The worst traffic circle in the world? Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam
and a press release from the opening of Spring Street Park. Love the green! Photo: Rick Coca.
MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA, COUNCILMEMBER HUIZAR OPEN 16th PARK IN THE 50 PARKS INITIATIVE, ANNOUNCE PURCHASE OF 1st AND BROADWAY CIVIC CENTER PARK
LOS ANGELES – Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmember Huizar today opened Spring Street Park in Downtown Los Angeles, the 16th Park in the 50 Parks Initiative. The Mayor also announced the City of Los Angeles has purchased a lot from the State of California on the corner of 1st St and Broadway to create a new public space adjacent to Grand Park and across the street from City Hall.
“Spring Street Park is an example of how the 50 Parks Initiative is bringing green space and recreation facilities where they’re needed the most,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “I am also pleased that we have successfully purchased the lot on 1st St. and Broadway to remove blight and build more healthy public space in Downtown Los Angeles.”
Spring St. Park was designed by Lehrer Architects and is situated on .7 acres of land. It includes walking paths, an open lawn, seating, children’s play elements, native landscaping, and a smart irrigation system. The park’s planning, design, and implementation involved a collaboration among the Mayor’s Office, Council Districts 14 and 9, Recreation and Parks, Engineering, and local stakeholders, including “Friends of Spring Street Park,” a non-profit organization established to assist the park. Funding for Spring Street Park came from Quimby fees.
“As the number of people calling Downtown Los Angeles home has increased five-fold to nearly 50,000 residents in the last decade, one of our greatest needs is additional park space,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “The Spring Street Park and, in the future, new park space at 1st and Broadway will help us fulfill that need.”
Spring Street is the 16th park to be opened through the 50 Parks Initiative, which Mayor Villaraigosa launched in August of 2012. The 50 Parks Initiative takes underutilized properties, many left blighted from the housing crisis, and turns them into neighborhood parks in areas that badly need them.
Each park includes safe and environmentally sustainable features that minimize park maintenance and maximize community impact. Over the past seven years, the Villaraigosa administration has added 670 acres of park space, more than twice the amount of the previous two administrations combined.
“By creating these 50 parks in the least-served neighborhoods of Los Angeles, we are permanently transforming our City,” said Barry A. Sanders, Commission President, Recreation and Parks. “The Department of Recreation and Parks has been adding parks to its stewardship for over 120 years. Since 2005, we added 53 new parks and enlarged 15. With the addition of the 50 Parks Initiative, about 20% of the parks established during this Department’s long history will be the work of the last seven years.”
The Mayor also shared details regarding the newly purchased lot on 1st and Broadway. At nearly two acres, the lot was the home of the first State office building in the Civic Center. In 1976, the building was demolished after earthquake damage and has been left vacant ever since. In June 2013, the City purchased the Civic Center lot from the State of California for $7.5 million. Funding sources included Quimby fees and interest, zone change fees interest, and the Department of Recreation and Parks capital park development funds.
“This property has sat idle for far too long, needlessly costing taxpayers for maintenance and security,” said California Department of General Services Director Fred Klass. ”This sale raises revenue needed to eliminate state debt and provides the City of Los Angeles park space to be enjoyed for generations.”
The Civic Center Park development will occur in stages, beginning with hazardous abatement. As one of the necessary steps to rebuild, a few dozen stray cats in and around the site will be rescued by CATS USA, Inc., and given to the Department of Animal Services. The Department of Animal Services will work with local humane organizations, rescuers, and members of the public to socialize the cats and find homes for them. None of the cats will be euthanized, and no cats currently in shelters will be euthanized to make room for them.
