Mayor Garcetti later on Tuesday will formally announce the first blocks around town that will get some extra attention under his so-called Great Streets Initiative. Nothing you would probably call truly great is envisioned, but the idea is to freshen up the streetscape and sidewalks to be more pedestrian-friendly and attractive to businesses. "[The city will] saturate your street with services," Garcetti said in his state of the city address, where he announced the program. "We’ll make your street accessible to pedestrians, wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles — not just cars. We’ll create an environment where new neighborhood businesses can flourish. We’ll pave the streets and make them green streets.”
Well. Only $800,000 is budgeted so far to get things started. More money might be forthcoming if the City Council agrees to fund it. In case you're of the naive persuasion, the reason there are precisely fifteen streets is pure City Hall politics — one per City Council person. Not to say some of the chosen streets aren't actually good candidates for enhancement, and might come out of this looking better. But come to think of it, some of these are pretty decent walking streets already.
The initial list:
- Highland Park: North Figueroa between Avenue 50 and Avenue 60.
- North Hollywood: Lankershim between Chandler and Victory boulevards.
- Reseda: Sherman Way between Wilbur and Lindley avenues.
- Greater Hollywood: Hollywood Blvd. between La Brea Ave. & Gower St., and Western between Melrose Ave. and 3rd St.
- Westwood Village: Westwood between Wilshire Blvd. and Le Conte Ave.
- Van Nuys: Van Nuys Blvd. between Victory Blvd. and Oxnard St.
- Pacoima: Van Nuys between Laurel Canyon Blvd. and San Fernando Road.
- Hyde Park: Crenshaw between 78th Street and Florence Avenue.
- South LA: Central Avenue between Martin Luther King Blvd. and Vernon Ave.
- Mid-City: Pico between Hauser Blvd. and Fairfax Ave.
- Mar Vista: Venice between Beethoven St. and Inglewood Blvd.
- Northridge: Reseda between Plummer and Parthenia streets.
- Boyle Heights: Cesar Chavez between Evergreen Ave. and St. Louis St.
- San Pedro: Gaffey between 15th St. & the 110 freeway
The 10:30 a.m. media op will be held in Northridge, at the Lum-Ka-Naad Thai restaurant on Reseda Boulevard.