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PLACE Program
Policies for Livable, Active Communities and Environments

    

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PLACE Program
695 S. Vermont Avenue, South Tower, 14th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 351-1910
PLACE Initiative Grants

In 2008, the Department of Public Health funded five cities and community-based organizations to pursue built environment policies and projects that increase opportunities for physical activity. Each PLACE Initiative was awarded approximately $100,000 per year over a three-year period to pursue policy development and passage. In addition, each initiative received a one-time award of $20,000 upon completion of a physical project. The physical projects were actual improvements made to the streetscape to encourage safer biking and walking, such as traffic calming measures, bike lanes, sidewalk improvements, tree-planting, and wayfinding signage to indicate distance to key destinations.

The five initiatives are summarized below. For a more detailed description of each initiative, click here to find a series of stories written by LA Streetsblog founding editor, Damien Newton. The Streetsblog stories were funded by the Annenberg School of Journalism.

Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

With the support of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, the City of Glendale adopted a Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, including education, encouragement, enforcement, engineering, and evaluation policies that broadly engage city leaders and residents in creating a bike and pedestrian friendly community. The Plan received the Southern California Association of Governments 2012 Compass Blueprint top honor – The President’s Award – in Spring 2012. For its physical project, the city developed the Riverdale-Maple Greenway in the southern area of Glendale. This model bicycle and pedestrian friendly corridor features modern roundabouts, newly planted trees, traffic signals, bicycle facilities, and wayfinding signage.

Glendale residents participate in a history ride.
City of Long Beach

The City of Long Beach adopted a set of Principles for Active Living and Complete Streets, establishing policy goals to promote walking, biking, and transit-oriented development and to guide the city’s Mobility Element, Bicycle Master Plan, and General Plan update, all underway. Long Beach is on the forefront countywide in developing innovative bicycle infrastructure, including protected bikeways that physically separate cyclists from cars; road diets that reduce travel lanes to create space for cyclists; and green bike “sharrows” to remind motorists to share the road. For its physical project, Long Beach, constructed a “bicycle boulevard” – a low traffic street comfortable for cyclists – on Vista Avenue featuring mini-roundabouts and other traffic calming features to slow traffic and improve safety.

As part of their grant, the city brought in a technical expert to conduct a “walk audit” on Market Street in under resourced North Long Beach. The consultant developed pedestrian improvement diagrams for this area based on the walking barriers identified, and the City then applied for funding to widen the sidewalks, create bulb out and add bike lanes. In 2013, this project was funded for three million dollars by MTA Call for Projects.

Long Beach City Council shows their support for bicycling in the city.
City of El Monte

El Monte adopted a Health and Wellness Element, for the city’s general plan update, one of the first in the state, including policies that prioritize walking and bicycling, reduce exposure to tobacco, increase access to open space and promote healthy foods. In 2009, the City completed its physical project – the Arceo Walk, a one-mile walking circuit featuring “points of interest” signage, attractive sidewalks, and newly planted trees. Located in the Tyler Corridor along sidewalks frequently walked by El Monte residents, the signage specifies distances to neighborhood destinations such as schools, public transportation stops, and community centers. City staff organize and lead walking club activities along the new walking circuit, which are very popular among community members.

Newly installed wayfinding signage along Arceo Walk in El Monte.
City of Culver City

Culver City adopted their first Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, identifying policies and prioritizing street improvement projects to increase the safety and accessibility of the bicycling and walking environment. The city hopes to complete all projects within the next 5 years, which will increase bicycle infrastructure in the city from about 4 miles to 41 miles and create safety improvements at major intersections along key pedestrian corridors. For its physical project, Culver City developed a bicycle-friendly corridor connecting residential neighborhoods to the new Expo Line station. Additionally, the City applied for and received Safe Routes to School grants using technical assistance provided by DPH.

Culver City residents discuss potential bicycle facilities in their city.
Pacoima Beautiful

Pacoima Beautiful brought together a coalition of partners including LA City planners to develop the Pacoima Wash Vision Plan. The plan makes recommendations for revitalizing the Pacoima Wash as a recreational amenity that includes a bike and pedestrian trail along the wash and adjacent parks and open space. The City of Los Angeles will include recommendations from this plan in the Sylmar Community Plan update and the Pacoima Arleta Community Plan update. For its physical project, Pacoima Beautiful worked with community volunteers to improve a pedestrian tunnel and bridge over the Pacoima Wash, removing bollards that impeded access, painting, removing trash, and planting greenery.

Children plant greenery near a pedestrian bridge in Pacoima.

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