I think a lot of us will agree that yes, people walk in L.A. But the DWP is reinforcing the myth of the car culture by keeping the Festival of Lights focused on cars instead of pedestrians. A wonderfully sarcastic article in the LA Times two days ago describes the DWP’s latest announcements regarding pedestrians and the Festival. The DWP has decided that, despite requests from environmentalists and local residents, it’s just not an option to make the Festival a walking-only event for its entirety. This decision is based on the lack of sufficient parking in the L.A. zoo lot. Since 2500 – 4500 cars visit the event each year, and the zoo only has 1100 spots, that’s a “recipe for a traffic jam”. (Well, except no one really seems to know HOW many spots the zoo has – it could be anywhere as high as 2600 – 3000. Does anyone here know?)
If you are a pedestrian who does not want to share the road with idling cars again this year, there will be a “pilot program” for pedestrian-only access on the lowest-traffic days of the season. That would be November 21st – 25th, the week of Thanksgiving. But for the rest of the year, it’ll be cars as usual. And I’m sorry, Will – there was no update on an extension of the festival of bikes to the pedestrian nights. Maybe we just need to harass LaBonge more on all of this.