The Importance of Walkable Neighborhoods in Los Angeles

Huffington Post just posted this article about creating walkable neighborhoods in LA. This is a cause that I truly believe in and it’s what I think is lacking in LA. Of course, we are in a spread out city, but if neighborhoods were more walkable, people would spend more time in their neighborhoods and then more small businesses could open up to serve the people who live there. Smog would be less, people would exercise more, cars would slow down and everyone would be happier. They only people who wouldn’t be as happy would be car companies, but they’re the ones who ruined the city in the first place – sorry car companies – it’s true. Had they not lobbied along with politicians in the mid 1900s, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess – with everyone fighting for and against getting more public transit. It would already be embedded into the culture.

When I ask buyers what they want in their new home – one of the first things they mention is  a walkable neighborhood. There are only so many in this city. The first that come to mind are neighborhoods surrounding Larchmont, Abbot Kinney, maybe Montana and some areas round Ventura Blvd., but overall, you have to drive to get your errands run and your coffee bought. These walkable neighborhoods all seem to center around a main drag. Think about if each neighborhood had a its own street where people could eat, get groceries, go to the bank, get coffee, etc…. think about how things would change. You can see people’s need to interact with each other – just look at The Grove. Everyone’s hanging out outside. More people should be like Dan Burden in the Huff Post article. He’s been dedicated to the cause for 15 years and he’s finally starting to see results.  I think if more of us told our city politicians about this need, they would understand its importance. Maybe in 20 years, we could look towards LA’s majestic mountains and not see such a defined layer of gunk clouding them!

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