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Nobody walks in LA – or so they say!

Alta Service Regions, Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Bicycle-Pedestrian Planning, California, Complete Streets

by Jessie Holzer, Planner, Alta Planning + Design

I have been living car-free in Los Angeles for about a year and half. I walk, bike, and take transit to get everywhere I need to be, and it becomes increasingly more convenient as the days pass with many thanks to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) who has made great strides toward improving its walking and biking infrastructure.

Alta's LA City Bicycle Plan

Alta’s LA City Bicycle Plan

LADOT’s Bike Program has been hard at work implementing its Bicycle Master Plan. It seems like every day more bikeways and bicycle parking appear throughout the city. One of LADOT’s most exciting new projects is its Bicycle Friendly Business District (BFBD) program aimed at improving bicycle access to business districts and corridors. The program will provide districts with additional bikeways, end-of-trip facilities, wayfinding signage, and other bicycle amenities. The City is in the process of developing its first pilot BFBD in Northeast Los Angeles. The Northeast Los Angeles BFBD is home to a recently implemented road diet, LA’s first bicycle corral, and two bicycle repair stations, fully equipped with tools for basic bike repairs. The pilot BFBD program will assist LADOT with developing a citywide program in the coming years.

LADOT also recently formed its Pedestrian Program to improve walking for Los Angeles residents of all ages. One of the most notable efforts of the Pedestrian Program since its inception is the organization of the first ever Los Angeles Citywide Walk to School Day in October 2013. The Program recruited over 50 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District to plan and host events at their schools. LADOT offered organizer trainings, customizable promotional materials, and student and volunteer incentives. Elementary and middle school students in every council district participated in the Walk to School Day events.

As the City of Los Angeles continues to grow its biking and walking networks, it will be interesting to see the inevitable shift in mode share that comes with such investments. I look forward to seeing other LA residents find that they, too, can reduce their need to drive for transportation and maybe even separate themselves from their cars all together.

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