A Place in the Sun

LA’s burgeoning Silver Lake neighborhood scored big last week, gaining not only LA’s second bike corral but reclaiming a snippet of public street for the public’s use with the city’s first street-turned-pedestrian-plaza.

“Sunset Triangle” is based on the scrap of land left where Griffith Park Boulevard angles into Sunset a block or so east of Sunset Junction. Now the short bit of Griffith Park between Edgecliffe and Sunset has been closed to cars and opened to unarmored human beings (though it’s briefly interrupted by an access strip to a bakery’s parking lot).

Although the project’s announcement touts its resemblance to the also-triangular Times Square treatment in Manhattan, they are nothing at all alike: Sunset Triangle is a neighborhood space, long used as a mini-park, where a farmers market sets up twice a week–and it is not in the heart of town, nor is it a tourist district. While it would be wonderful to see a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood and Highland, in the Miracle Mile, somewhere on Ventura, or Downtown (where My Figueroa might actually make it happen), in a way this is better: Sunset Triangle is primarily for Angelenos.

Silver Lake is already a bike-enriched neighborhood, and replete with sidewalk strollers, dozens of bistros, cafés, coffeehouses, restaurants, pubs, bars, and breweries, and a dizzying selection of boutiques ranging from the ordinary to the esoteric. It’s the perfect location for a true public square where people can mingle and linger freely, sipping a cup of coffee, enjoying a sandwich, or just chatting up their neighbors, without having had to wrestle a two-ton prosthetic down the crowded lanes and into a rare parking space. You just walk in or ride your bike–as so many do already–sit down, and enjoy life.

What a concept, eh?

It’s also at the intersection of two bike lanes: the one on Griffith Park feeds in from North Silver Lake, starting just short of Hyperion and Rowena, and the Sunset Boulevard lanes connect the plaza to Downtown, Echo Park, East Hollywood, and the main part of Silver Lake.

It took the residents of Silver Lake six years to get this plaza built, so if we want more, we’d better start now!

I’m sure there are neighborhoods all over LA that would love a square of their own–or even a triangle.

A version of this article by Richard Risemberg was originally published in Flying Pigeon LA.

Sunset Triangle Plaza – Painting the Street

The project is underway, see the dramatic transformation of this formerly gray concrete street into LA’s first pedestrian plaza created by reclaiming street space from cars! All photos by Margot Ocañas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Call for Volunteers from Streets for People

On March 2nd and 3rd, Streets for People will begin filling the planters at Sunset Triangle Plaza and we could use your help! If you are interested in volunteering for this project, please email Anna at streetsforpeoplela[at]gmail.com

 

Date —Friday, March 2nd from 10 am – 2 pm and Saturday, March 3rd from 2-6 pm. 

Location Address — Sunset Triangle Plaza (Griffith Park and Sunset Blvds), Los Angeles

Contact — Anna, streetsforpeoplela[at]gmail.com

LADOT to Start Work this Sunday, February 19th on Sunset Triangle Plaza Project

Starting this Sunday, February 19, LADOT will close the one block of Griffith Park Boulevard, between Maltman and Edgecliffe Drives, to begin work on the Sunset Triangle Plaza project, a Streets for People (S4P) initiative. LADOT will use temporary barriers to close the site as they proceed with preparations that will include street surface grinding and painting, signage amends, and installation of bike corral and a safety barrier of planters. On Sunday, March 4, the Plaza will be officially opened with a ceremony set for 11:00am. The community is invited to join the celebration from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

More information about the Plaza program, LADOT work and Opening Day celebrations will be posted here as it becomes available.

The pilot Plaza will temporary close Griffith Park Blvd to automobile traffic for the duration of the project (approximately one year). There will be no changes Edgecliffe Dr. (on the west side of the plaza) so that automobiles may continue to access to Sunset and Griffith Park Boulevards. At Sunset Triangle Plaza, the twice-weekly farmer’s market will continue to operate uninterrupted and parking spaces will be created along Sunset Blvd, and all street furniture will be brought inside each evening to maintain its quality and cleanliness.

Contact information:

For community members:

Ryan R. Carpio, Field Deputy
Office of Council Member Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles City Council District 13
5500 Hollywood Blvd. 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Office: (323) 957-4500

For press:

Julie Wong
Office of Council Member Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles City Council District 13
Office: 213-473-7013

March 4 Opening of Sunset Triangle Plaza

Streets for People (S4P) is proud to announce the opening of Sunset Triangle Plaza at Griffith Park and Sunset Boulevards in Silver Lake! Come join us on March 4th, for a community celebration as we turn a street for cars into a street for people.

Although Sunset Triangle Plaza draws its inspiration from the successful pedestrian plazas created with a painted street surface, potted plants and moveable tables and chairs in New York and San Francisco, the original concept of a pedestrian plaza in Silver Lake was developed by community members in 2006.

Sunset Triangle Plaza will be located on Griffith Park Blvd between Edgecliffe Dr. and Maltman Ave and will be temporary closed to automobile traffic for the duration of the pilot project (approximately one year). Cars will continue to be able to use Edgecliffe Dr. to travel around the plaza.

At Sunset Triangle Plaza, the twice-weekly farmer’s market will continue to operate uninterrupted, additional parking spaces will be created along Sunset Blvd to accommodate for some of those lost, and all street furniture will be brought inside each evening to maintain its quality and cleanliness.

There has been increased demand in Los Angeles for safer and more welcoming streets for residents to play, walk, run, bicycle and rest.  Sunset Triangle Plaza offers a destination for people of all ages, backgrounds and physical abilities to sit and relax, visit local business or engage with members of your community in a vibrant public space.

We invite you to join us at the opening celebration on March 4!

Update – August 24 ‘Pilot Streets’ Meeting

Posted by on Aug 18, 2010 in Uncategorized | One Comment

Image Courtesy of Urban Design Studio, Los Angeles Planning Department

Join L.A. City Planning Commission President Bill Roschen, Living Streets LA, Pacoima Beautiful, Niall Huffman, and ACCION Westlake, the new Westlake Community Design Center to find out about creative pilot projects in the works to transform L.A.’s streets into people friendly places. Come share your ideas and get involved!

When – 6:00 – 8:30 PM on Tuesday, August 24

Where – RailLA Exhibit, The Jewel Box/City National Plaza, 525 S. Flower Street, L.A. (Entrance on Figueroa)

Agenda:

6:00 pm to 6:30 pm - Networking & Self-Introductions

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Program:

1.     Ryan Snyder – Overview on Living Streets Progress

2.     Ryan Snyder – Categories of Pilot Projects

3.     Margot Ocañas – Los Angeles County RENEW Program

4.     Community Projects

  • Lauren Ahkiam, Pacoima Beautiful – Complete Streets Vision Plan
  • Enrique Velasquez, Steve Rasmussen Cancian & Beth Steckler, ACCION Westlake – 6th Street Paseo
  • Niall Huffman – Walkable Alleys in Hollywood

5.     L.A. City Planning Urban Design Studio Presentation

6.     Bill Roschen

  • City Leader Coalition
  • Multiple Pilot Projects Concept

7.     Questions & Answers – Open Discussion

Share the August 24 Flyer with people you know!

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