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February 4, 2014 | By David Zahniser
Looking for new ways to fix buckled and broken sidewalks, Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield called Tuesday for the reinstatement of a program that allows private property owners to pay a portion of the repair bill. Blumenfield , who represents part of the west San Fernando Valley, said he wants to make it possible for property owners to pay up to 75% of the cost of repairing their sidewalks. The effort would resemble a cost-sharing program that ended in 2009 amid a city financial crisis.
February 3, 2014 | By Steve Lopez
Bob Arranaga says no way. He wouldn't vote for a bond measure to fix potholes and cracked sidewalks in Los Angeles. "L.A. should be paying for repairs from the city budget, not from adding more taxes," he emailed in response to my Sunday column about the 98-page list of people who have filed injury claims against the city since 2007 after tripping and falling. Greg Golden sees it differently. Even though his street in Van Nuys is fine, he said he'd vote yes even if it adds "several hundred dollars to my property tax bill.
February 1, 2014 | Steve Lopez
When I asked for a list of all the claims filed against the city of Los Angeles by people who have tripped and injured themselves on city sidewalks, I didn't realize I might throw my back out just lifting the document. OK, a slight exaggeration. But the list is 98 pages long, and since 2007 the city has paid out several million dollars annually. While a few of the cases involve potholes or crumbling playgrounds, this is primarily a pedestrian vs. pavement problem, with the pavement always winning.
January 20, 2014 | Hailey Branson-Potts
From the very beginning, Colorado Boulevard was all about the car. Pasadena residents so loved their Ford Model Ts that in 1915 the city was said to have the highest rate of automobile ownership in the world. Colorado was a leg in the famed Route 66 and evolved along with the car culture, with roadside businesses giving way to bigger department stores and eventually to shopping centers. But these days, officials want to tame the famed street. Pasadena is considering plans to narrow portions of Colorado by as much as two lanes and use that space to widen sidewalks and create tiny parks with seating and greenery.
January 4, 2014 | Steve Lopez
I learned two things when Deborah Murphy of Silver Lake sent me an email in mid-December. First, there's a pedestrian-advocacy organization in our car-crazed metropolis, and it goes by the name of Los Angeles Walks. Second, there's a city of L.A. Pedestrian Advocacy Committee. Murphy is executive director of the former, chair of the latter, and she wanted to know if I could meet with her to discuss a development she's not happy about. Namely, there's the possibility of a $3-billion street repair bond measure on the November ballot this year, but as currently conceived, it would fix only the worst of L.A.'s streets and do nothing for the city's abominable sidewalks.
November 6, 2013 | By Catherine Saillant
Los Angeles City Council members agreed Wednesday to dramatically cut the cost and speed up processing of sidewalk dining permits in the reawakening downtown core. Under a pilot program that was unanimously approved by the council, restaurant owners will pay about $577 for a sidewalk dining permit, compared to the typical $2,000 charged for city workers to process the paperwork. And instead of taking up to a year to obtain a permit, the wait should be just a few weeks, officials said.
October 18, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Humans don't always behave in their own best interests, and that includes the way we walk. Or don't. A recent survey showed that most people - 94% of those surveyed nationwide - know that walking is good for their health. And nearly as many said it was a good way to lose weight and prevent heart disease. Eight-seven percent said walking is a good way to reduce anxiety, and about 80% said it helps depression. But 79% said they should walk more than they do, and 35% said they are walking less than they did five years ago. A third of the people surveyed said they don't walk for 10 minutes at one time over the course of a week.
August 13, 2013 | By David Zahniser
Los Angeles residents who grow fruits and vegetables near their front curb will get a respite from the city's code enforcement officials, under a measure approved Tuesday by the City Council. The council voted unanimously to ask city agencies to temporarily suspend rules that restrict the cultivation of gardens in the parkway, the area between the sidewalk and the curb. While enforcement is suspended, city officials will continue to work on new rules governing parkway landscaping, said Council President Herb Wesson.
August 10, 2013
Re "Hey, Mr. Mayor: Start here," Column, Aug. 7 Steve Lopez doesn't go far enough in calling on L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to make repairing sidewalks a priority. The roller coasters, hills, dales and X Games-like ramps that are L.A.'s sidewalks seem often an unvoiced municipal admonition that we don't walk here. It's as if the city has invented its own test of citizenship: If you have to walk, go elsewhere. What has always puzzled me is how a modern metropolis can't figure how to put trees, curbs and sidewalks together without one causing the deformation of the others.
July 21, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
A suspected drunk driver caused a three-vehicle chain reaction of collisions that sent another car careening onto the sidewalk, killing one pedestrian and critically injuring three others, according to Los Angeles police. A 1991 black Ford Mustang heading north on La Cienega Boulevard at Cashio Street just before midnight Saturday collided with a 2012 BMW, said Los Angeles police officer Robert Kim. The collision caused the BMW to strike a 2007 Scion, sending onto the sidewalk, where it struck four people on the sidewalk near Cashio Street, about a mile north of the 10 Freeway.
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