January 18, 2007

Walkable Street? Or Pedestrian Catastrophe

A blog-LA-sphere debate has sprung up over Atwater Village's stretch of Glendale Blvd., between the Los Angeles River and the train tracks.

It's one of LA's "most walkable" streets, says LA City Nerd:
"Recently improved Streetscape plan and a 6-year-old Pedestrian Oriented District designation gives this street the appearance and space to let a person walk with ease."

Not so fast, says Martini Republic:
"Atwater Village is in truth a pedestrian catastrophe, with Check Cashing signage on one end, a cantankerous crank of an Alfa repairman on the other, and two liquor stores, an Acapulco, and a casket store display window in between."

The truth is somewhere in between. We walked along the Glendale Blvd. shops yesterday, like we sometimes do.

During the day Glendale Blvd. is perfectly friendly - hopping, even - for pedestrians. But when the sun sets and shops close, that row gets a little eerie. It makes you feel a little exposed.

Check-cashing places are not the problem. Those are usually well-lit and well-staffed. Criminals rarely get checks. But there's an oddball little alley next to Tacos Villa Corona. Smokers lurking at the Arabesque building. Store windows that look more like storage windows. And curbside trash bins that seem abandoned, overflowing days too long.

That stretch of Glendale is better than it once was, oldbies tell me, Canele and all. But it still has a way to go.


Miles said...

I've lived in Atwater Village since 1999. I'm not an oldtimer, by any stretch, but maybe an oldtimer compared to the most recent influx of gentrifiers -- if that's a word. And, I can say without any hesitation, that Glendale has experienced a rennaisance (Yes, I'm sure that's misspelled.).

Is it as pedestrian friendly as it can be? No. But, it's so much better.

How can it continue to improve? In my opinion, more galleries, more restaurants -- yes, a wine bar -- and residents from both sides of Glendale Blvd. walking to it all from both sides now.

Kathy said...

To funny, the guy that pushed through the POD now rents his place to a medical office and his ex-wife rents her place to a casket shop and a senior day care center. What a faker. I miss being able to park an glendale blvd. Now the Yoga snobs take up all the parking and you can't even get a taco without driving around the block ten times. I also heard that the yoga place is opereating without a permit. I guess its supposed to be retail. Does anyone know who we can report them to. I MISS MY TACOS AND CUBAN SANDWICHES !!!!