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Consultants Say They Want to Make Historic Core Friendly

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, January 04, 2007, at 05:16PM

This afternoon a representative from DJT Consulting sent the following email to the newdowntown mailing list:

Our company is working with the City of Los Angeles on a proposal to improve the lighting and signage in the historic core. We think this would encourage people to frequent the area, especially at night. We'd like your opinion, on an informal basis. This is not an official poll, but just an attempt to gather anecdotal information. What is your opinion about the level of pedestrian usage now? Do you think it is safe to walk, ride bikes or take transit in and out of the downtown historic core? Why or why not? What is your opinion about how lighting and signage improvements could increase pedestrian and other non-auto uses?

I don't know what department DJT is working with or what the scope of their "proposal" is, but this email just struck me as exhibiting precisely zero local knowledge.

Do people not frequent the area now? Does Art Walk not draw hundreds of people to wander around Downtown each month?

Go walk around the Historic Core and you'll see plenty of people walking, riding bikes and taking transit. Are there places and times that might not be safe? Sure. No more than anywhere else, though.

You'll also see plenty of the Downtown LA Walks wayfinding signs, put up last time someone had the idea to do a signage project.

If the City's really asking whether improved lighting makes things safer, I think we can answer that without the need for any consulting: Yes. We were promised pedestrian lighting as part of the Spring Street contraflow lane removal, and some of those lights have gone up. Additional pedestrian lighting is very slowly going up on 7th street.

As for signage, how about we figure out a maintenance plan for the signs we've got before we go about putting up new ones?

This sort of wishy-washy anecdotal outreach on an unnamed project will do no one any good.


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