As Downtown transforms into a place where people want to get out of their cars and stroll or bike around to the many shops and restaurants and offices, it becomes obvious that the area wasn't really designed for any of that. In the hopes of making the neighborhood safer for people on foot, on bikes, and in cars, today Councilmember Jose Huizar is introducing the DTLA Forward plan, four City Council motions aimed at creating streets that are more welcoming to all modes of transportation, the Downtown News reports.
The four motions ask for the city to:
· Rexamine "street configurations" in Downtown, starting with a stretch of both Spring and Main streets between First Street and Olympic. It seeks to make streets safer for people walking and biking but also to reduce gridlock. ("Especially as you look at traffic patterns, some of these configurations were set decades ago. Do some of these one-way streets make sense? Are we reducing congestion?", Huizar asks.)
· Look into tools that keep pedestrians safe, like crosswalk signals that prioritize walkers by giving pedestrians a chance to starts walking before car traffic gets a green light.
· Use the Historic Core's Harlem Place alley for a pilot program to turn public alleys into assets for the community that would involve "greening" the space.
· Adopt a uniform array of options for tree planting and removal in South Park,"a concept that could be expanded to other districts in Downtown."
There is no clear timeline yet for the projects, and none have funding yet, but it's definitely a long overdue move forward. Plans like the street makeovers on Seventh Street near the Wilshire Grand, along Figueroa, and on a stretch of Broadway do a great deal for pockets of the neighborhood, but Huizar's motions would ideally create changes for all of renaissance Downtown. (Now what about those jaywalking tickets?)
· Planning Ahead for Downtown's Transportation Future [DN]
· Seventh St. Getting Big People-Friendly Makeover in the FiDi [Curbed LA]
· Take a Look at Broadway's New Pedestrian-Friendly Makeover [Curbed LA]
· The LAPD's $250 Jaywalking Tickets Are Total Bullshit [Curbed LA]