A new roundup of Walkability Wins. This week we’re showcasing the movement by highlighting more places across the country advancing pedestrian-friendly agendas.
Los Angeles, California
Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles has been reconfigured enormously. The street has been reduced from 6 lanes to 4 and has bus-only lanes in each direction. This is one of seven new bus-only lanes across the city. In addition to the reconfiguration, pedestrian upgrades were added, including upgraded crosswalks. It also included protected bike lanes.
A segment of Pike Street has been closed to traffic and it has created a small pedestrian oasis. This will not only be beneficial to tourists who often find themselves near Pike Place Market, taking pictures of the neon sign, but also creates spaces for people to congregate and enhances walkability and the vibrancy of Seattle. We hope to see more of these street closures that create pedestrian-friendly places.
The revitalization efforts in Indianapolis include closing off part of the street for pedestrians in order to create a more inviting environment on Monument Circle. The goal is to create a mini-park area that includes daily public art, live music, food and beverage and community programming. The city is renovating some streets as part of the plan, including Georgia Street, which will be redeveloped into a more pedestrian-friendly street.
Spokane has eliminated parking minimums for housing half a mile from bus lines. This is in part to address the housing crisis we are experiencing. There is also a national trend of cities moving towards more walkable and dense development. These ordinances give developers the option to not construct parking and therefore decrease rents. According to some studies, parking can raise rents as much as 17%, depending on location.
Due to various circumstances, widening plans on I-5 and I-205 in Oregon have been postponed. First, Governor Kotek ordered the Oregon Department of Transportation to pause freeway tolling until 2026. The tolls would serve as revenue to pay for the expansion project. Second, the costs of the expansion had increased exponentially due to inflation on highway construction. Advocacy organizations like No More Freeways have celebrated the project postponements.
To catch up on previous installments of Walkability Wins, visit our blog. Have a win? Send it to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.