A forum with the aim of making Los Angeles a more “walkable” city might seem like a cruel joke to Los Angelinos in a city where pedestrians are afterthoughts in urban planning. Yet, the L.A. Metro, the regional transportation authority, was holding a symposium this morning titled “Walking into the Future City” with the goal of planning, designing and building a more pedestrian-friendly city. There would seem to be numerous challenges to this goal, from the budget crunch hampering L.A. City, County and the state governments (it’s an expensive prospect to build more walking & hiking trails, or to build more pedestrian bridges and walkways) to the difficulty of redesigning car-centric neighborhoods (extensive construction needed to lengthen and widen sidewalks, and the like). Can L.A. be molded into a city that caters to its walkers, and if it could be, would Los Angelinos take advantage with a stroll through the neighborhood?
Robin Blair, director of County-wide Planning & Development at L.A. Metro