August 22, 2013

Needs More People

This is Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. The picture was taken in late afternoon a week or so ago. Like most areas of Downtown LA the blocks are hit or miss as far activity goes. On this particular block there are a dozen or so businesses with outdoor seating that brings some vitality to the neighborhood. On the left you can see one of several "parklets" on this block. It is intended to expand the "public realm," but what I observed is that it served the customers of the businesses and wasn't really a place that residents or visitors might chose to simply hang out. I'm not sure how I feel about the parklet phenomenon. Seems a little gimmicky. On the right you can see a car peaking out of a driveway which of course poses some problems relative to pedestrian safety. The only real issue I see here besides the need for more people is the mid-block driveway.

What do you think about this scene? Does it appeal to you? Would you like to walk down this street or sit at one of these cafes?

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