Councilmember Huizar works with Planning Department to implement new city policy that guarantees pedestrian access during construction on all new projects requiring discretionary review – part of Councilmember’s DTLA Forward Initiative
Responding to a motion introduced by Councilmember José Huizar, The City’s Planning Department has implemented a new standard for development projects in the City of Los Angeles, which require developers to maintain safe adjacent pedestrian access alongside project construction sites at all times.
The action is part of DTLA Forward, a downtown transportation and planning initiative launched by Councilmember José Huizar. Councilmember Huizar issued legislation last summer to address the problem of a lack of safe, pedestrian access for residents, workers and visitors in Downtown around some construction projects. The new Planning policy is already in effect and being used to implement safe pedestrian access around a number of new construction areas.
“While we encourage new development and the economic development, jobs and increased tax base it provides the City of Los Angeles, we also need to provide safe pedestrian access at all times,” said Councilmember Huizar. “This new policy allows us to do that and embrace Complete Streets planning that increases pedestrian and bicycle use in downtown and pushes DTLA Forward. I thank Planning for working with my office to protect and encourage more pedestrian activity in DTLA and the City of Los Angeles.”
Under the new guidelines, if the Planning Department determines a project may potentially block or close sidewalk access during project construction, Planning will impose their new requirement in the environmental clearance documents. This is now part of the City’s standard mitigation measures, and will be imposed on new development projects moving forward.
“The high rate of construction activity Downtown is exciting,” said Planning Director Michael LoGrande. “With all the construction and improvements, it is important that residents, visitors, and workers who call Downtown home can walk in a safe and inviting manner. Thanks to the leadership of Councilmember Huizar, the City will now make sure that pedestrian safety comes first.”
There is more than $12 billion in active development happening in Downtown Los Angeles, an important driver for our regional economy. More than 500,000 people work in DTLA. Currently there are more than 53,000 residents, up from approximately 10,000 just a decade ago. That figure is expected to continue to rise in the coming years.
The new policy guarantees pedestrian access during construction on all new projects requiring discretionary review.
Several other motions related to Huizar’s DTLA Forward initiative were recently heard in the Transportation Committee and will be heard jointly with Huizar’s Planning & Land Use Management Committee in the coming months.
Read Planning’s new language that its Environmental Staff Advisory Committee implemented:
Applicant shall plan construction and construction staging as to maintain pedestrian access on adjacent sidewalks throughout all construction phases. This requires the applicant to maintain adequate and safe pedestrian protection, including physical separation (including utilization of barriers such as K-Rails or scaffolding, etc.) from work space and vehicular traffic, and overhead protection, due to sidewalk closure or blockage, at all times.
Temporary pedestrian facilities should be adjacent to the project site and provide safe, accessible routes that replicate as nearly as practical the most desirable characteristics of the existing facility.
Covered walkways should be provided where pedestrians are exposed to potential injury from falling objects.
Applicant shall keep sidewalk open during construction until only when it is absolutely required to close or block sidewalk for construction and/or construction staging. Sidewalk shall be reopened as soon as reasonably feasible taking construction and construction staging into account.