The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has started temporarily closing portions of residential streets in an effort to give pedestrians and cyclists more room to travel and protection from motorists during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday.
Residents can apply online to have their neighborhoods included in Slow Streets LA to reduce automobile traffic to allow more people to travel without a motorized vehicle and better maintain social distancing.
“This is an exciting moment for us to have a little bit more space in our neighborhoods to do what we’re already doing, walking, taking a young baby out in the stroller, skating, biking,” Garcetti said.
“We’re not fully closing any streets. We know that families still need to be able to drive to and from their home. So emergency access will always be allowed.”
Slow Streets LA will close portions of neighborhood streets across two-mile stretches, Garcetti said. This has been done in the Sawtelle and Del Rey neighborhoods.
This first phase of Slow Streets LA covers about seven miles of West Los Angeles streets, Garcetti said. A dozen applications for the program have been submitted for neighborhoods around the city.
According to the Slow Streets LA website, residents and neighborhoods using a slow street must adhere to health guidelines of the Safer at Home orders.
Gathering of groups, barbecuing with other people, playing games involving physical contact and other gatherings are still prohibited.
Additional information and applications are available at www.coronavirus.lacity.org/slowstreets.
“Not everybody lives right next to a park with hills, not everybody’s close to the beach, and we should make sure that hard-hit communities and those that are more inland or in flatter areas have the same exercise capacity as other places,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti also said the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles has received $20 million in donations for the Angeleno Card program, which gives out prepaid debit cards to people financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund has delivered about 9,000 cards to households, which equates to about 27,000 people who have been helped, Garcetti said. The cards have $700, $1,100 or $1,500 on them, depending on the size of the household.
Garcetti said he hopes the Mayor’s Fund increases the number of people who receive cards in the near future, as hundreds of thousands of people applied for them over a three-day period in that was open in April.
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