Learning from Long Beach

29Jul07

Downtown Long Beach isn’t what most people would expect. It’s nice. It’s clean. It’s friendly. People walk there, and they take the bus or the train in large numbers.

The Metro Blue Line could be a model for so many corridors in Los Angeles. Ventura, Van Nuys, Hollywood, Sunset, etc. Streets that accommodate the car, but cater to the pedestrian. A train running right down the center of the street. A bar or restaurant on every corner. Brick crosswalks. Historic street lights. Trees. It feels as if a smaller San Francisco or Boston is about to happen. Well, at least an attempt.

That’s what L.A. needs. Downtown. Century City. The Valley. It needs to make itself friendlier to walk, ride or bike. It needs a long range plan that includes every vital hub that is considered to be part of L.A. And it needs to start now.

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