It's kind of exciting to see that the pendulum on street design is gaining momentum as it swings towards safer, more walkable, and bikeable streets. While there are still a couple of LA City Councilmembers who are not on the "let's save lives and make our community better" bandwagon, more and more are making efforts to change their areas by transforming dangerous and sometimes rundown streets into more aesthetic walkable and bikable streets.
Several projects have recently popped up like work on South Broadway, Slauson, South Broadway, the Melrose Blvd re-design, and work on San Vicente. SAFE is proud to be involved in a number of these in various ways.
One exciting project to me personally is being spearheaded by Councilmember Monica Rodriguez to transform a 3 mile stretch of Sepulveda Blvd in the north end of the San Fernando Valley between Rayen St and the 118 Freeway. It's exciting because I grew up not too far away from this area, so it's great to see things changing close to home.
This road stretch is part of the high injury network with 39 serious injuries or fatalities between 2008 and 2018. If you've been on this road, it's often like a freeway with cars traveling more than 60 MPH.
The project to transform this road section is surprisingly ambitious. The project includes a protected center median parkway for walking and biking down much of the stretch, additional park space at the north end of the project where Brand Blvd sweeps off Sepulveda, pedestrian crossings, and other traffic calming measures.
This project would add 3.25 miles of linear parkland to the City of Los Angeles in an area with some of the least amounts of park space per population — about 0.5 acres of park space per 1000 people when the average across Los Angeles is 3.3.
There's a lot more planned for this stretch, and funding is still being procured. SAFE is proud to have supported Councilmember Monica Rodriguez in this effort. I can personally say, GO MONICA, GO! Bring safer streets home!!
If you would like to find out more about this project, go to https://ladotlivablestreets.org/projects/sepulveda