Communities can transform underused areas of L.A.’s largest public asset—our 7,500 miles of city streets—into active, vibrant, and accessible public space with People St, a program of the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). Eligible Community Partners can apply for approval to create projects that enhance the quality of life in this city. Three innovative types of projects are available: Plazas, Parklets, and Bicycle Corrals.
People St is a program of the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles Departments of Public Works and City Planning, the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
About the Project Team
People St is your one-stop shop for information, resources, and materials on People St Plazas, Parklets, and Bicycle Corrals, and the process for applying to bring these projects to your neighborhood. Building from lessons learned from the city’s six pilot projects, LADOT has been working closely in an unprecedented collaboration with community members, elected officials, and other City staff to develop People St into a program that will expedite project development and implementation with a clear, consistent process.
People St facilitates partnerships between the community and the City of Los Angeles. Projects initiated and driven by and for communities can be brought to life by working through People St. Community Partners are required to be active players in order to build neighborhood support for a project, identify an appropriate site, conduct outreach, raise funds required for materials and furnishings, install project elements (Parklets), and provide and fund long-term management, maintenance, and operations of the project.
Plazas, Parklets, and Bicycle Corrals make for more active, inviting streets. Expanded public spaces can calm traffic and increase safety for people who walk, bike, and take transit. These projects also encourage increased levels of walking and bicycling, all the while supporting economic vitality. Pedestrian-centered activity is shown to foster a greater sense of community, and local businesses benefit as more pedestrians frequent neighborhoods that accommodate them.
People St is the culmination of many years of cooperation and collaboration between community groups, elected officials, City staff, and other nongovernmental organizations to broaden capacity for innovative urban design at the neighborhood level.
The City of Los Angeles’s first Bicycle Corral was installed in February 2011 on York Boulevard in Highland Park, repurposing an on-street parking space with five bicycle racks—enough space for 10 bicycles to lock up.
One year later, in March 2012, the first street-to-Plaza demonstration project, Sunset Triangle Plaza, debuted on Griffith Park Boulevard in Silver Lake. It is located a block north of Sunset Boulevard, near a small park, where a one-block stretch of the street has been closed to traffic and is filled with café tables and chairs, planters, a Bicycle Corral, and a basketball hoop. Since its installation, the community has enthusiastically embraced the space, neighborhood groups have held summer movie nights in the Plaza, and the weekly farmers’ market has enjoyed expansion into the reallocated street space.
In August 2012 the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion directing City departments to assist with the installation of Parklet demonstration projects. Four pilot Parklets—one located in Highland Park on York Boulevard, two on Spring Street in Downtown L.A., and another on Huntington Drive in El Sereno—debuted February 2013.
Along with Sunset Triangle Plaza and the City’s first Bicycle Corral in Highland Park at Café de Leche, these projects provide six test cases, which have provided lessons to inform the formal creation of People St.
Click here for list of all involved in the pilot Plaza, Parklet, and Bicycle Corral efforts.
People St offers an application-based process for Community Partners to receive approval to install a Plaza, Parklet, or Bicycle Corral. Through peoplest.lacity.org, potential Community Partners can access an online-application portal and the materials required for the application process. Each year, LADOT opens an application window, a time during which Community Partners can submit an initial project proposal. See the dates below.
Introductory Application Window
March 3–April 30, 2014
Regular Annual Application Window
October 1–November 28, 2014
(October—November every year thereafter)
Using a set of established criteria to assess each proposal, LADOT selects a limited number of applications with which to move forward. Considerations for proposal selection include: organizational capacity, site location, site context, community support, and access needs for public spaces. Those selected then work closely with LADOT to complete the process of bringing a project to life.
Upon full program launch in early 2014, a downloadable application manual for both the Parklet and Plazas will be made available. These manuals will provide full details about everything you need to know to apply to install a Parklet or Plaza.
Each People St project type offers a preapproved Kit of Parts that contains packaged, required configurations from which to choose. The specifications provided in these documents simplify the process, removing the need for Community Partners to reinvent the wheel each time a project is considered.
LADOT aims to demystify City processes, rules, and requirements in order to make our government more responsive to residents and businesses. In turn, the City and its partners can work together to improve the quality of life in Los Angeles.
People St projects can be completed in months, not years, and for thousands of dollars instead of hundreds of thousands. The projects are permitted for a year with the option to renew—it is hoped that community support will be so strong that residents will work with the city and local elected officials to make them permanent or seek future capital-intensive, corridor-level urban design improvements. By physically and contextually demonstrating the benefits of capturing street space for public space, these projects can, in turn, attract, expedite and foster future investment in infrastructure that better provides for walking, bicycling, and taking transit.