(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…
- April 2011– LADOT Bike Blog noted that bike lanes along Colorado Boulevard had been prioritized in the City’s Bike Plan due to the momentum of Take Back The Boulevard. Originally scheduled to be implemented sometime after 2015, the City will likely be moving forward with bike lanes along Colorado Boulevard in 2013.
- March 2012 – Take Back The Boulevard announced: ” In earlier public meetings, the challenge of crossing Colorado Boulevard and the shorter time limits of the parking meters on the north side of the street (one hour) were the most frequently cited reasons for the lower usage of those meters… based on recent efforts by the Council Office, the time limits on the meters on the north side of Colorado Boulevard have now been changed to two hours.”
- March 2012 – In the same March 2012 announcement, it was also reported: “The public parking lot at the intersection of Merton and Caspar Avenues significantly mitigates the parking issues in that area. Many have claimed they did not know this parking lot exists. New signage has been installed, making the availability of this lot, which is located within three blocks of a large number of commercial establishments, more apparent.”
One of the new sign on Colorado Boulevard pointing towards the public parking lot at Caspar Avenue and Merton Avenue
- January 2013 – The most recent development since TBTB formed occurred just a few days ago. Yield markings known as “shark teeth” were added to the crosswalk at Hermosa Avenue and Colorado Boulevard at the request of the TBTB steering committee. The markings remind traffic where to yield for crossing pedestrians.
There has also been a subtle change to the two curbside parking space in front of Cacao Mexicatessen and Eufloria. In mid-2012 the parking space were converted from 30-minute parking space to one hour parking spaces. This may not be the direct result of Take Back The Boulevard, but it would not be surprising if it were as the Department of Transportation has been reevaluating conditions along Colorado Boulevard following requests from TBTB’s steering committee. Hopefully the additional half hour granted to the parking spaces now makes them more attractive and useful for patrons of Cacao.
Note the curb in front of Eufloria and Cacao is no longer green, which indicated parking there was only allowed for 30 minutes– not enough time if one parking there wishes to comfortably enjoy a meal at Cacao
The above changes aren’t the most visible or high-profile – nor are they the only accomplishments from the initiative – but they are meaningful changes that we can point to and thank Take Back The Boulevard for. Hopefully 2013 will continue to bring more visible accomplishments from Take Back The Boulevard’s hard work.