Monday, November 21, 2011

Turning L.A.'s Car Culture into L.A.'s Bike & Pedestrian Culture

Photo: Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

Today we celebrated the City's first Green Bike Lanes on Spring St. in Downtown and First St. in Boyle Heights. I worked to get First Street on the City's Master Bike Plan and as a Metro Dir., we were able to secure funding for the green, pre-formed thermoplastic lane markings that are now in place on First Street. On Spring Street, we painted Green lanes throughout the route.

We'll see how both options hold up and where we can do more in the future. L.A. has long been known for its car culture - we want to turn that on its head - make Los Angeles a bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly city. Thanks to everyone who helped get this done, especially the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the bicycling community, the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Metro, the Mayor and my colleagues on the City Council.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Council Makes Tough but Necessary Decision on 6th Street Bridge

L.A. Times photo

Council took a tough but necessary vote to approve the EIR for the re-construction of the 6th Street Bridge today. The experts tell us the bridge must come down-it has an alkali-silica reaction that is weakening it and there is a 70% chance it could fall with a 7.0 earthquake over the next 50 years. I’d like to see a new bridge that maintains as many of its iconic features as possible while looking to the future.

Council Approves El Pueblo Church Lease

Also, today the Council voted to approve a lease agreement for The United Methodist Church at El Pueblo. This church has been around for a century and I am happy to have helped them secure a lease that allows them to stay at El Pueblo for at least 30 more years while also honoring our separation of church and state laws. The church is also creating a museum that will be open to all visitors.

Working with Community and Preservationists to Protect Elephant Hill

In a significant victory for open-space preservation and protecting natural habitat, the City Council voted unanimously this week to sell 5 acres of Elephant Hill in El Sereno to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) to permanently protect and preserve this as open space.

I supported the El Sereno community and fought to protect 19 acres of Elephant Hill against a large housing development plan that doubled in size over the years and threatened to eradicate an open-space hillside that had been enjoyed by the community for decades. The City of Los Angeles bought the land as part of a lawsuit settlement.

The MRCA proposes a 5-acre trail development from one side of the hill to the other and will assume full maintenance and make infrastructure and drainage improvements. Working with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the MRCA are now applying for a Prop 84 urban greening grant of $1.8 million for Elephant Hill. Wednesday’s City Council action in favor of my motion to approve the sale received overwhelming support from the El Sereno community and open-space advocates.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

For those who’d like to see Broadway reclaim its past glory and the L.A. Streetcar return to Downtown, please be my guest at “The Future of Your Downtown” forum I’m hosting tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre.

Come enjoy an evening in one of Broadway's beautiful historic theaters and learn how a new streetcar system and a historically restored Broadway is good for Downtown and all of Los Angeles.

This is a free public forum and all are welcome to attend.

Hope to see you there,


Read Downtown News preview story HERE.

Facebook users, click here to RSVP.

The Future of Your Downtown Forum

Orpheum Theatre

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Orpheum Theatre
842 S. Broadway

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Project Open House • Mix & Mingle

6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Presentation • Panel Discussion

Dennis Allen • L.A. Streetcar Inc.
Linda Dishman • Los Angeles Conservancy
Ed Kelsey • League of Historic American Theatres
Russell Brown • Historic Downtown Business Improvement District
Melani Smith • Melendrez Design Partners
Tom Rothmann • Los Angeles Department of City Planning
Curt Gibbs • CRA/LA
Robin Blair • METRO
Karin Liljegren, AIA • Omgivning Architecture & Interior Design

Los Angeles Downtown News

The Orpheum Theatre
Clifton's Cafeteria
Downtown L.A. Neighborhood Council
Los Angeles Conservancy
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
L.A. Fashion Business Improvement District
Historic Downtown Business Improvement District
South Park Business Improvement District