(In my last post I asked if there was anything specifically I should write about in 2013, one reader requested I keep followers updated with the status of Take Back The Boulevard. So to kick off the year, here’s an update on the initiative.)
It’s been almost two years since Walk Eagle Rock first covered Take Back the Boulevard (TBTB)– the community driven initiative to make Colorado Boulevard a safer, friendlier street for all. While there were initially some public meetings following the launch of Take Back the Boulevard, the past few months have been relatively quiet. So what’s new? Why hasn’t the boulevard been taken back already?
According to Bob Gotham – chair of the Take Back the Boulevard’s steering committee – the initiative isn’t intended to transform Colorado Boulevard over night or even over a couple of years. To fulfill it’s goals, the initiative is realistically envisioned as an on-going process that will consist of short-term and long-term solutions to improve the boulevard. This is in part because any substantial, visible changes to the boulevard will only be able to move forward as funds are made available and if the City’s departments are willing to act. A safer, more pleasant Colorado Boulevard that functions for all users is at least a few more years off, but Take Back The Boulevard has taken steps towawrds bringing change to Eagle Rock’s main street. Let’s take a look…
A recurring complaint about Colorado Boulevard is that the street does not provide enough parking. This may be a valid concern, but when we gain parking we usually have to lose something in exchange. Walkability, attractive store fronts, lively sidewalks…
Perhaps the three most known examples of where parking has been gained in Eagle Rock, the story has not been pretty.
First lets recall the event considered to have sparked the formation of The Eagle Rock Association, April 1st 1986:
“In response to the threatened destruction of the historic business buildings at the corner of Townsend and Colorado. Kathleen Aberman stands on the building’s roof in an attempt to ward off the surprise demolition by the owner.” – Eagle Rock Historic Society
In the middle right is the building Aberman tried to rescue. Photo credit: Metro Library and Archive
Anyone excited to see a calmer, safer Colorado Boulevard there’s some good news for you. As Los Angeles is in the process of implementing its Bike Plan, the city holds quarterly meetings to discuss: bicycle facilities, which streets to prioritize for bicycle facilities, bicycle traffic education, outreach and more. These meetings are called the ‘Bike Plan Implementation Team’ or BPIT and they are open to the public. The most recent meeting was held on October 4th and Colorado Boulevard was discussed, here is an excerpt from the LADOT Bike Blog‘s recap of the meeting:
Hopefully readers are by now familiar with the relatively new efforts in Eagle Rock to tame Colorado Boulevard, ‘Take Back The Boulevard’. I have previously written about ‘Taking Back The Boulevard’ here. The project comes as a culmination of Eagle Rock community groups and residents unhappy with the current dangerous, car-centric street conditions along Colorado Boulevard and seeking to make the street more of a destination than the mini-freeway it resembles today. The initiative is being spearheaded by The Eagle Rock Association. In doing a bit of research I noticed Take Back The Boulevard now has its own website with a clearly defined mission for the project and the website will likely be updated to keep residents informed of meetings and progress being made.
Take a look at the site yourself, http://www.takebacktheblvd.org/
It is common to accept the automobile as the primary means to move along Colorado Boulevard, or to reach the many destinations that line our well-known part of town. However, I recently found myself asking why driving is the primary means and I found myself curious about the actual amount of traffic that passes by, and other statistics about the street. Colorado Boulevard is a large part of our community, why not be curious about it, right?
Colorado Boulevard is a major highway class II, projected to carry between 30,000 and 50,000 cars daily. Traffic counts available from the LADOT website from the past 15 years shows that Colorado Boulevard seldom carries above 35,000. Continue reading
So this is a bit late, but I would like to highlight what I consider a relevant item to the Walk Eagle Rock audience.
From TERA Newsletter 11-13-10
Thank you TERA for taking resident concerns seriously and taking action. Getting bike racks in front of the Center for the Arts will be useful for future community meetings held there and the Eagle Rock Historical Society open archives, hosted most Saturdays mornings from 10:00-12:00.