Re-Imaging Los Angeles

Pacoima Beautiful is now pushing to transform one street into a pedestrian plaza.

In Los Angeles, CA’s, San Fernando Valley. The neighborhood was originally designed as an auto-dependent suburb, but an estimated one of every three residents in Pacoima has no consistent access to a car.

Pacoima Beautiful is a grassroots, environmental justice organization dedicated to building community assets and improving transportation choices for Pacoima’s residents. They have been involved with Park(ing) Day for three years now.

According to Pacoima Beautiful’s Planning Director, Max Podemski, Park(ing) Day is “good for helping people re-imagine the street.” And not just any street. Van Nuys Boulevard is the main, arterial road through Pacoima, where heavy trucks and constant traffic move through the community and across the valley. “It seemed like the obvious place to do it.” The annual parklet is situated in front of the library near a median, which is important for participants’ safety. Activities for children, an ice cream vendor, and Complete Streets outreach materials can all be found at their Park(ing) Day site.

Pacoima Beautiful is now pushing to transform one street into a pedestrian plaza: the street currently dead-ends into the largest housing project in the city. “It would be a really awesome public space,” Podemski said. “This is a way to formalize Park(ing) Day with a permanent structure.”

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