In the name of revitalization, safety, and efficiency, a landmark Los Angeles boulevard is about to enter a slimming phase, called the “Road Diet,” in an effort to make room for more pedestrian-friendly spaces.
The City Council voted last week to spend $1.8 million in Measure R transportation funds for phase one of Councilman Jose Huizar’s decade-long Bringing Back Broadway Initiative. This Streetscape Plan, also known as “The Road Diet,” will make Broadway a “safer, more pedestrian-oriented street,” said Huizar in a recent Los Angeles Downtown News article.
While the city secures the necessary funding to bring the project full circle, the two-phase plan will begin with a “dress rehearsal” to showcase what would happen permanently if all goes smoothly. “This Phase I Dress Rehearsal will set the stage for the full implementation of a Streetscape Plan that prioritizes people over vehicles,” Huizar explains.
Block-by-block, sidewalks will be widened, bike racks and plant life will appear, and foot traffic for pedestrians and businesses will increase, making Broadway a more enjoyable place to walk, shop, and spend time, according to BBB’s website. In addition, the streets between Second and 11th on Broadway will lose a lane of traffic, reducing four lanes to three.
Like our ‘city by the bay’ neighbor to the North, Los Angeles is familiarizing itself with urban planning that revitalizes neighborhoods not just by way of shiny storefronts and restaurants but in terms of how we experience an area. By reducing roadways and creating “parklets,” spaces that serve as extensions of the sidewalk to provide amenities and green spaces, the future of some of our most metropolitan and famed avenues looks even brighter.