Can We Learn From New York?


Mayor Bloomberg has a plan. He wants to transform Broadway in Midtown Manhattan into a more pedestrian-friendly environment. Streetsblog has the full story.

If you could do the same here – transform any part of Los Angeles into a walkable, car-free zone – where would it be? Broadway? L.A. Live? The Grove?

Would you rip out an entire freeway? Close off any streets? Demolish all parking lots near Trader Joe’s and force those idiots to walk?

Pretend that nothing is off-limits. Pretend that we just gave you a map of Los Angeles and a box of crayons. Think outside of the city. Play urban planner with us, and leave your suggestions in the comments.

Photo from Streetsblog

11 thoughts on “Can We Learn From New York?”

  1. I don’t understand why we even have to reinvent and make a new LA. We have spots to fix, but we don’t have to do it like anyone else. LA can be LA with its own ideas and look and ignore what NYC thinks it should be.

    That said, we need more parks and to keep them green and shady use native or Mediterranean plants and water with recycled water only.

  2. To clarify…

    This isn’t about making L.A. like New York. This is about giving one corner of the city an extreme makeover in whichever way you see fit.

  3. Thanks for the clarification, but I don’t see the need to rip out and reinvent, rather I’d like preservation and creating new uses for the many old buildings we have. Keeping our history intact is much more important than some fake times square or other sanitized new development.

    Add some parks. Reuse what we have to keep our character intact. Guess that makes me a quasi-preservationist.

  4. I worked on the corner of Broadway and 42nd for 8 years and I can’t wrap my brain around the idea of Broadway being a pedestrian only street. I bet it’s pretty awesome, I kinda wish I still worked there so I could try it out.

  5. 1) Make all push button crosswalks illegal. Add a pedestrian light cycle to every traffic light.
    2) Add traffic lights at all marked crosswalks.
    3) Outlaw right turn on red in Hollywood, Koreatown and Downtown.
    4) Reduce speed limits to 25 mph city wide, and add many more speed bumps.
    5) Build more rail, and expand the Rapid system.
    6) Dedicated bus lanes on most streets wider than 2 lanes in any direction.

    I am sure I could come up with more, but this would be a good start.

  6. I like Bert’s proposal. I’d also add that the city remove all these god-awful face slicers.

    There has been some talk in recent years about converting Hollywood Boulevard at Highland Avenue into a car-free zone. Seems practical; with special events and filming, the street is typically closed once a week anyway.

    I really like the idea of making Broadway a pedestrian zone.

    It was originally built for high-volume foot traffic. As far as vehicle traffic; even though it once was the terminus of a major highway (Route 66), being surrounded by broader one-way streets, it’s not much of a through street, and the bus lines already detour around it. Besides, the subway is just a block away on Hill Street.

    The city could reclaim their classic Los Angeles Railway Trolley (Yellow Car) and Pacific Electric (Red Cars) from San Francisco’s Market Street MUNI line, and run them down car-free Broadway to 1st Street, through Little Tokyo / Little Seoul, to the soon-to-be opened Gold Line Station on Alemeda.

    This could make a nice tourist link between South Park/LA Live area and the north-side of Downtown (Grand Avenue, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, and LA’s 1st pedestrian street: Olvera.) After all, as author and tour guide, Charles Phoenix has shown us, Disneyland is just a kitschy rip-off of the real Downtown Los Angeles anyway.

    Thanks Jason Burns for getting me all excited about this. Now lets build it!

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