Upward Mobility: Making it Easier, Safer to Walk and Bike NoHo

Councilmember Paul Krekorian

The secret is out: NoHo is a happening place. It isn’t just up and coming anymore. We have arrived. Within just a few blocks, you can ride your bike for fun, walk to great shops and restaurants, and hop on the Metro to get to work or anywhere else you want to go.

Along with the good, there are challenges too. One of the most nagging issues for folks who live in the neighborhood has been the dangerous intersection at Magnolia Boulevard and Blakeslee Avenue. The intersection, with its simple crosswalk and lots of traffic, has become infamous as a site of many near collisions. Left untouched, it’s an accident waiting to happen.

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After the NoHo Arts District joined Council District 2 in 2012, I made it a priority to make NoHo even better and safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and commuters. There are currently a number of projects moving forward and some are complete. I’m proud to announce that this week, the intersection at Magnolia and Blakeslee is getting a complete overhaul that will make it safer for everyone, especially those who walk around the neighborhood.

I introduced a motion earlier this year to make it happen and the full City Council adopted it. Now, with the help of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Magnolia and Blakeslee is being outfitted with Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons. RRFBs are flashing lights that complement warning signs at intersections that don’t have traffic signals or at mid-block crosswalks. These new devices are being piloted at intersections throughout the city. They have proven to enhance motorist compliance when coupled with a crosswalk. I know they will do wonders for safety at Magnolia and Blakeslee, which is something community members want and deserve.

NoHo is also special because of its collaborative spirit. This spirit may have its genesis in the arts, but it carries over to all aspects of the community. It’s unique for community members, business owners, students, commuters and other stakeholders get together to get things done, but it happens here—and it works.

One example is another improvement on Lankershim in front of the Laemmle NoHo 7. When theatre owner and bike enthusiast Greg Laemmle told me that he wanted a bike corral in front of his theatre, I worked with him to get the project approved and completed. LADOT employees installed the new bike corral this week, just in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Laemmle Theatres.

I believe we can all agree that NoHo is getting better and more mobile every day. What is happening here is a new form of “upward mobility”—one that benefits everyone.

This Saturday, June 21, 2 p.m., please join me to officially open the bike corral and the new Magnolia and Blakeslee crosswalk with a pair of ribbon cuttings. We’ll meet at 5240 Lankershim and then walk over to Magnolia and Blakeslee. Greg Laemmle, Midtown North Hollywood Neighborhood Council members, Los Angeles Police Department officers and others will be there. I hope you will too.

Seal of Los Angeles CaliforniaLos Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian represents Council District 2. His website is cd2.lacity.org and you can find him on Facebook.com/PaulKrekorian and Twitter (@PaulKrekorian).