NELA Livable Streets News – December 2017

ERNC asks for Safety Improvements on Yosemite Drive

In November we shared that TERA had asked Council District 14 as well as other local partners to explore short-term and long-term safety improvements on Yosemite Drive. This came in light of a traffic collision in October in which Eagle Rock High School students were struck by a car driver, sending one of them to the hospital with harsh injuries. Following TERA’s lead, the ERNC drafted a letter requesting very specific improvements, including Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at marked crosswalks. Since the ERNC’s request, the Federal Highway Administration has revoked approval to install new RRFBs, likely dealing a blow to any short-term solution to addressing safety on Yosemite Drive. If there is a silver-lining to be found in this unexpected news, it is that it will force a greater attention on actual concrete changes to Yosemite Drive.

Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council Asks for Speed Humps

Ok, so Boyle Heights is not in Northeast LA, but it is east of the LA River so we share that in common. At a November 29 meeting, the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council introduced a motion requesting speed humps on Whittier Boulevard in an attempt to curb speeding. Well-meaning as the motion is, the City has a strict policy of not installing speed humps on busy, multi-lane streets such as Whittier Boulevard. Council District 14 has expressed interest in making improvements to the street, perhaps the BHNC and CD14 can partner on an initiative and bring some positive change to improve safety on the local commercial corridor.

Highland Park Neighborhood Council Asks CD14 for Safety Improvements on North Figueroa

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For years, local advocates have reached out to neighbors, attended meetings, rallied, protested, and even painted rogue bike safety improvements, all in the hopes of making North Figueroa Street a little less deadly. Years of advocacy reaching even further back sparked the formation of groups such as Figueroa for All (or #Fig4All) which has organized locals to make public comments and attend neighborhood meetings to speak up for safety.  Despite visible support, these efforts have been consistently blocked by councilmember Gil Cedillo, whose district includes much of the street. However, North of York Boulevard, the street is under the jurisdiction of Jose Huizar, a champion for safe streets and sustainable transportation. Considerably less attention has been paid to Figueroa in his district though the street can be just as harrowing there. On December 7th, the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council (HHPNC) passed a motion requesting safety improvements to Figueroa north of York Boulevard.

Alhambra Avenue in El Sereno To Get Package of Safety Improvements

On November 28th, Council District 14 held the final of several community workshops regarding safety improvements on Alhambra Avenue in El Sereno. At the workshop, CD14 announced a package of safety improvements that will come to the street, including: a road diet, bike lanes, new sidewalk, and a traffic signal. This announcement came only 9 months after the first workshop was held in March. A groundbreaking for the project will occur in January, according to The EastsiderLA. Council District 14 should be applauded for the swift, effective, and efficient approach they took to this project. We hope to see future safety improvements implemented with the same level of outreach and urgency.

Dockless Bike-Share Bicycles Appear on North Figueroa Street

On December 6th, a handful of dockless bike-share bicycles appeared on North Figueroa Streetspin.jpg. Unlike the public bikes in Downtown LA or Downtown Pasadena that are anchored by docking stations where bikes can be checked out and returned, these dockless bikes are free to roam wherever the users may find or drop them off. Peculiarly enough some appeared on North Figueroa. It is unclear if the bikes were simply a demonstration or an indication that private bike-share vendors are interested in bringing more bikes to the Northeast LA area.

On-going Sidewalk Repairs in Verdugo Village

The neighborhood immediately surrounding Verdugo Road west of Eagle Rock Boulevard is known as “Verdugo Village.” It is a quaint area with charming small-scale shops and single family homes. Charming as the area is, the sidewalks on Verdugo Road, the area’s main commercial strip, were in poor condition. For the past couple months, some of the sidewalks have been repaired and work was still underway in December. While new sidewalks are great, the street remains terrifying to cross, or bike on.

Livability in Burbank and Beyond

In early December, the City of Burbank announced it would extend existing bike lanes on Verdugo Avenue starting on December 13. Once completed, there will be continuous bike lanes on Verdugo Avenue from Clybourn Avenue to Victory Boulevard, approximately 2.2 miles. Meanwhile, The EastsiderLA reports that a pilot expansion of the Metro’s bike-share system into Echo Park has been an initial success. Could the success pave the way for greater bicycle infrastructure and bike-share coverage in Echo Park? Time will tell. Finally, the City of Glendale is seeking input on proposed changes to Central Park, the largest remaining greenspace in downtown Glendale. Public meetings to gather input will be held on January 18th and January 20th.

Did we miss something? Let us know!

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