Broadway has long been a gem in the LA crown. It's recognised as an important U.S. Historic District with numerous architectural and social places of significance. However in recent years, increased competition and consumer behaviour has impacted on the vibrancy of the neighbourhood leading to a 15-20% ground floor vacancy rate. In response to this threat, a public-private partnership initiated by Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar, established to implement a ten-year 'complete streets' plan. The initiative, 'Bringing Back Broadway', includes a Streetscape Master Plan that will focus on providing greater comfort and enhancing the overall experience for pedestrians.
The first stage of the Plan is a 'Dress Rehearsal' consisting of a series of low-cost and quick-win interventions to create immediate traffic-calming enhancements. These interventions, some of which have just been added to Broadway, include the addition of moveable public seating, bike parking and street plants. "Broadway plazas looking amazing. Broadway today: brighter and more ped-friendly." tweeted Maria Sipin, cohost #womentalkbikes BikeTalk KPFK.
Here at TC, we're seeing similar initiatives happening across the world, including New York, Sydney and Chicago, and consider this stage of urban design as an important testing or prototype phase for long term streetscape improvements. We'll be watching Bringing Back Broadway over the coming months and looking forward to Stage 2 and "permanent build-out of the full-scale project on a block-by-block basis."
More information on this project can be found here.