The COVID-19 pandemic has altered nearly every aspect of life in DTLA, with vehicle and pedestrian traffic down as people stay home and practice social distancing the few times that we do go outside. The need for safe spaces for active transportation during COVID-19 has prompted many of us to rethink how the city uses its road space.
Among those supporting changing the city’s limited and often cramped road space use to give Angelenos space to walk, bike and otherwise move in while maintaining a safe distance of at least 6 feet from others are: Councilmember Mike Bonin, who asked LADOT to consider proposals and make recommendations to temporarily repurpose space on some city streets; and the Los Angeles Times which published an editorial urging Mayor Eric Garcetti to convert some streets to open space and suggesting this is an ideal time to experiment with policies that could become part of a post-pandemic Los Angeles.
We at FASTLinkDTLA have added our voices to the movement, signing on to Streets for All founder Michael Schneider’s letter to city and county leaders to create an “emergency street people network.” The letter is endorsed by 20 coalition partners and is representative of this growing movement for more open and safe streets for people in urban environments.
With air quality at its best since the EPA began keeping records in 1980 — and likely the best since the early 1940s — we agree it’s an excellent time to think hard about transit and active transportation in Los Angeles. Be sure to do your part by letting us know what you think of mobility in Downtown LA now, and how you’d like to see it change in the future by taking the Go DTLA survey.