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Mayor Announces Big Plans to Make LA Streets Way Awesomer

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Streets, streets, streets. LA is worried about its streets. We have so many streets! Our streets are awesome when they're closed to cars. But our streets are also crumbling! We need to do something about our streets. New Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to focus on our streets (a Bloombergian endeavor we can get behind). Yesterday he announced his first executive directive (whatever that is exactly) creating the Great Streets Program, "a plan to overhaul scruffy-looking and neglected thoroughfares across the city," as the Daily News describes it. While the directive itself is kind of vague, it sounds like the program is less about paving and potholes and more about making streets accessible and useful to everyone--pedestrians, bikers, and drivers. Which would be an amazing leap forward for the city known for bending to the every whim of the car. Garcetti says "We've ignored the aesthetics of our city too long ... The way that neighborhoods look has a lot to do with its livability."

First off he'll convene a working group made up of employees from several cities agencies--they'll find 40 potential streets that could use more plazas and benches, better sidewalks, medians, bus stops, bike corrals, pocket parks, and more. "And while we're at it, let's add some sculptures and murals as well," says Garcetti. He cited Sunset Junction, Glendale Boulevard through Atwater, Abbot Kinney, Ventura through Studio City, Sixth Street in San Pedro, and First Street in Boyle Heights as potential models. (And there's already a plan underway to make over Figueroa from South Park down to Exposition Park.) Work could start in a year and a half.
· Garcetti seeks to beautify L.A.'s corridors [LADN]