Garcetti’s first Mayoral order focuses on ‘Main Street’ livability

City News Service | 10/10/2013, 3:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an initiative today to makeover 40 streets around the city.
Mayor Eric Garcetti signing his first Executive Directive that will establish the City of Los Angeles' ‘Great Streets’ program to create jobs and make city government work better. lamayor.org

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an initiative today to makeover 40 streets around the city.

The mayor’s “Great Streets” program—issued under his first official executive order — involves assembling a working group across five city departments.

The group’s “first priority will be to make sure streets projects are coordinated,” Garcetti said. “No more Bureau of Street Services paving a street on Monday, DWP digging it up on Tuesday.”

A pipe project in the Department of Water and Power could be combined with street furniture and sidewalk repair projects, for example, he said.

Though there have been past efforts by city leaders to improve Los Angeles’ street conditions, Garcetti’s aides said this initiative will focus on “main street” corridors, making them more livable and tailoring projects to the needs and characteristics of the surrounding communities.

The task force will include officials from the planning, cultural affairs, transportation, public works and the economic and workforce development departments. They will also work in tandem with the Department of Water and Power and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The program marks a “fundamental change in how we perceive, interact and build around us,” Garcetti said. “A great neighborhood needs a great street as its backbone, and, as city leaders, we need the backbone to make the bold changes necessary to build great streets.”

In the coming weeks, Deputy Mayor for City Services Doane Liu will call a meeting of the working group, which has 90 days to present a list of 40 streets to include in the program, mayoral spokeswoman Vicki Curry said.

The public will get a chance to participate in the process, and the plan is to begin work on some of the streets in 18 months, she said.

In addition to identifying streets, the Great Streets group will also be charged with determining what projects should to be done and their costs, creating a method for coordinating service, setting a time table, and developing metrics and benchmarks to track progress.