Establishing a Voice for Pedestrians in Los Angeles

Nate Berg chronicles the efforts of planner and urban designer Deborah Murphy to establish a pedestrian advocacy group in one of the few large cities in the U.S. that doesn't have one.
April 15, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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While L.A. has a plethora of groups advocating for those on bicycles, including the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and C.I.C.L.E., the path to establishing a voice for pedestrians has been an arduous, and unsuccessful one, until now.

"Murphy is trying to change that. She's spearheading a group called Los Angeles Walks, which is aiming to make pedestrian safety and planning a more important part of the city's conversation."

While the city has long ignored the needs of pedestrians, "things are starting to change," writes Berg. "With a dedicated segment of funding from a transportation-focused sales tax increase, the city is currently on a path to hire two pedestrian coordinators to better understand the needs of the city's walkers. The two coordinators could be on the job as soon as this summer. For Murphy, that's long overdue."

And the efforts of the city to pay more attention to pedestrian issues is a beginning, not an end, to a conversation. "She says the fact that the city is finally coming around to focusing more effort on the pedestrian side of transportation creates even more need for an active and vocal advocacy group. The more people that are involved, the better informed the city can be about where changes are needed."

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Published on Friday, April 13, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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