Now one month into the second half of 2018, and there is little to show in the way of physical livability improvements in Northeast LA. Minor improvements were either announced or underway in neighboring communities but overall progress remains slow at best. (Note: Due to technical difficulties no photos accompany this month’s post)
Local Neighborhood Councils Speak Up for Safer Streets
Back in December 2017, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council (ERNC) submitted a letter to Council District 14 asking for safety improvements to Yosemite Drive in the wake of a driver striking three students as they left a Homecoming Eagle Rock High School football game. Now in July 2018, the ERNC sent a follow-up letter specifying common-sense safety improvements, including:
- Immediately updating existing standard crosswalks to high-visibility continental crosswalks
- Installing 2 RRFBs at the worst crosswalks as determined by the Department of Transportation
- Installing “State Law Yield to Pedestrians” signs at crosswalks
- Improving current street signage, some of which is hidden by trees
- Incorporating curb extensions, bioswales, and/or bike lanes where appropriate
Improvements are sorely needed, though this isn’t necessarily news. Eagle Rock resident Jack Burnette-Stuart was calling for a safer Yosemite back in 2011. And similar calls go back decades (though largely in non digital format).
Further south in NELA, the Cypress Park Neighborhood Council had a presentation about dire need for safety improvements on Cypress Avenue and Avenue 28. Well over a dozen residents showed up to listen to proposed solutions or share anecdotes about countless crashes they’ve observed over the years. A Metro representative announced that buses would slow to 15MPH in along the two streets – a nice gesture – but it is not buses that are barreling into homes and cars. At least the Neighborhood Council is on the record as wanting to do something, now it is up to the City to take action.
From Autoshops to Pedestrian Storefronts on Figueroa
The EastsiderLA observed this month that a growing number of autoshops along North Figueroa are being converted into other, more pedestrian-friendly uses. This shift reflects a combination of planning guidelines for the street and the interests of private, commercial investment along the street. One would hope that with more pedestrian scaled businesses that the next sensible step would be to convert the actual roadway along Figueroa to be more pedestrian-friendly.
Guerilla Bus Benches Pop Up in El Sereno
Former Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner and Cypress Park resident Josef Bray-Ali submitted photos to The EastsiderLA of several do-it-yourself bus benches throughout El Sereno. Nobody has stepped forward to claim credit for the act, but the unsanctioned civic improvement will make waiting for the bus a little less painful. Thank you to whoever made this intervention!
Glendale Proposes Mid-Block Crosswalk, Curb Extensions
In the small convivial “Kenneth Village” commercial corridor along Kenneth Road, the City of Glendale posted notifications of a proposal to install a mid-block crosswalk, curb extensions, flashing pedestrian lights and other improvements to enhance the village feel along Kenneth Road and promote safe pedestrian passage. A meeting is set for August 2, 6:30PM at Balboa Elementary. If you’re in the area, consider showing support for the proposal on the August 2nd meeting!
Pasadena Officially Quits Metro Bike Share
The City of Pasadena had been sending signals to Metro that the City intended to leave the County bike-share system due to poor usage and in July it became official. Unable to finance bike-share on its own, Metro started removing bike share stations. While this isn’t usually the type of “good news” shared in these roundups, it hopefully serves as a wake-up call to the City and County. A shortage of bikes isn’t what is holding back bicycling in the region, it’s a lack of quality infrastructure. Now if only Pasadena and Metro were willing to invest as much into proven bike infrastructure as it invested in unproven bike-share.
Livability in Pasadena and Beyond
- Beverly Boulevard Pedestrian “Improvements”: Councilmember O’Farrell broke ground on a series of largely cosmetic and maintenance improvements to Beverly Boulevard. The most noteworthy improvement consists of two new medians at Lafayette Park Place and at Occidental Boulevard.
- Valley Pride Open Streets Announced for Baldwin Park: A CicLAvia-type “open streets” event in Baldwin Park was announced for September 16th.
- BikeSGV Previews New Multi-Modal Path At Rose Bowl: BikeSGV and Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition posted video and pictures of a new multi-modal path being constructed around the southern portion of the Rose Bowl.
- 11th Street Gets Green Bike Lanes, Wider Sidewalk: Twitter user Neel Sodha posted a picture of a new, green bike lane along 11th Street in Downtown LA (part of the larger “My Figueroa” project). Also visible is a newly widened sidewalk.
- Bike Path Progress Along Glendale Narrows: Reddit user kpatch52 posted pictures of what appears to be progress of the City of Glendale’s Narrows Riverwalk Phase II addition.