Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

4/20/2012

Sing a song for walking in Los Angeles

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

...is not a myth as this KCET series on car-less Angelenos prove. Every time I walk down my street or take the bus, I remember that despite popular imagination, Angelenos do walk everywhere. Yes, the bus does share the road with a few hot sports cars, but a lot of people still use their own two legs.

via Gelatobaby.

While walking, I've found time notice strange birds, flowers blooming, even a beautiful sky. But sadly, the walk hasn't always been so pleasurable. Often, I find myself walking over yards and wondering, "Why don't we have sidewalks on small neighborhood streets?" Or, "Why don't all bus stops offer shade?" For these, and other, much-larger complaints, who is there to turn to? I didn't know of anyone. Until I was introduced to Los Angeles Walks.

Over the past few months, a new pedestrian movement has been brewing in Silver Lake, masterminded by urban planner Deborah Murphy, "one-woman band, beating the drum for pedestrian safety at City Hall and with city officials." She and a steering committee have brought new life to Los Angeles Walks, the city's first ever pedestrian advocacy group.

Los Angeles Walks has been around about 14 years now but strictly as a volunteer-based organization, Murphy tells Which Way, LA's Warren Olney. But the city's renewed interest in a more transit-friendly lifestyle seems to have kicked up the organization's activity level exponentially.

This Saturday, Los Angeles walks will be hosting its first karaoke fundraiser, where you can sing away your walking blues and usher in a new day for the L.A. walker specie. The group plans to use the funds to hire a full-time staff person to attend all pedestrian-related meetings, hear people's thoughts on walking in Los Angeles and overall be the person you wish you could share your pedestrian problems with. Yes, they will understand. On LA Streetsblog, the group has shared initial plans to help make five target areas around the city safer for pedestrians and help walkers safely navigate the city by adopting a "Safe Routes to Transit" plan.

With a bevy of Metro projects on its way to reality, there's no better time for Los Angeles Walks than now. Los Angeles will have to start figuring out how to build a city around people who move around on their own two feet.

Sing your heart out this Saturday at Atwater Crossing. If you can't go, donations are being accepted.

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