Virgil Village Traffic Calming, Part Three

November 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

On October 8, 2011, Studio One Eleven and Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) hosted the third and final public workshop for our traffic calming plan in Virgil Village. Returning to the location of our first workshop, we occupied the northeast corner of the Santa Monica/Virgil intersection and created a temporary plaza for the afternoon. The event once again attracted a broad cross-section of participants, with over seventy of the neighborhood’s residents and stakeholders in attendance. Many expressed their appreciation for this shared decision-making process and were prepared to voice their opinions on how the improvements should be prioritized.

Using cones and potted citrus trees to delineate the edge, pedestrian space was created within the right turn pocket created by the acute angle of the intersecting streets. Right-turning automobile traffic still managed to flow smoothly, and pedestrians appreciated the easier street-crossing allowed by the extended plaza. Sawhorses displayed over a dozen presentation boards that helped illustrate the progress we’ve made – with the community’s help – and to provide a context for the “Preferred Street Design” for Virgil Avenue.
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Virgil Village Traffic Calming, Part Two

August 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Above, catch a glimpse of the workshop in action.

On Saturday, August 6, Studio One Eleven and Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) hosted the second of three public workshops for a traffic calming plan in the Virgil Village area of Los Angeles. We again decided to forgo the typical “town meeting” format and instead set-up shop in front of Amalia’s Guatemalan Restaurant on Virgil Avenue between Melrose Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. (which we highly recommend, by the way). Bringing our traffic calming presentation out to the street has allowed us to reach a diverse cross-section of community members, including many who are not typically engaged in the public process but have genuine concerns and a vested interest in what happens on this street. Read more…

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. Read more…

Creating a Functional Community Retail District in Virgil Village

April 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

This past weekend, Studio One Eleven started work on a comprehensive plan for Virgil Village: a new neighborhood project sponsored by Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiatives (LANI). The focus of our study is Virgil Avenue, a mixed-use (but mostly retail-oriented) street between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. Like a lot of our work, this project involves the design of streets and sidewalks as well as commercial façades along an economically-challenged part of town.

We’ve always recognized the significance of being involved in these types of projects. In fact, our studio was born as a result of working with the 4th Street merchant association to implement a commercial façade program on Long Beach’s Retro Row (www.4thstreetlongbeach.com). The success of that project affirmed our commitment to what we call “Community Retail Districts” – local/independent stores that serve the community and occupy older and historic buildings along public streets. Community Retail Districts are the public face of a neighborhood, and operate on the triple bottom line of economic, cultural, and social return. This contrasts with “Corporate Retail Districts” (a.k.a. “shopping centers”), which are privately owned and often provide economic return only to investors who are not connected to the community. (Visit www.cooltownstudios.com for more on natural cultural districts and their return to communities).
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