Dear friends and neighbors,

Welcome to the first ever issue of "Street Talk" - the Great Streets Newsletter! Mayor Eric Garcetti created the Great Streets Initiative to partner with local communities on supporting thriving neighborhoods. The Mayor's LA Great Streets Team is excited to use this newsletter as a resource to help spread the word about happenings inside the Great Streets Studio and the exciting work being done on our first 15 street segments.

We will also shine a spotlight on our partners, and let you know of all the ways you can get involved in championing your local Great Street! We look forward to staying in touch, as we work across Los Angeles to make our streets the centerpieces of our neighborhoods.

IN THIS ISSUE :  
  • Details regarding progress being made in some of our communities
  • Dates for previous and upcoming Great Streets meetings and events
  • Overview of year-to-date progress made by the Great Streets team
You can find out more about the Great Streets Initiative by following our blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Instagram. You can also find out more about your local Councilmember and Council District office here.
 
Street Updates

Each newsletter, we'll provide selected updates on progress being made in a few of our communities. See below for updates on the following four streets:
  • Van Nuys Blvd (Council District 7)
  • Central Ave (Council District 9)
  • Venice Blvd (Council District 11)
  • Reseda Blvd (Council District 12)
And stay tuned for updates on all of our communities & partners!
Van Nuys Blvd between Laurel Canyon and Bradley Ave
Council District 7 - Councilmember Felipe Fuentes

The Great Streets Team is working to reimagine urban streets in ways that promote health. The Los Angeles chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI-LA) was recently selected to be a recipient of $25,000 in support of a national “Healthy Corridors" Initiative” funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These funds will be used to study and implement health-focused upgrades to Van Nuys Blvd. ULI-LA has partnered with Mayor Garcetti's Great Streets Initiative, Councilmember Fuentes, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to look at implementing short-term and long range projects. The goal for Van Nuys Blvd. is to promote economic, social, physical and environmental health for Pacoima residents and businesses. The team will work with arts organizations and other advocates in Pacoima to foster community participation and visioning for this street.
Councilmember Felipe Fuentes leads the ULI-LA partners on a tour of Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima (Photo Credit: ULI-LA)
Central Ave between Vernon Blvd and Adams Blvd
Council District 9 - Councilmember Curren Price

Great Streets, in collaboration with Council District 9 staff and LADOT, has started working with Nelson/Nygaard to lead a community process to consider upgrades to the roadway that promote Central Avenue as a key destination in South L.A. Part of the project includes a partnership with Kounkuey Design Initiative that will analyze and activate a series of quiet neighborhood streets off of Central for a “Play Street” pilot. The scope also involves working with “Free Lots Angeles” to activate a vacant lot sometime in Spring 2015. A community kick-off event is scheduled for April 11 (see "Mark Your Calendar" below!), with a “pop-up” community event scheduled for summer 2015.
Central Avenue community feedback from December 2015 South LA CicLAvia (Photo Credit: LA Great Streets)
Venice Blvd between Beethoven St and Inglewood Blvd
Council District 11 - Councilmember Mike Bonin

The Great Streets team, in collaboration with Councilmember Bonin and LADOT, has worked with Fehr & Peers on a community-led design transformation for Venice Blvd. The community kickoff event occurred at a pop-up open house on Sunday January 25, 2015 across from the Mar Vista farmers market. The months of March and April will focus on mobile open houses to continue to hear ideas from community members, providing information for a preliminary design by May.
Councilmember Mike Bonin exploring opportunities for the Venice Blvd Roadway during January 25 Pop-Up Open House (Photo Credit: LA Great Streets)
Reseda Blvd between Plummer St and Parthenia St
Council District 12 - Councilmember Mitch Englander

April saw a major milestone for Reseda Boulevard in Northridge! The entire roadway was resurfaced by the City's Bureau of Streets Services and then LADOT follow up by installing a new safer street design featuring protected bike lanes and high-visibility cross walks. On a parallel track, Great Streets has been working with LA-Más on the design, outreach, and implementation of a “placemaking” strategy. On January 27, Great Streets, LA Más, and Council District 12 hosted a workshop at Joyce's Cafe on Reseda Blvd. where 40 community members gave feedback on these ideas. LA-Más is in the process of installing the new sidewalk pattern and street furniture. The public unveiling will take place on April 11 at 10am. See "Mark Your Calnendars" below for more details!
Sneak Peek at the Sidewalk Improvements on Reseda Blvd! Join us on Saturday 4/11 at 10a to see them in action (Photo Credit: LA-Más)
Mark Your Calendars!
Saturday 4/11, 10a - 1p:

Central Avenue Community Workshop
Location: 

Council District 9 Constituent Services Center
4301 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90011
Saturday 4/11, 10a - 1p:

Reseda Blvd Phase I project unveiling, tree-planting, and community barbecue
Location: 

Benjamin Moore Catalina Paints
8814 Reseda Blvd
Northridge, CA 91324
April 6th - April 12th:

Venice Blvd interactive posters will be on display for input. 

