A way to the future
A colleague and friend, Jonathan Louie, is part of a group of young people who are working with RailLA to wrestle control of our travel choices in this city away from the Cars First crowd and the Myopic Neighborhood Groups and place power into the hands of… well, since I’m one of them I can comfortably title these the Reasonable Members Of Society Who Are Looking To The Future. In other words, let’s focus on making it easiest and pleasantest for the greatest number of Angelenos/Angelenas and tourists to get to and from work, play, school, cultural venues, the library, shopping, etc.
Louie is currently working to confirm an exhibition illustrating this power struggle at one of our city’s more exciting and centrally located public spaces, a space which is itself along an historically disputed and much anticipated people’s rail route. (Did I mention that this rail route, although finally in the works, is also seriously compromised by the above mentioned naysaying groups??!! Watch your backs, you wretched burghers of Hancock Park and Windsor Square.) He and his team are out weekends at the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market and others gathering ideas that graphic artists will then turn into images that will then be collaged together to make an imagined City Without Cars. These resultant images will be displayed in the aforementioned museum exhibition. I quote from the RailLA PR:
“Los Angeles – aka The Prototypical American City – is at a crossroads. We have grown from distant communities of missionaries and rancheros to a diverse yet separated community of suburbs, and now to an unhappily-joined community of industries and sprawl. The growth of Los Angeles as a de-centralized city has created a playground for the automobile – where no less than a six lane freeway will do, massive parking lots litter the built environment, and traffic strikes fear into anyone looking to traverse the city. It has rendered a city incapable of movement, a place where the freeway no longer allows freedom, but instead has resulted in a life informed by sigalert and strangled by traffic.”
And here’s where you and I come in:
“In response to the current state of the city, we are looking for a few sentences of imaginative and exotic ideas of what to do with a city beyond cars. How would you improve your environments? Perhaps with localized agriculture? A Linear Shopping Mall? Centralized Housing to encourage walking to work?
Twenty-five selected ideas will be given to a team of artists, designers and architects, and result in a publication + exhibition of before/after collages envisioning a new pedestrian based Los Angeles. Go to www.railla.org/inmycity to share your idea or multiple ideas, and help us vision a new LA beyond cars.”
To find out more about railLA and our scheduled events, go to www.railla.org.