaking by broadening the scope of its concern to include planning for the built environment.
There is a growing understanding that streets configured to support an active lifestyle can lead to positive community health outcomes.
As Streetsblog reports, team lead Ryan Snyder of Ryan Snyder Associates has said the manual is like “the DNA of our streets, and it defines everything from where to place bike lanes to how wide a roundabout should be.”
In David Yoon’s Narrow Streets, the wide boulevards of Los Angeles are sliced in half. The city of drivers and speed becomes a place of walking and meandering intimacy.
I will go out on a limb and state that single worst feature of Los Angeles is traffic. If we could find a way to get from one location to another, without our car, it would immensely increase the pleasure of life here.
Today is Friday. People will be making plans tonight to go out this evening. How many will choose to stay home instead? Because one person lives in Century City, and another in Santa Clarita, and they planned to attend a play in Hollywood…. and want to meet for dinner at 6pm… but know it’s logistically almost impossible. It takes almost an hour, sometimes, to travel from West Los Angeles to Hollywood, a distance of only about 8 miles!
In Lisbon, Portugal, as in other progressive cities around the world, streetcars travel narrow streets and allow residents to travel without a car.
In David Yoon’s Los Angeles, he has brilliantly photographed and retouched our environment and imagined how it might be transformed for pedestrians. We can also throw in public transportation and mix it with narrow streets. Just like poor Portugal has done.
In 1947, Life Magazine published a photograph of Los Angeles trafffic, near Olive and 6th, downtown.
Perhaps I am hallucinating, but there seems to be less traffic in Los Angeles in the last couple of months.
Last night, there was a crazy two-hour car chase that was televised on all the local news stations. A woman in Palmdale had stolen a U-Haul and drove it all the way from the high desert into downtown Los Angeles. She was clocked at speeds over 80 m.p.h. and managed to evade the police as she sped through such dense areas as Echo Park, Mid-City, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Malibu. She commanded the road, lightly traveled roads, along the 10, the 5, Pacific Coast Highway. This was during the rush hour, between 4-6pm. Finally, she ran out of gas near Oxnard, jumped out of the truck and was tackled and handcuffed by the police.
What amazed me, even more than her driving skills, which included evading a tire flattening strip on PCH, were the open freeways which she rocketed down. Where was the normal traffic that one encounters on these densely traveled highways?
Unemployment in LA is now around 10%. Many people are not going to jobs, and perhaps fewer people are shopping and eating out. Can a 10% reduction really make that big a difference? I think so.
We have all seen how much less traffic there is on Jewish holidays like Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana. Jews make up no more than 15% ( or less) of the population of LA, yet a High Holiday will often result in much less traffic.
I drove from the barely attended Beverly Center this evening and noticed that there were fewer cars along LaCienega. Beverly Glen was not that crowded coming back into the Valley.
Maybe this is luck, or perhaps just a subjective impression, but I am beginning to wonder if the Great Recession is making a difference in how many cars are on the roads of our city.