How Many Agencies Does It Take to Make a Better LA Street?

Behold the concise visual representation of LA’s many-layered bureaucracy. The Complete Streets Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs recently held its Urban Planning Capstone Presentations–showcasing research on complete streets projects with special focus on Los Angeles. As part of one capstone project, graduate planning student Huma Husain produced the above image in response to the research question: “What is the institutional capacity for implementing Complete Streets in Los Angeles?” From the infographic it’s easy to imagine that the multitude of local and state agencies with regulatory power over the design of streets in Los Angeles don’t make it very easy to reconfigure streets to the benefit of pedestrians, bikers, and local businesses.

By our count, here are the agencies listed by the infographic:

— Department of City Planning
— Department of Building and Safety
— Department of Transportation
— Bureau of Street Lighting
— Bureau of Engineering
— Bureau of Street Services
— Bureau of Sanitation
— Cultural Affairs Commission
— Metro
— Caltrans
— Property Owners

There’s also the Los Angeles Fire Department, which has say over the width of fire lanes, location of fire hydrants, and even the aspect ratio of address signage on buildings. All in all, there are a lot of agencies to get on board when trying to change LA’s auto-centric designs (not to mention all the controlling interests underneath the streets), making projects like the Spring Street Bike Lane, MyFigueroa, or Main Street in Venice all the more impressive.

by James Brasuell

DRE #00598428
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed

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