The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday passed a resolution in support of state legislation that would allow Los Angeles to make permanent the city’s Slow Streets program, which was established during the COVID-19 pandemic as a temporary program.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation began temporarily closing portions of residential streets in May 2020 to give pedestrians and cyclists more room to travel and be protected from motorists during the pandemic. Residents are able to apply online to have their neighborhoods included in the program to reduce automobile traffic and allow more people to maintain social distancing and enjoy the outdoors.
Councilman Paul Krekorian introduced the unanimously approved resolution in support of AB 773, which was introduced by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nuys, and would authorize Los Angeles — and other local governments in counties with more than six million people — to make Slow Streets programs permanent.
“I think this is an important step forward … Just like L.A. Al Fresco and so many other programs that we’ve initiated, I think this is a rare moment in time when we can really reflect on how best to use our streets for the benefit of all,” Krekorian said.
During the Slow Streets program, the city closed more than 50 miles of streets across 30 neighborhoods in Los Angeles for recreation, according to the resolution.
Krekorian said the program “quickly became tremendously popular across the city because it allowed our residence to rethink our streets, to utilize them … pedestrians, cyclists, kids who needed more space to play, in a much safer way.”