Virgil Village Traffic Calming, Part One

June 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Over the past weekend, Studio One Eleven and Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) hosted a public workshop for a traffic calming plan in the Virgil Village area of LA. To illustrate our point, we created a temporary plaza by shutting down a turn pocket at the southwest corner of Virgil Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. The event drew nearly a hundred participants and provided the design team with a wealth of valuable information from community members who navigate Virgil Avenue on a daily basis.

The idea to convene our workshop in this temporary plaza was developed to break away from the usual format of most community outreach forums; instead of holding an evening meeting in a community center removed from the subject at hand, we chose to engage the public where the relevant issues could be discussed more tangibly. Essentially, we wanted an event that reached more constituents – specifically the ones who are directly affected by the current conditions.

We closed the turn lane using the power of cones and barricades provided by the city. Tables, chairs, and trees (provided by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps) created a much more inviting atmosphere, while the fence of the LA Bureau of Street Lighting made a great backdrop for our presentation boards. The final touch was trading the typical sandwich and pastry tray for ALJ Taco Truck, which provided enhanced visibility as well as fabulous Mexican food for everyone that participated. Adding a hundred local stakeholders proved the potential of our traffic calming plan and made an ordinary turning lane into a great public space for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.

To learn more, visit the Virgil Village Traffic Calming Plan Facebook page.


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