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Currently viewing the tag: "Los Angeles Walks"

This post, by our partners at Los Angeles Walks, has been made possible by the grant-funded Focus Cities California program, a joint project of UC Berkeley SafeTREC and California Walks, which supports increased safety in walking and biking.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

At the upcoming Tuesday, October 10th Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee meeting, LA City Council members will consider a spending plan for integrated road reconstruction and Vision Zero safety projects that span three City departments. A collaboration between the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT), Bureau of Engineering (BOE), and Bureau of Street Services (BSS), the spending plan is an effort to increase the departments’ efficiency and impact, and encourages a more holistic approach to public works projects that are developed with a health equity lens.

We love it! But, we want more. 

We want to see departments work together on complete streets projects that don’t just go curb-to-curb, but wall-to-wall. We want to see smooth, safe streets AND sidewalk repair, curb ramps, street trees, and bus shelters.

Have you ever stood at a bus stop with people gathered in the shade of one skinny utility pole because there is no bus shelter or trees to provide relief? Los Angeles can avoid that by leveraging our transportation dollars to improve the entire public realm from wall-to-wall in the creation of true complete streets. When we do that, we are making investments that prioritize safety and, importantly, show an immediate return on the quality of life for our communities.

>> Join Los Angeles Walks and Investing in Place at the October 10 meeting.

BACKGROUND

During the 2018 budget negotiations in the City of Los Angeles this past May, policymakers settled on an important compromise – one that most of us would consider common sense, but that a City staffer might call magical.

Before the compromise, Council members were in disagreement: with limited funds available, some elected officials wanted to prioritize spending on critical roadway repairs, fixing potholes and reconstructing “failing” streets. Others wanted to direct funds to Vision Zero projects – those that redesign the highest need streets for safety in order to address the public health emergency of traffic fatalities in LA.

After dramatic deliberations, Councilmembers decided that the City can accomplish both goals by having departments work together, and that funding should go towards projects that incorporate both roadway reconstruction and redesigns for safety.

To be fair, Los Angeles Walks initially balked at the notion of diverting funds to roadway repairs at a time when fatal and severe pedestrian collisions continue to rise. But, we have come to see the value in this compromise and the importance of cross-departmental collaboration, one of the pillars of the Vision Zero framework. We also see that as an opportunity for the City to execute an efficient use of public funds.

>> Join us at City Council on October 10.

We would like to have the City Council include wall-to-wall complete streets alongside all other potential plans for the City’s  integrated road repair/Vison Zero project list, including access and sidewalk repair, street trees, and bus shelters.

MORE ABOUT THE PLAN

Since the City Council passed the FY18 budget this past spring, LADOT, BOE, and BSS have worked together to develop a Vision Zero 2017-18 workplan that includes both street reconstruction and Vision Zero components. At the September 20th Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee meeting, leaders of each department together presented the names of 11 corridors that light up on all of their individual lists: those “D” and “F” streets in need of reconstruction that are also on the City’s Vision Zero High Injury Network.

As outlined in a report by the City Attorney’s Office, the initial source of funding proposed for these projects is the Measure M Local Return Fund, which includes $12.84 million for street reconstruction and $6.62 million for Vision Zero (total: $19.46 million). The use of funds from the remaining Measure M Local Return Fund ($650,00) and SB1 Special Gas Tax Improvement Fund ($24.06 million), which includes $11.95 million for street reconstruction and $12.76million for Vision Zero, will be proposed in subsequent reports, and will cover salaries and other resources necessary for 2017-18 work during the construction phase of these projects.

NEXT STEPS

In a city where everybody walks, bikes, rides the bus or drives a vehicle, our transportation investments don’t have to be separated into silos like “bus,” “walk,” or “vehicle speed.” By expanding departmental coordination and improving all aspects of the street from wall-to-wall, we can increase safety directly, through Vision Zero safety projects, and indirectly, through higher quality and more dignified infrastructure for people walking, biking, and taking transit. By encouraging more people to walk, bike, and take transit – and making it convenient and pleasant, we will increase safety for all.

>> Join Los Angeles Walks and Investing in Place at the October 10 Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee meeting.

Join us at the Tripping Point advocacy training summit!

