July 2015
A scene from last month's Third Thursdays on Pico on June 18
Dear neighbor,

Welcome to the July edition of the Los Angeles Great Streets Initiative's monthly newsletter Street Talk. Here we'll discuss all the exciting happenings inside Mayor Eric Garcetti's Great Streets Studio and out in each of our Great Street communities throughout Los Angeles. If after reading this you need more great news in your life, visit our blog
, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or check us out Instagram (if you're into that sort of thing).

  • Great Streets Challenge Grant Applications are in
  • Cesar Chavez Pedestrian Improvements arriving this Month
  • Central Ave Facade Improvement Grant Funds Available 
  • Great Streets Maintenance Walks Update  
  • Featured Business of the month: La Parrilla in Boyle Heights
  • Central Ave Jazz Festival
  • Revisit Reseda Boulevard 
See you on the street!

-The Great Streets team

P.S. Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July celebration. If you're still unsure of what to do or where to go on Saturday, check out this list of LA places to partake in the festivities and gaze at the fireworks. 
Challenge Grant Applications are in!

Over the past two months, applicants have been busy envisioning creative ways to imagine our streets as public space. Between our May 27th Workshop, June 2nd Webinar and all the questions we received in between, we knew we were going to receive some amazing ideas. When the application period closed on June 30th, we received over 30 proposals for our Great Streets corridors!

All 15 of our Great Streets received at least one exciting application for the Challenge Grant. Cesar Chavez Avenue and North Figueroa Street had the most applications submitted. All of our applications are being carefully considered by our evaluation panel and feasibility team. On July 13, the selected candidates will be announced and we’ll being moving forward with each project! Stay tuned for more! !
Cesar Chavez Pedestrian Improvements 

With the help of Mayor Garcetti's Office, Councilman José Huizar, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), the first phase of a pedestrian safety pilot project will be installed at the intersection of Cesar Chavez & St. Louis Street. 

One of the reasons that Cesar Chavez is such a great street is the lively and vibrant pedestrian activity. However, it is also one of the most dangerous, with a higher crash rate along the corridor than in other areas of the city, largely due to unsafe speeds and street design at the major intersections.
Boyle Heights residents cited pedestrian safety concerns as a top priority 
By piloting "intersection tightening" at one location, LADOT can assess the success of their design before installing it at other major intersections along the corridor. Stay tuned as we schedule a community open house to give more details on the improvements over the summer. For more information, visit our blog.
Informational flyer for the pedestrian improvements
Central Ave Façade Improvement Program

The Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department is offering funds designed to help improve the physical appearance of individual businesses and commercial buildings along our Central Avenue Great Street. Their Central Avenue Façade Improvement Program emphasizes quick and easy exterior improvements such as awnings, new signage, doors, windows, paint and mural restoration.

A maximum grant of $25,000 can be awarded to a single storefront. A short application is required and no matching funds by the property owner or tenant are necessary. The Department is also offering a 2-1 matching loan of up to $100,000. If you are interested, applications are on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, including application, visit their website.  
The Façade Improvement Program could help to restore murals like these along Central Ave. 
Great Streets Maintenance Walks

As part of our Great Street Working Group established in Executive Directive #1 has been hard at work delivering coordinated maintenance improvements along the Great Streets Corridors over the last year. From December to July, the Great Streets Studio has led site visits for each eligible Great Street with City Staff, Council Offices and community members to identify opportunities to proactively maintain our streets.

Thanks to these visits, City departments have made over 400 fixes to elements of each Great Streets' infrastructure, including filling potholes, repairing trip hazards, re-striping crosswalks, repainting curbs and replacing signs. Further, our conversations with community members and stakeholders are helping us understand the unique issues on each street and tailor our approach accordingly.

In the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2015, Mayor Garcetti budgeted an additional $1.25 million for Bureau of Street Services to conduct even more intensive repairs and maintenance of Great Streets' infrastructure, including roadbed, sidewalks, curbs, trees, among others. Starting in July 2015, each Great Street will receive weekly street sweeping!
LADOT replacing signs along Western Ave. 
Monthly Business Spotlight: La Parrilla Restaurant 

Long before Brooklyn Avenue was renamed in honor of the late Cesar Chavez, La Parrilla stood doling out traditional Mexican fare along the Avenue. Opened in 1978, the now 37 year-old restaurant has become a neighborhood institution, serving locals and visitors alike. The popular family style restaurant is known for its decorated papel picado (Mexican paper cut-outs), colorful lighting, and strolling mariachis.

But decade-old restaurants don’t survive on ambiance alone – owner Maria Carmen Salas prides herself on their sections of grilled meats and veggies (as their name implies), fresh guacamole and hand pressed tortillas. The mural on the wall of her with Richard Alatorre and Oscar de la Hoya also helps.  La Parrilla is located at 2126 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights.Visit their website for more info.

Take a quick virtual tour of La Parrilla via Google!
Images courtesy of  Cafe de Le O
20th Annual Central Ave Jazz Festival 

Mark your calendars: Our Central Avenue Great Streets corridor will host the 20th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival on July 25th and 26th. Over 30,000 attendees are estimated to attend the free community festival which takes place between Vernon to Martin Luther King Blvd. Councilman Price and the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) present the festival which features over 20 acts spread across 3 venues celebrating the rich cultural and musical history of the City’s Jazz Corridor.

Along with distinguished jazz, blues, and Latin jazz musicians, the festival will include arts and crafts, food, local merchants and a Business & Jobs Pavilion providing guests with lots to do. Music kicks off Saturday, July 25th at 11:30am in front of the newly renovated historic Dunbar Hotel.
A scene from last year's Central Avenue Jazz Festival 
Save the Date: Revisit Reseda 
Join us Thursday, July 30th  between 6 - 8:30pm as we revisit our Reseda Boulevard Great Street. We'll be celebrating the completed installation of our street and sidewalk redesign with a community art walk, scavenger hunt and bike ride! For more information visit our website. 
Upcoming Meeting and Events for July
Check out these and many more great urbanist-y events on our calendar

Have an event you want to share with us? Send us an email!

Interested in past editions of Street Talk?
Check out our June, May and April newsletters
Our Blog
Our Blog