Walkability 'Growing Pains' in Los Angeles

By many estimates, a city known for its pedestrian unfriendliness is developing pockets of local walkability. Minor disputes over pedestrian rights may add up to something bigger.

May 15, 2015, 8:00 AM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Pedestrian Overpass

Tony Webster / Flickr

In a CityLab article, Laura Bliss writes about the "growing pains" Los Angeles may feel as its auto-friendly institutions learn to accommodate walkers. From the article: "with the city's continued expansion of rail service, development around new transit stations, and blossoming 'suburban downtowns' like Long Beach and Pasadena, Los Angeles is projected to rank 11th among 30 U.S. metros in walkability in the near future."

This ongoing transitions has sparked local disputes. They include:

  • In a repopulating downtown, pedestrians have received jaywalking tickets for crossing after the red hand begins to flash.
  • During this month's Big Parade, urban hikers exchanged heated words with a man who fenced off a public staircase out of concerns about crime.
With City Council still slow to act, "a critical mass of pedestrianism just might eventually force NIMBYs aside."


Wednesday, May 6, 2015 in CityLab

Street-level view of sharrow symbol on asphalt with parked car in background

How Sharrows Became Cycling’s Most Hated Symbol

Originally designed as a low-cost way to encourage safer road sharing between bikes and cars, the sharrow has become a symbol of the lack of commitment to protected bike infrastructure in many cities.

August 2, 2022 - Denverite

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

View from middle of street in downtown Telluride, Colorado with mountains in background

Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity

A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.

August 5, 2022 - Governing

Women Public Space

Urban Design Through a Gender Lens

Building cities to be safe and accessible for women and LGBTQIA+ people has benefits for all users of public space.

39 minutes ago - Architecture Daily

Rendering of downtown Milwaukee sports stadium with soccer field

Sports Stadiums Bring Few Economic Benefits

While their developers often tout jobs and local economic development as benefits of major stadium projects, research shows these venues often make little impact on local economies.

1 hour ago - Urban Milwaukee

Dallas Freeways

A How-To for ‘Freeway Fighters’

Ten recommendations for effective freeway removal advocacy.

2 hours ago - Strong Towns

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.