>> Boost your advocacy skills for sidewalks, crosswalks, street trees, and bus shelters at The Tripping Point: Valley Edition, a FREE one-day advocacy training summit on October 21st at Panorama City High School. Food, childcare, and Spanish-English translation available!

Cross-posted at Los Angeles Walks’ site.

This post, by our partners at Los Angeles Walks, has been made possible by the grant-funded Focus Cities California program, a joint project of UC Berkeley SafeTREC and California Walks, which supports increased safety in walking and biking.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It’s been almost four months since Los Angeles Walks joined Investing in Place and other partners to host the Tripping Point, which, as far as we know, was LA’s first advocacy training summit focused on complete street issues, like sidewalks, bus stops, crosswalks, and street trees.

Since the first Tripping Point, safe and complete street issues have gained significant attention as Los Angeles embraces the challenge to create safer neighborhoods by reorganizing streets and public spaces.

Based on the turnout at the first Tripping Point, we know that the demand for healthy, active communities is out there. And based on our experiences over the past four months, we know how critical it is to voice and make visible the demand for updated streets and sidewalks that serve everyone’s needs.

So, led by Investing in Place, LA Walks is co-hosting the Tripping Point 2: The Valley edition along with AARP, the American Heart Association, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, Koreatown Youth & Community Center, LURN, Outfront/JCDecaux, and Southern California Resources Services for Independent Living.

WHY ATTEND?

To set the stage, we’re providing a recap here of the first Tripping Point, held on June 10th, when over 150 people from all across the city came together at El Puente Learning Center in Boyle Heights for workshops and skill-building sessions.

Our goals for the first Tripping Point were the same as they are for the upcoming Tripping Point 2:

  • Participants will better understand City initiatives, programs, and plans.
  • Attendees will boost their skills in advocating for safer streets and healthier communities.

For the Tripping Point 2, on October 21st, we’re also adding that participants will connect with one another to leave with a local network of fellow activists and allies.

Speakers on June 10th included two extraordinary community members, Cleo Ray (above) and Vanessa May, as well as Deputy Mayor Barbara Romero (top image), City Councilmember Nury Martinez, and Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds. It was an all-star line-up of women working to make our communities better!

Throughout the day, experts from community-based organizations and advocacy groups offered a slew of sessions, all offered in Spanish and English. Topics ranged from how to request a bus stop shelter to how to communicate effectively with elected officials. Attendees learned about stormwater capture, the urban tree canopy, and more.

Los Angeles Walks offered two sessions, both centered on connecting individuals with one another in order to build community power. First, during “Hands-On Walk Audit,” we taught participants how to conduct a walk audit and we shared a basic tool for coordinating a walk audit in their own neighborhoods. A walk audit can be a very detailed exercise that focuses on intense data collection. But, it can also be an opportunity to build relationships, share an experience, and establish common interests among community members — all steps toward building community power to create local change.

For the second session, America Aceves of Proyecto Pastoral led a training in community organizing called “Organizing for Change: The Power of Relationships.” America dove straight into what power is and who has it, how to create change through individual and institutional transformation, and what exactly organizing entails: community listening, research, action, and evaluation. We explored leadership and how to identify and develop leaders; learned how to conduct a “one-on-one,” the foundation of relationship-building in community organizing; and we each practiced telling our personal story, a useful skill for connecting with neighbors and decision-makers.

WHY BUILD PEOPLE POWER?

As an advocacy organization working to make Los Angeles a safe, equitable place to walk, Los Angeles Walks is, of course, focused on public policy, like the City’s sidewalk repair program, Safe Sidewalks LA, as well as Vision Zero and Mobility Plan 2035. But, increasingly, LA Walks is focusing on developing relationships and building people power. Recent events in Westside neighborhoods confirm that this is the way to go: only one week after the Tripping Point was held, vocal opposition erupted in response to the Mar Vista Great Streets Initiative project on Venice Blvd., the Safe Streets Playa del Rey road redesigns, and the Vista del Mar reconfiguration. The situation required intense mobilization and organizing of safe street supporters in the area.

In the months after, LA Walks joined the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in making visible the constituency for safe streets in Council District 11: we identified supportive stakeholders and community members, trained residents in how to provide public comment at a community meeting, encouraged constituents to email their elected officials in support of Vision Zero and roadway redesigns that control speed, and organized 60 people to attend and speak at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting.