April 20th, 6 - 8p:

Venice Blvd open house.
RSVP Here!

May 2nd, 9a:

"Bike with Mike" Family Bike Ride, with a Great Streets booth for public input.
RSVP here!
Location:

Venice Grind

12224 Venice Blvd

Location: 

Mar Vista Library
12006 Venice Blvd

Location:

Fire Station 62 at Venice and Marcasel

 
April 18, 9:45a-1:15pm

Central Ave Community Walk
Location:

Central Ave Jazz Park
Central Ave & 42nd Pl
April 21, 6-7p

Great Streets business workshop with VEDC.
Location:

CD District Office
4301 Central Ave
The Great Streets Studio has also spent significant time cultivating cultural and programmatic partnerships. We are in process of partnering with DeLab on an event scheduled for early May celebrating one of our favorite authors, Jane Jacobs, and her seminal text on creating vibrant communities called The Death and Life of the Great American City.

Look out for details regarding our kick-off event during the first week of May!

What’s Happening Inside the Great Streets Studio?

Recently, the Great Streets Studio reached two big milestones:

  • Great Streets Working Group

    The Great Streets Team reconvened our Great Streets Working Group -- the multi-departmental group established by Executive Directive #1 to implement the Great Streets Initiative. This group helped develop the initial list of street segments to target, and is now tasked with identifying policy and program solutions that help the City better partner internally and externally to develop and deliver Great Streets. The Working Group is in the process of developing a work plan for 2015. 

  • Great Streets Network of Champions

    In February, we convened our inaugural gathering of the Great Streets Network of Champions. Chaired by Karen Mack, Executive Director of LA Commons, this is a group of community leaders who can share experiences and best practices on community revitalization, and help the Great Streets Studio understand community goals.

We also started a Maintenance Walk program for our great street segments, which is a proactive coordination of city agencies to deliver services that maintain existing street infrastructure (e.g. replacing street signs, painting curb, small asphalt repairs, etc).

To date, we've completed Maintenance Walks for seven of our streets, to assess what general maintenance tasks need to be completed. We expect to complete additional Maintenance Walks for our remaining streets by July 1, 2015. Here's an example of the types of results so far:

What is Great Streets Anyways?

The Great Streets Initiative was formed with Mayor Garcetti's first executive directive in office. At its core, Great Streets is a place-based partnership between City departments and community leaders to make sure our streets reflect and drive the economic and social vibrancy of our neighborhoods.
 
Los Angeles has more streets than anywhere else in America. At 7,500 centerline miles, our streets make up about 15% of all the land in the City of Los Angeles. They are our largest shared public space, forming and reflecting the character of our neighborhoods, our people, and our city.

This initiative will take advantage of this underutilized asset to support thriving neighborhoods. We will develop projects that activate public spaces, provide economic revitalization, increase public safety, enhance local culture, and support great neighborhoods. By reimagining our streetscape, we can create gathering places for Angelenos to come together, whether they travel by car, transit, bike or on foot.

Currently, we are partnering with 15 distinct communities to pilot this approach. In the near-term, we will begin to change our streets with temporary treatments, demonstration projects, and programming. In the long-term, we will make permanent changes to curbs, street lighting, street trees, and street furniture.
 
We look forward to working with neighborhood stakeholders to develop a vision for each corridor. Great Streets will be a bottom-up and community-based process. After all, no one knows more about our neighborhoods than you.
 
PAST MEETINGS & EVENTS
  • Thursday 3/12 – Free Lots Angeles community workshop
  • Tuesday 3/17 – Great Streets Technical Advisory Committee meeting
  • Tuesday 3/17 – Spring Street Parklet Rededication
  • Saturday 3/21 – Open Streets Delegation Workshop
  • Sunday 3/22 – San Fernando Valley CicLAvia
  • Monday 3/23 – Community Workshop on Reseda to present street upgrades
  • Tuesday 3/24 – VEDC Access-to-capital workshop on Sherman Way
  • Saturday 3/28 – Avalon Green Street Groundbreaking with Sanitation
  • Tuesday 3/31 – VEDC Access-to-capital workshop in Pacoima
  • Tuesday 4/7 - VEDC Access-to-capital workshop in Boyle Heights

    Got any questions or want us to highlight your event? Get in touch at greatstreets@lacity.org.

    And we'll see you out there on the street!
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Great Streets, All rights reserved.

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