A 'Walk in the Park' Needs a 'Walk to the Park'

Several strategies and initiatives seek to make parks more accessible on foot in the county of Los Angeles. Clement Lau, an L.A. County planner, summarizes a few of these strategies and initiatives.

Read Time: 2 minutes

March 19, 2019, 11:00 AM PDT

By wadams92101

Los Angeles County is employing a multi-pronged effort to make its parks more accessible. L.A. County planner Clement Lau writes about these efforts. Most of these efforts or initiatives have neither originated nor are limited to L.A. County. They are intended to apply everywhere they are needed in the Country. Under a half-mile from residence to park has become the standard for an adequate number and dispersion of parks. However, distance isn’t the only barrier to parks. Other barriers include lack of sidewalks and bike lanes, speeding vehicles, crime, and other things that can make a walk or bike ride to a park feel unsafe or unpleasant. 

  • Safe Routes to Parks – A joint effort of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership to provide evidence-based best practices to create safe access to parks.
  • 10-Minute Walk Campaign – A joint effort of the aforementioned NRPA, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to promote the development of parks within a 10 minute walk of all residences. The initiative provides grants and technical assistance to support planning efforts that further the 10-minute walk goal. It has also created a useful and widely used park planning tool called ParkServe.
  • Step by Step Pedestrian Plan – A plan developed by the LA County Dept. of Public Health is a "tailored approach" to pedestrian planning by involving residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to meet community needs. 
  • Vision Zero Action Plan – LA County, like many other municipal and regional governments, has its own "vision zero" plan. While the term has become somewhat overused, LA County’s VZ Plan prioritizes the obvious but rarely adequately implemented approach that involves "acknowledging that people make mistakes."

For a more detailed description of the these initiatives, as well as links to the programs, please refer to the source article.

Monday, March 18, 2019 in UrbDeZine

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Aerial view of dense single-family homes in neighborhood still under construction

How Virginia Counties Use Zoning to Stifle Development

Some state legislators are proposing action at the state level as counties block development using zoning and development requirements even as housing prices rise sharply in the region.

January 23, 2023 - The Virginia Mercury

New York City Coronavirus

The Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Remake Downtown

Urban cores around the country were transforming into live, work, and play destinations before the pandemic. The pandemic was a setback for this transformation, but it could also be a rare opportunity. It’s up to city leadership to seize it.

January 23, 2023 - The Washington Post

Rendering of red seven-story student housing building with students walking in open grassy plaza in front of building

L.A. Times Editorial Board Calls for CEQA Reform

The Board argues that the environmental law, while important, has too often been ‘weaponized’ by NIMBY groups to delay or halt housing development.

January 31 - Los Angeles Times

Seattle buses in line at a depot with Seattle skyline in background

Seattle Brings Free Transit to Public Housing

Linking transit programs to housing can lower administrative costs and streamline the process for riders.

January 31 - Route Fifty

Broad street in downtown Columbus, Ohio with two pedestrians in crosswalk

Columbus Could Lower Downtown Speed Limits

The city council will vote on a proposal to lower speed limits to 25 miles per hour to improve safety and make downtown more walkable and welcoming to pedestrians.

January 31 - The Columbus Dispatch