L.A. Councilman looks to make ‘slow streets’ project permanent

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – City Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion today seeking to make permanent a “slow streets” program that was created at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to create more outdoor recreation space for residents.

“Since the start of the Slow Streets program, we have seen Angelenos find greater enjoyment and a closer connection to their neighborhood,” Ryu said. “People are getting outside, the streets are safer for kids and families — I don’t see why we wouldn’t make this permanent.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the Slow Streets program in May. The program allowed residents of individual neighborhoods to apply with the city Department of Transportation to have select residential streets closed to traffic, opening them to recreation use.

The idea of the program was to provide more recreational opportunities for residents adhering to stay-at-home mandates imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the program was intended to be temporary, Ryu said he wants to make it permanent, leaving the affected streets open for recreation.

“New parks are difficult and costly to develop in Los Angeles’ real estate market,” Ryu’s motion states. “Sidewalks are only widened in piecemeal fashion as new private developments are approved. Slow Streets and similar people-centered programs are an emerging and efficient strategy to increase safe neighborhood recreation citywide.”

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