Gathering Community Support – Eagle Rock Takes Back the Boulevard
May 24, 2012 Leave a comment
Take Back the Boulevard is an initiative created by residents to improve the quality of life in Eagle Rock through equalizing the mode share on Colorado Boulevard. In Eagle Rock, Colorado Boulevard is the main thoroughfare, a 6 lane roadway connecting major highways and freeways. A more equitable mode share on Colorado Boulevard will facilitate more transportation options and economic opportunities. On the Boulevard, 83% of the distance between one store front to another – 120 feet – is dedicated to vehicular traffic only. Of the 120 feet of public space, including sidewalks and roads, pedestrians and bicyclists are confined to 20 feet of area.
Continually frustrated with the safety, car focused development, and safety of Colorado Boulevard, residents, businesses, schools, and visitors decided to bring their issues to decision makers. Take Back the Boulevard’s strategy for creating the most impact on policy and development is building consensus through community leadership and voices. The organization actively organized forums to collect feedback from the public through public workshops, targeted outreach meetings, and presentations to community based organizations (CBOs) and elected officials.
Recently, Take Back the Boulevard presented the issue and community’s feedback to the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiatives (LANI). Details on public outreach, strategy, list of community asks, and photos of problem areas are provided in the presentation, available here (dropbox). The summary community asks are coupled with recent photographs of the problem, starting on page 16 of the presentation. Organizers found that these photographs facilitated a better response by residents, elected officials, and city staff. At the next meeting on June 5th, see flyer above, this presentation and neighborhood consensus will be discussed. A list of feedback points pulled from the presentation:
- Make it easier and safer to cross the street through bulbouts
- Mark and add signals to crosswalks
- Reduce speed of vehicles to promote safety
- Entice people to walk along the Boulevard
- Install trees and landscaping along the sidewalks
- Widen sidewalks
- Make it easier and safer for bicycles with well marked bicycle lanes and safe bicycle storage (i.e. bicycle corrals and sidewalk racks)
- Consider low-cost solutions
Additionally, Take Back the Boulevard plans to monitor the implementation of the Los Angeles Bicycle Mater Plan (“LA Bicycle Plan”) to find misalignment with road projects being currently implemented but approved before the creation of the Bicycle Plan. The organization is run by an independent steering committee and it’s tax exemption status is supported by The Eagle Rock Association.