South Pasadena gets the most bike to work pledges from city employess:
If you will recall the South Pasadena City Council in conjunction with Metro challenged the elected officials of the San Gabriel Cities and the City of Los Angeles in securing the largest number of pledges for “Bike to Work Day,” on Thursday May 16, 2013 as part of the official “Bike Week LA” May 13-19 and the results are in. Attached are the results from Metro.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) sponsored “Bike Week LA” activities from May 13-19 to encourage the riding of bicycles to work, school and other destinations throughout LA County. Several studies outline the health, congestion, emissions, and monetary benefits of bicycling. San Gabriel Valley and the City of Los Angeles suffer from congestion and poor air quality and this is an opportunity to promote bicycling as a viable transportation with its many benefits. The City of South Pasadena has long promoted multi-modal transportation options and is firmly committed to combining bicycling with mass transit for longer trips. The Bike to Work challenge was a perfect opportunity for San Gabriel and Los Angeles officials to spread the word and encourage residents, business owners, employers, school districts and others to do their part to improve the quality of life.
When you compare the number of pledges to the total population of the various cities participating, the City of SouthPasadena won the challenge! A thank you to all those in South Pasadena and everywhere in the LA basin who took the challenge. A special thanks to Metro for organizing the event and working to improve the available options for mobility.
If you have any questions about the tabulation, please contact Sarah Tseng, Metro Bike to Work at (213) 922-5634
Streetsblog at last night’s American Planning Association - Los Angeles, awards ceremony. Congratulations to Damien and Sahra.
The Author of Traveling at the Speed of Light appears in SM tonight. The tragedy on September 11, 2001 killed many and hurt many more. Author and Speaker, David Sylvester, tried to make sense of that senseless moment by jumping on his bicycle and connecting with people. Ten years, 33 states and 21 countries later David has evolved from being just a guy with a dead friend into a cross-continental
West Hollywood holds a Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan community meeting this Saturday at 9 am.
Some of the images from Sahra Sulaiman’s review of 10th annual City Lites Inner City Sports and Wellness Fair on Streetsblog.
MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NEW ZONING CODE REFORM WEBSITE
To watch a video on the Re:Code LA website, click HERE
LOS ANGELES – Mayor Villaraigosa today announced the launch of the new Zoning Code reform website, “Re:Code LA”. The new website launch comes in conjunction with the first comprehensive update of the existing Zoning Code since 1946. As a key component of the City’s Development Reform Initiative, the website is a step toward improving Los Angeles’ Zoning Code to reflect the needs of businesses and residents.
“We need a Zoning Code that is easy to understand and reflects the diversity of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “This new website will get community members involved in the reform process and help the City produce a Zoning Code that will streamline the review process and get projects approved fairly and efficiently.”
Re:Code LA, the development reform initiative, is a five-year program that will create a modernized and comprehensible Zoning Code for Los Angeles. The project aims to establish a new code with clear, predictable language that offers a wider variety of zoning options and more community planning tools to better address neighborhood concerns and improve the quality of life in every community. A simplified review process will replace the outdated complicated review process and better facilitate projects consistent with the vision for Los Angeles’ neighborhoods and the City’s General plan, making development more predictable throughout the City.
“The Zoning Code reform speaks to the diversity and sustainability of our communities,” said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who chairs the City’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee. “It not only improves the efficiency of an outdated developmental process. The reform project, which includes a new website, engages the public to allow for more transparency and public participation. In short, it gives business and community folks a greater voice to improve the quality of life for all residents.”
The website launched today will allow Angelenos to stay involved during the five-year Zoning Code reform process. Community members can use the website to access public documents regarding the Zoning Code reform including project summaries and a calendar of events of meetings, hearings and workshops they can attend to be part of the process. The public is also encouraged to use the website to participate in the reform process using the commenting and posting features, and social media connectivity for sharing through Facebook and Twitter.
“Our current Zoning Code is nearly 70 years old and too often hinders innovative development with a web of regulation that stifles much-needed investment in the City of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “By creating a 21st Century Development Code, the City of Los Angeles will support new business by streamlining its development review system, while maintaining transparency and neighborhood protections.”
UCLA is hostin an “Architecture Rumble” all week. Get the details, here. All events free and open to the public.
Underground Bicycle Parking Systems in Japan