The immediate outcome was positive: the Mar Vista Community Council voted to keep the Venice Blvd. project in place in order to allow the City time to conduct a thorough evaluation. But, opposition to street changes remain, which has led to the reversal of safety projects already in place and the threat to block projects currently in the works.

Now is the time to build our skills and our power as community members who know that another world is possible:

  • one in which traffic collisions are not the leading cause of death of children in Los Angeles County;
  • a city in which seniors in our neighborhoods feel comfortable traveling to the corner store, connecting with their friends along the way and strengthening their social support networks;
  • a city in which the preservation of human life takes priority over the swift movement of cars.

RSVP today for the Tripping Point 2: The Valley edition on Saturday, October 21 from 9:30am to 2pm. Boost your advocacy skills, meet like-minded people, and leave inspired to create a safer, healthier city. See you there!

Find info on the Tripping Point 1 below:

Tripping Point 1 agenda

Tripping Point 1 presentations

Tripping Point 1 photos

Cross-posted at Los Angeles Walks’ site.

This post, by our partners at Los Angeles Walks, has been made possible by the grant-funded Focus Cities California program, a joint project of UC Berkeley SafeTREC and California Walks, which supports increased safety in walking and biking.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Tripping Point advocacy training summit for smooth sidewalks and safe, healhty streets is this Saturday! REGISTER NOW before we reach capacity and close sign-ups. FREE!

Tripping Point

Ask an Angeleno basic questions about our city streets, like how to request a curb ramp, what the heck an “unmarked crosswalk” is, or how to improve a bus stop, and you’re likely to get a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Los Angeles Walks is out to change that through The Tripping Point, a FREE half-day advocacy training summit we’re co-hosting this Saturday, June 10th in Boyle Heights.

What you’ll get at The Tripping Point:

  • The skills, tools, strategies, and insights you need to more effectively shape your world.
  • A fundamental understanding of the who, what, where, when, why of transportation, streets, and sidewalks in LA.
  • A chance to meet decision-makers and practitioners who build our urban environment.
  • Food! Light breakfast and lunch are included.
  • Need Spanish translation or childcare? We’ve got that too.

Here’s why you should register today:

Because now is the time for Angelenos to understand how our built environment takes shape, who determines its form, and how to influence the process.

The City of Los Angeles is in the midst of a Mobility Moment. In the last year alone:

  • LA City Council adopted the sweeping and ambitious Mobility Plan 2035.
  • LA County voters passed Measure M, expressing overwhelming support for public transit expansion.
  • LA Bureau of Engineering launched Safe Sidewalks LA, finally committing to repair our sidewalk network.
  • LA Dept. of Transportation released a Vision Zero Action Plan outlining safety solutions for 40 priority roadway corridors in 2017.
  • LA City Council increased the City’s Vision Zero budget from $3 million in 2017 to $27.2 million in 2018.

So, join us this Saturday, June 10th at Puente Learning Center in Boyle Heights from 9am to 2pm for keynotes, interactive trainings, workshops, and networking with colleagues, friends, advocacy leaders, public agency staff, and elected officials’ staff.

Anyone interested in safe sidewalks and crosswalks, complete streets, bus shelters, and/or healthy trees for shade is welcome!

About the Day

We’ll hear from keynote speakers Deputy Mayor Barbara Romero and City of Los Angeles Councilmember Nury Martinez, followed by community voices. Next up will be a 45-minute introductory session called Pathways to Change 101, before we split into breakout sessions.

Los Angeles Walks will host two breakout sessions that focus on advocacy through hyper-local organizing. Join us at:

  • 10:50am-12pm: Hands-On Walk Audit: A Practical Tool to Assess Your Walking Environment & Engage Allies

  • 12:40pm-1:50pm: Organizing for Change: The Power of Relationships (led by Proyecto Pastoral)

Tripping Point.jpg

Voters, lawmakers, and City staff have turned their attention to how we get around, and – importantly – how we can get around while preserving human life, saving street trees, and improving environmental health. After a lot of hard work by advocates and staffers, long-overdue decisions about mobility in Los Angeles are finally being made, and long-overdue investments are finally being dedicated to our urban infrastructure.

Now is the time to understand how we can make our voices heard during this process!

Register now! Space is limited to just over 100 participants. Sign up today to secure your spot!

Cross-posted at Los Angeles Walks’ site.