PLACE Website

PLACE Program
3530 Wilshire Blvd, 8th Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 351-7825
PLACE Program (Policies for Livable, Active Communities and Environments)
The PLACE Program is dedicated to fostering policy change that supports the development of healthy, safe and active environments for all Los Angeles County residents.
PLACE Highlights
Step by Step LA County: Pedestrian Plans for Unincorporated Communities

Step by Step LA County provides a policy framework for how the County proposes to get more people walking, make walking safer and support healthy, active lifestyles. Step by Step LA County was adopted in September 2019 and includes Community Pedestrian Plans recommending safety enhancement projects for the unincorporated communities of Lake Los Angeles, Walnut Park, Westmont/West Athens, Whittier-Los Nietos.

A new round of community level pedestrian planning began in early 2021 in the communities of East Los Angeles, East Rancho Dominguez, Florence-Firestone, and Willowbrook/West Rancho Dominguez-Victoria. Read the plan and learn more here.

Using Art to Address a Public Health Problem
A critical barrier to improved traffic safety is our car-oriented culture. To help create culture change around traffic safety, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture placed an artist in residence with the PLACE Program for a two-year residency. The role of the artist was to help increase empathy for people walking and biking, especially youth and the elderly, and to help create internal culture change at County departments to think more creatively.

Clement Hanami was selected as the Artist-in-Residence because of his work at the Japanese American National Museum, where he has years of experience communicating effectively about the history of our nation’s internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, and his success in touching hearts and minds about those terrible events.

Clement's residency included going out in the community and talking to people, hearing about their experiences with traffic collisions and near misses, and doing art projects with them about traffic safety. His approach has demonstrated how using art to engage community can help people feel heard by their government in new ways, help them feel safe, and even help them heal and process traumatic events like car crashes.

In late 2019/early 2020, Clement worked with youth at Woodcrest Library on Normandie Ave, a Vision Zero Collision Concentration Corridor, on messages they wanted to share with drivers.

The resulting artwork was installed on bus shelters and billboards along Normandie on Oct 26th, 2020 and ran until mid-November 2020.

In October 2021, their artwork went on display at Woodcrest Library, along with a new bike rack designed and installed to spread the message of traffic safety and pedestrian awareness. Images are provided above and below.

In December 2021, Arts & Culture released an evaluation of the program, which is available on their website.

Collage of photos of participants in the Artist-in-Residence project in Westmont - West Athens

Los Angeles County Launches Slow Streets Program
Slow Down imageTo make it easier for people to safely exercise and commute during the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles County has launched the Slow Streets program for unincorporated areas. Slow Streets is a temporary program aimed at alerting drivers to slow down making it easier to walk, bike, or roll while physically distancing. As part of the program, Los Angeles County Public Works will install temporary signs with “Slow Down” messaging, free of charge, on qualifying streets.

Individual residents, community groups, or other organizations can sponsor a slow street network by visiting and submitting an application. To be eligible for signing, streets must be local residential streets, and part of a network of neighborhood streets that can also be signed.

Slow Street Sponsor responsibilities include, promoting the purpose of the program to fellow residents; notifying LA County Public Works if the signs or equipment posts are missing, broken, or vandalized; and communicating with the County if people are gathering/not social distancing. Slow Streets is part of the County’s efforts to promote streets that are safer for physical activity and active transportation. Between 2013 and 2017, traffic fatalities on unincorporated County roadways increased by nearly 28 percent. The Board of Supervisors has adopted a Vision Zero Action Plan to eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries on roadways in unincorporated areas of the County.

For more information on Slow Streets and Vision Zero, please visit or call 833-VZ4-LACO (833-894-5226). For more information on COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, visit the County's COVID-19 Response website (

LA County Board of Supervisors Adopts Vision Zero Action Plan
Between 2013 and 2017, over 3,400 people lost their lives in traffic collisions on roads throughout Los Angeles County. Of these deaths, 383 occurred in unincorporated areas of the County. During this same time, traffic fatalities on unincorporated County roadways increased by nearly 28 percent.

In an effort to enhance traffic safety, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion on August 4, 2020 authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn, to adopt Vision Zero Los Angeles County: A Plan for Safer Roadways, which establishes a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities in unincorporated areas of the County by 2035.
The motion directed Los Angeles County Public Works and Public Health to co-lead implementation of the action plan by forming a Vision Zero Steering Committee, launching pilot programs on three or more Collision Concentration Corridors, and providing an annual Vision Zero progress report. Learn more about the County’s Vision Zero program here.

Articles & Research
Health Effects of Air Pollution Associated with Development Near Freeways and High-Volume Roads (March 2019)
Studies indicate that residing near sources of traffic pollution is associated with adverse health effects including asthma in children, impaired lung function, and cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Given the preponderance of highly trafficked roadways in Los Angeles County and existing and new development near these roads, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health prepared "Public Health Recommendations to Minimize the Health Effects of Air Pollution Associated with Development Near Freeways and High-Volume Roads.” These recommendations are intended for developers, planners, government officials, and others working on development within your jurisdiction.

Preventing Traffic Deaths - The Critical Role of Clinicians
Traffic collisions are a leading cause of death for both adults and children in Los Angeles County. Clinicians have an opportunity to support Vision Zero, a multidisciplinary effort to end traffic fatalities in LA County. In the July 2019 issue of Rx for Prevention, DPH describes concrete actions clinicians can take to advance traffic safety including: engaging patients in conversations about practicing safe transportation behaviors, sharing their first-hand experiences about victims of traffic collisions to promote culture change, advocating for local policy changes, and encouraging their patients to get involved with local advocacy efforts.

How do pedestrians fare in motor vehicle collisions?
DPH used data from the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency trauma database to evaluate outcomes for people hit by a car while walking. Over a two-year period, 4713 people were hit and 235 of them died – that’s two people per week (see infographic). People hit at speeds greater than 20 mph were more likely to be injured, disabled or die than people hit speeds under 20 mph (see brief).

Direct costs of medical care for bicyclist and pedestrian victims
To place in perspective the economic losses that result from motor vehicle crashes, DPH calculated the minimum direct costs of medical care for pedestrian and bicyclist victims of motor vehicle collisions in Los Angeles County. In 2014, direct costs were $63.4 million (see brief and methods).

Building Awareness about Equity and the Social Determinants of Health
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. These circumstances, such as access to high-quality education, housing, and financial resources, are the most responsible for health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between communities. Building broad awareness and understanding of the social determinants of health and the policies that have created health inequities is an important step to move towards racial equity, social justice, and healthier communities.

In order to support this goal, the PLACE program developed two GIS Story Maps: “Hidden Health Hazards: How Our Environments Shape Us” and “Let’s Walk!” The Story Maps can be embedded and linked from any website, and should be broadly used for education to connect the dots around what determines health and overcoming barriers to walking. In addition, the PLACE program is supporting the Department of Regional Planning’s (DRP) Equitable Development Work Program through the Healthy Design Workgroup. DRP reports regularly to the Board with status updates.

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