Sunday, October 23, 2016

5 Ways to Make Echo Park More Pedestrian Friendly


“Miserable” Echo Park bus stop | Cecilia Padilla-Brill

Echo Park resident Jessica Meaney gets around town without a car. She’s also managing director of Investing in Place, a nonprofit that focuses on transportation planning and policy in Los Angeles County. We asked Meaney for suggestions on how to encourage more walking across Echo Park. Here are some of her ideas:

  •  1) Improve the intersection at Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard because “it’s always scary crossing there.” Install an automatic pedestrian signal (instead of having to push a button) to trigger the walk sign. Also, give pedestrians a three- to seven-second head start (called a Leading Pedestrian Interval) over cars when the signal light turns green. One more thing: install a left-hand signal for drivers turning from Sunset to Echo Park.”Drivers always seem a bit stressed making that turn and frequently cut off people walking in the crosswalk.”
  • 4) Improve bus stops with clean places to sit. “I catch the 92 Metro bus at Glendale and Montana. That bus stop is miserable. No shade, frequent trash all over, feels crummy waiting there. Let’s show it some love and fix it up.”
  • 5)  Encourage the management at Dodger Stadium to build and repair sidewalks to access the ballpark. “There’s been some good improvements…but lots more could be done.”

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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Cecilia Padilla-Brill, Editor
Echo Park Weekly

Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
The Eastsider

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  1. Yeah and then watch the city do these projects and residents will complain about gentrification cleaning up their beloved trashy streets.

  2. All great ideas. We need to make it easier and more pleasant to move around without a car. I hope these things happen!

  3. How about more trash cans and more frequent emptying of them? There are so few of them in the neighborhood, and what’s there is always full and overflowing. Also I’d say pressure wash the sidewalk…it looks like there’s 50 years worth of grime and chewing gum on it.

    • Yes, yes, and yes! Shocking how few trash can there are along Sunset. For such a busy thoroughfare, there should be one on every corner.

    • How about residents not dumping trash on the streets and/or reporting illegal dumping that happens on their streets? Walk around EP and you’ll find of stuff that has been dumped-either my EP residents or illegally! EP residents should know that the city will come and collect your old bulky items- mattresses, couches, etc but YOU have to call and let the Department of Sanitation know that you have bulky items. They should also call the police whenever they see somebody illegally dumping! Get the license plate and even a picture if possible!

      • It’s kind of amazing how people don’t know this. My neighbors will put their old furniture out right next to their trashcans and just hope that they get picked up. No bro, you must CALL for the bulky pickup. The city doesn’t just magically swoop up anything you leave on the street!

        • bogbog- YOU are part of the problem!!! You either need to talk to you neighbors or call the police that your neighbors are illegally leaving junk on the sidewalk!!!

  4. #6 – Take away the Driver’s License to all the idiots on the road. Oh but wait…that’s 90% of all our drivers out there so those streets will end up pretty empty.

  5. 110% agree!!!!! These are all simple and brilliantly effective ideas!

  6. All great ideas. It’s amazing the kind of money we’ve thrown at highway widening and mass transit projects to move people *through* neighborhoods. And yet, many of the more cost-effective, common sense improvements at the block-level go largely unfunded and ignored for decades. It’s as if the various planning and transit agencies of LA work in hermetically sealed bunkers, never communicating with one another on the larger context of land use.

  7. Can we also have a focus on the crosswalk on Glendale Blvd under the Sunset Bridge. I’ve noticed that cars don’t slow down even though the flashing lights on the streets are on.

    • Yes! If this woman thinks crossing Echo Park Ave. via Sunset is “scary” (it’s not), she should try to navigate this crosswalk at rush hour. Drivers do NOT stop, will honk at you if you’re in the crosswalk rightfully and the signal isn’t monitored by police, so there’s no incentive for people to follow directions.

  8. Re #5, “Encourage the management at Dodger Stadium to build and repair sidewalks to access the ballpark.” Of course rope in team owners for what they can contribute, but initiative will more likely come from City side, or at least McCourt (still) has interest in public using stadium parking. The long block of Academy Rd. east of where it intersects Stadium Way, i.e. the Academy Rd. entrance to the stadium (the one nearest LAPD Academy) is particularly horrible from a pedestrian’s point of view. The sidewalk is on the north side of the street, completely unused, always partly covered with landslide debris, I’ve never seen another soul on it, and the worst thing is that it goes nowhere, that once one gets to the west end there’s no way to cross the street without jaywalking across busy traffic. (In theory one could travel this sidewalk all the way around the bend north up Stadium Way, but I’ve never seen anyone do so / it’s even more desolate on Stadium than Academy.) The Stadium/Academy crossing is much easier if you’re going down south side of Academy Rd., which is basically half dirt and half exposed bedrock — it’s this side of the road that should be made a pedestrian walkway. Would love if it weren’t concrete sidewalk though, but some kind of crushed rock or dirt. Speaking from perspective of regular runner in the park who knows all the trails, having this long Academy Rd. block as a runnable/walkable path would really help connect different parts of the park in a much more usable fashion — people would use more of the park, more.

  9. From the point of view of a wheelchair user: In addition to improved curb cuts and intersections, make sure that the sidewalks themselves are wheelchair friendly. In addition to focusing on the deplorable sidewalk conditions that we all know about, someone should look at sidewalks where there are perfectly adequate curb cuts at both ends of the block, but then there are utility poles or bus benches or whatever blocking adequate access for wheelchairs to pass by. The west side of Echo Park Lake, next to Glendale Blvd. is a good example of this.

  10. Make echo park/sunset a 3-cycle intersection, one cycle for pedestrians only. And who took down those great trees on echo park ave down by sunset? Can those be restored, resurrected, reimplanted?

  11. LOL, the Echo Park/Sunset crosswalk is hardly the “Scariest” crosswalk in the area. Also, the pedestrians have plenty of time to cross when Sunset has the light. This lady has it all backwards. The people who need a left turn light are the people turning left onto Sunset from Echo Park — not the other way around.

  12. Echo Park is pretty damn pedestrian friendly. It’s literally one of the main reasons why I continue to live in this neighborhood.

  13. Great ideas!

  14. Thanks for posting this article. I wish more news outlets took pedestrian safety seriously and wrote articles that did not pit drivers against pedestrians!

  15. i always thought alvardo and scott needs a flashing cross signal. no body stops there when you try to cross the road. had a few close calls

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