Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pedestrian Impressions 2: Walking Downtown

A couple of weeks back, I had a meeting in the Metro Building two hours after a meeting in the Downtown Library. I decided to walk to the Metro HQ and back. The route was roughly this, but I took off down side streets a lot. Following the map is another photo essay...

Before I start, allow me to say that it was a horrible walk and worse at night than in the day. The sidewalks weren't in the best of shape, but that wasn't the big problem. The big problem was it was as non-descript as could be. Most of the high rises had nothing to do at street level, there were few coffee shops, news stands, shops or other pedestrian attractions and the entrances were as drab and nondescript as can be. Unfortunately, I didn't have the best camera at the time, but here are some images I did capture.

Nice wide sidewalks in the business district weren't the order of the day once you got slightly away from the central downtown. In Little Tokyo the crosswalks were half as wide, and certainly didn't have any bricks.

Proof that wide sidewalks and streetscaping alone are not enough to get pedestrians to use a sidewalk.

Never let anyone tell you that nobody takes transit. In this picture, a crowd squeezes through the tube to start their trip home after work.

Is there a bigger waste of land resources than at street parking? Literally acres of downtown are eaten up with what could be accomplished with a few large parking garages. Thing of what this view of the downtown skyline could be from a park.

What a beautiful side of a wall this is! I would say the majority of the walk was next to walls.

1 comment:

Joe Shaw said...

Having spent a lot of time in downtown LA, I can vouch that there are some pretty horrible walks.

There are some good places to walk though, but you kinda have to divide it into districts.

I used to enjoy walking on Broadway near Grand Central Market.

Olvera Street to Chinatown is a good walk.

The fashion district from roughly 7th to Olympic and from Main to Wall St. is a lively walk. Don't miss Santee Alley--It's like the markets in Istanbul and Palermo.