Western Avenue is getting some love from the City of LA and you’re invited to be part of the improvements. In 2104 Western was named as one of 15 streets identified by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets initiative to “re-imagine neighborhood centers one main street at a time.”
Located at the edge of Koreatown and the greater Wilshire area, Western straddles two city council districts, CD10 represented by City Council member and President Herb Wesson and Cd4 represented by City Council member David Ryu. Both offices have dedicated funds to making improvements on Western and last year, several murals were painted and improvements were made to improve pedestrian safety at several intersections.
The next step in the process is called “Welcome to Western,” designed as a year-long street enhancement project hoping to engage the local community, including people who live nearby, shop on Western, own businesses or even those who just drive up and down the street, in a conversation about how to improve Western from Melrose to 3rd Street. The plan is to literally set up a conversation area on the street corner and invite people to stop by and share their stories. It’s called “activating the street” in design and planning lexicon and may sound a bit odd, but it apparently works to get people to stop and think about the street and how it works or doesn’t work in their everyday interactions.
LA-Más, an urban design firm, has been contracted by the City to do community outreach and they are hosting the first community open house next week on Tuesday, October 17 at 132 N Western Avenue, the corner of Western and Council Street.
“We are going to set up some comfy furniture on the sidewalk and we’ll have some snacks from a few local restaurants and we welcome people to stop by,” explained Avital Aboody, Community and Policy Associate at LA-Más.
Everyone who is interested is welcome to stop by anytime between 4- 7pm, have some snacks, share your stories of Western Avenue.
Here’s one I can share: Western Avenue, once considered the Western edge of the city, hence the name, was a hopping place at one time. It was a shopping destination for all the nearby residential neighborhoods located along Wilshire Blvd. Larchmont Blvd founder, Julius LaBonte, was inspired to create Larchmont as more convenient, local alternative for adjacent Hancock Park and Windsor Square. Below is a photo from the Larchmont Chronicle published in the history of Larchmont Blvd by this writer published by Arcadia Press and available at Chevalier’s Books on Larchmont Blvd!