The New Los Angeles Greenway

In accepting the growing obsolescence of freeways- the clear failure of them to perform as promised, the inevitable ruins they will become (like many other historic urban infrastructures), and the social and environmental problems they have created- I am posting a conceptual (alas) project to convert Los Angeles freeways to greenways.

For the full PDF of the booklet select here: The New Los Angeles Greenway

Below is a brief manifesto and some images from the project:

 

A Greenway Manifesto: Slow Move Nation

 Los Angeles freeways promised speed and connectivity but delivered congestion and separation.  They are at their tipping point- dysfunctional and on the verge of obsolescence. Like many great cities that have reclaimed the ruins of their infrastructure it is time for Los Angeles to reclaim it’s inevitable and future ruins.

We must turn these concrete rivers of frustration and pollution into something good for everyone in the city.

 We propose to end this senseless preoccupation with speed, which has delivered anything but. We propose a Slow Move Nation, like the Slow Food Nation.  Freeways can be the source of transit and connectivity, as well as parks and valuable green space for an inexorably gray city.  Pedestrians, bikes, and light rail will now move along the old freeway routes instead of cars. Furthering the movement toward local community (and reducing the egregious transportation miles required by the global agri-industry), we are reintroducing agriculture to Los Angeles through the construction of vertical farms along the freeway.   Community gardens would also be created, and new public squares would be both transit hubs as well as farmers markets.

 We would ideally like to see the end of the reliance on private car ownership, and the increased use of shared car services (like Zip cars), and particularly transit. We envision all major boulevards and avenues having street cars that connect to the new greenways and their light-rail system. Streets of Los Angeles can be filled with the sounds of children playing and the whoosh of bicycles rather than the cacaphony of car traffic. 

We propose:

• Limit private car ownership citywide (decrease lanes, emphasize

            car sharing and taxis, reduce available parking, gas tax)

• Provide light rail and other transit on all major streets citywide.

• Trasform all streets to include bike paths and beautiful pedestrian sidewalks

• Develop freeway rights-of-way into GREENWAYS with no cars that contain:

Light Rail | Vertical Farms | Community Gardens | Bike Paths | Walking promenades | Parks | New Public Squares

 

Much like the Slow Food movement's resistance to the industrialization of food, and the failed premise that all food should be available to all people at any time, so too might there be a "Slow Move" movement. The desire to move people as quickly as possible to anywhere they want to go, the "industrialization" of transportation into the instantaneous global travel has caused similar problems of the globalization of food. Indeed a return to emphasis on the local, on balanced resources, on the affects of industrialization on community are very similar.

 

Plan showing bike access to the new GreenwaysPlan showing 1/4 mile walking radii (in orange) indicating that street cars on major boulevards are all accessible within walking distance. The street cars would connect to the new Greenway with light rail. The dashed red circle is a typical bike radius.View of Santa Monica Greenway (former 10 freeway) at Arlingtonlegend of proposed Greenway componentsView of proposed Greenway toward new light rail station

Diagram showing 1/4 mile walking radii. Street cars on major avenues are all accessible by foot. These streetcars connect to the light rail system on the new Greenways.

 

Components of proposed LA Greenway

View of proposed LA Greenway toward new transit plaza.

View of the new LA Greenway (former Santa Monica 10 Freeway)

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