Festival Of Lights Embraces Los Angeles Myth

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.

6 thoughts on “Festival Of Lights Embraces Los Angeles Myth”

  1. I really like the idea of the pedestrian only nights. I’d like it even better if they would split the road, using existing lane dividers as one side bikes only the other reserved for peds only.

    AND for the peds how about setting up an easy shuttle system so parking and traffic isn’t totally jammed? Zoo lot is one option, Travel Town, the train spot are some parking options. Maybe the nearby equestrian center for more parking and then shuttle everyone in? Could make it much easier for us all to get in and walk it.

  2. Whoa Whoa Whoa there Frazgo! There you go, spouting off that logical, not to mention, practical thinking again. There is no room for common sense at Holiday time in a big city with traffic problems to begin with. Get your head on straight.

  3. Should those five “peds only” nights remain just that I certainly plan on sounding off to LaBonge and the DWP assemblage who’ll no doubt faux-cros about the token bikes-only night (in which pedestrains are allowed) on November 19.

  4. I’m pro it being pedestrian only in a way, but kind of not. Reasons.

    The vast majority of people I see who enjoy the festival of lights are children. Most people who have little kids can’t afford to live in Los Feliz, Silver Lake or Atwater, so if you take away the driving option you’re going to ruin it for the people who it’s really for, little kids.

    If LA had good transit for people who live out in the boonies then it would be ok, but it doesn’t.

    That’s it for caring about the children, now I’m going to complain about how I hate the traffic. I hate that festival. I hate the whole winter holiday thing with the shopping, the lack of parking, the feeling obligated to buy silly crap, the many religions that are in LA which puts you in lots of faux paus positions.

    DWP should have a festival of lights in different locations so everyone doesn’t have to drive over here and ruin our lives.


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