It’s just a small stretch of quiet street, but in Los Angeles — where nearly 300 people were killed in traffic last year and where neighborhoods were designed to maximize vehicle traffic — the permanent closure of Griffith Park Drive to car traffic represents a welcome new way. thinking about the roads. Our streets, after all, are public spaces, and repurposing them to their safest and best human use is an enterprise that must be brought to all parts of Los Angeles.
In that spirit, The Times asked readers where they would like to see more car-free streets. The suggestions cover many parts of Los Angeles and mostly call for resurfacing streets that already see heavy use by pedestrians and cyclists, where driving is already inconvenient or slow. However, some readers wish LA would be bold and close long arteries to motorists.
As a cyclist and pedestrian, I’d say all of these ideas are worth considering (although many drivers would probably disagree). At the very least, the suggestions show that many of us want safer and more complete roads.
To the editor: A candidate for LA’s next car-free street might be Crystal Springs Drive in Griffith Park.
From the Highway 5 off-limits to the Ranger Station, Crystal Springs is two wide split roads, one northbound and one southbound. I’d love it if the city would only put two-way car traffic on one of those streets, and reserve the other for bikes, walking, skating, and scooters.
It’s great that many of the park’s steeper roads are now car-free and are great for hill-climbing bikers, but flatter spots like Crystal Springs would be great for families, kids and other less adventurous riders. harshly
Joe Linton, Koreatown
The writer is the editor of Streetsblog LA.
To the editor: Make all 16 miles of Wilshire Boulevard – from downtown to the ocean – our Central Park, to walk, run, bike and enjoy a green, tree-filled space where Angelenos can experience their neighbors, nature and a reimagined city life.
According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, “stretching nearly sixteen miles from downtown to the ocean, Wilshire Boulevard is the symbolic backbone of Los Angeles.”
Michael and Laura Bellotti, Los Angeles
To the editor: Of all the streets in Los Angeles, Broadway in downtown LA, stretching from Grand Park to the Ace Hotel, offers the greatest potential for a car-free zone.
In addition to historic sites including the Bradbury Building or the Orpheum and Globe theaters, it offers several amenities such as Grand Central Market, the Precinct gay nightclub, and prominent commercial establishments such as the Apple Tower Theater.
A car-free Broadway makes downtown more attractive to pedestrians, tourists and businesses. Nearby 7th Street, Pershing Square, Civic Center and the soon-to-open Historic Broadway subway stations provide easy access from most of Los Angeles. Allowing only buses to travel would also help public transit in a similar way to Market Street in San Francisco.
Branko Burcksen, Los Angeles
To the editor: As someone who tries to make it to every CicLAvia event (including last Sunday’s, which was phenomenally well attended), it’s clear to me that Angelenos want more car-free spaces for walking, biking, skateboarding, scootering, and using of wheelchairs.
I live in Pasadena and would like to see Green Street closed to car traffic. It’s already a one-way street, it has amazing tree cover, and there are many beautiful buildings with retail space that could be revitalized with this type of use.
Pasadena has a lot of car traffic and I really believe this could be alleviated by more dedicated bike lanes. However, these conversions have been very slow in Pasadena, despite the growing number of citizens doing it.
Sarah Richart, Pasadena
To the editor: I’m glad to see a road in Griffith Park closed to cars, especially after the tragic death of a cyclist on another road. Golden Gate Park in San Francisco recently closed the main east-west thoroughfare to cars as well, creating a safer and more pedestrian-friendly environment.
I live near the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where pedestrians regularly block the sidewalks or spill into the street. I would like to see Hollywood Boulevard closed to cars, at least for a few blocks, and become more like Times Square in New York.
Jillian Robertson, Los Angeles
To the editor: I would like to see Avenue 56 connecting Figueroa Street and York Boulevard in Highland Park closed to pedestrians on weekends.
Caroline Valley, Los Angeles
To the editor: Born and raised in LA, I love the city and would visit more often if it had safer and more accessible public space for pedestrians and bikes.
As demonstrated in California, across America and around the world, vehicle-free public spaces have increased tourism and helped prevent injuries and deaths, resulting in more welcoming environments for visitors and local families.
I am strongly in favor of the growth of such areas in Los Angeles and would be willing to visit them more often if they are developed.
Mark W. Dixon, Huntington Beach
To the editor: Here is my list of roads to be permanently closed to traffic:
- Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea and Highland. Who wants to sit in traffic on this stretch of road? Give tourists their space.
Joe Rodriguez-Fritts, West Hollywood