Want to take your pedestrianism to the next level? Los Angeles Walks is having WalkLAvia June 23 starting at Wilshire and Grand and will be a six mile stroll down Wilshire. Start with them or meet them–regardless, they’ll be walk, walk, walking!
Why do articles like this annoy me?
Why did I see it, close my browser, stumble upon it again, get annoyed again, and read through it again, grinding my teeth?
How is it that a little, well-intentioned list has dug itself under my skin like a tick who refuses to dislodge itself?
How can people in Los Angeles read this and chuckle, “Yeah! This is great!”?
Am I the only one who finds articles about Los Angeles and driving and traffic to be a terrible cliché?
Were things like this created in 1996 and are now being unearthed in irony?
Yeah, yeah, yeah: Los Angeles has a lot of traffic and Los Angeles has a lot of people who drive and Los Angeles is really spread out. We get it, you guys. These are facts about our city that we cannot escape and, in a way, sets us apart from other metropolitan areas. This said, we don’t often think about all the resources we use up just to make our city work. It isn’t that we’re greedy it’s just a fact of life: we are a big city, we use a lot of things. Local filmmaker Patrick Jean made a little video that pointed to our use of “lots of things” which he directly related to Los Angeles traffic and oil. It’s a clever little allegory for our often indulgent culture that will definitely make you go hmmm.
I remember watching one of the Lethal Weapon movies as a child and being scared to death of crossing the street without a crosswalk because of a scene in one of the films where a jaywalker is antagonized for crossing the street. That little moment imprinted a respect for designated pedestrian exchanges and made the danger of running through traffic a little more scary. In Los Angeles, there are a lot of cars and immense six lane streets that has traffic going in all directions. Even without any cars in the street, running from one side of the street to another is a difficult game of human Frogger. This isn’t New York: you can’t just casually stroll around cars.
We got a note from Alissa Walker last week that directly related to the difficulty of crossing the street in Los Angeles. This was a positive message though: apparently near where we live, a neighbor had pushed to get a new crosswalk and traffic signal near the Hollywood Guitar Center at the Vista/Martel and Sunset Blvd intersection. After some frustrating and long bouts with the city, there is now a crosswalk and traffic light connecting everyone in the neighborhood to all the neighboring businesses. Instead of having to walk five or six blocks to the next traffic signal or dash across oncoming traffic, there is now a safer way for pedestrians to travel. This got us thinking: what does it mean when you do or do not have a crosswalk in an area? Why is this important? What does it represent? Well, it means quite a lot and is a signal that travel in Los Angeles is changing.
In one of the funniest LA headlines and news stories, apparently a big rig with fruit crashed on the 210 and “created a jam.” We’re not sure if there were any injuries to people but 35K pounds of fruit got a little banged up.