EVNW

Last Wednesday night, I attended a meeting of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood watch. It’s a monthly gathering where Frogtown residents sit for about an hour and discuss what’s happening around safety and crime in the area. Coffee was provided. We started with a brief introduction, where everyone would say their name and how long they’ve resided in Frogtown. Most of the attendees have lived there for twenty or more years; their endearment of the place was apparent.

For the first forty minutes, two officers from Northeast Community LAPD talked to residents about recent local crimes before fielding questions. There was a lively discussion about an incident the week prior that had officers pursuing suspects driving on the pedestrian/bike path. No one was injured, but some residents felt the decision to engage in a police chase on the pedestrian path was questionable.

You can read tweets about Frogtown, or articles in LA Weekly or other outlet, and that will give some impression of the neighborhood, but it’s a limited view. We get a clearer idea of who the people in the neighborhood are by hearing about the local guy stealing mail, seeing someone’s eyes beam as she talks about kid next door landing a college scholarship, or even learning about mundane municipal affairs. So that was one reason to attend the meeting: to see the place and see the people. It was also a chance for David De La Torre to introduce us and our project to the community. Which we did, briefly, mentioning the upcoming workshop and answering a few residents’ questions. They seemed receptive overall to a pedestrian/bike path intervention. If the first half of the meeting is any indication of how locals feel about this place (granted with much elbow grease), we can look forward to a nice turnout.

EVNW

evnw.jpg

Last Wednesday night, I attended a meeting of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood watch. It’s a monthly gathering where Frogtown residents sit for about an hour and discuss what’s happening around safety and crime in the area. Coffee was provided. We started with a brief introduction, where everyone would say their name and how long they’ve resided in Frogtown. Most of the attendees have lived there for twenty or more years; their endearment of the place was apparent.

For the first forty minutes, two officers from Northeast Community LAPD talked to residents about recent local crimes before fielding questions. There was a lively discussion about an incident the week prior that had officers pursuing suspects driving on the pedestrian/bike path. No one was injured, but some residents felt the decision to engage in a police chase on the pedestrian path was at questionable.

You can read tweets about Frogtown, or  articles in LA Weekly or other outlet, and that will give some impression of the neighborhood, but it’s a limited view. We get a clearer idea of who the people in the neighborhood are by hearing about the local guy stealing mail, seeing someone’s eyes beam as she talks about kid next door landing a college scholarship, or even learning about mundane municipal affairs. So that was one reason to attend the meeting: to see the place and see the people. It was also a chance for David De La Torre to introduce us and our project to the community. Which we did, briefly, mentioning the upcoming workshop and answering a few residents’ questions. They seemed receptive overall to a pedestrian/bike path intervention. If the first half of the meeting is any indication of how locals feel about this place (granted with much elbow grease), we can look forward to a nice turnout.

The Frog Spot (Neighborhood Locations 1/4)

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The Frog Spot was one of the first businesses to open in the neighborhood that catered to River visitors and is located along the Elysian Valley area of the Los Angeles Greenway trail. This gathering spot only open during the summer were locals and visitors alike can rest. The organization is run by the local non-profit Friends of the Los Angeles River.

Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) was founded by Lewis MacAdams in 1986 and it's mission is to protect and restore the natural and historical heritage of the Los Angeles River. It

On Saturday Shawn and I stop by to grab some refreshments. The space was bustling, with visitors that had come to participate of the Ten Feet exhibition. However most of the FoLAR volunteers were Downtown LA for the FoLAR Fandango Fundraiser.

PathHack

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It was almost 96 degrees by 9am last Saturday October 10, 2015 when Shawn Jackson and I visit David De La Torre in Elysian Valley.

We found David wrestling a lime tree inside Jardín del Rio, a beautiful community garden in Elysian Valley. He was clearing away wild branches that blocked some of the neighbor's plots. David has rightfully earned himself the moniker 'Mayor of Elysian Valley'. Between Jardín del Río, organizing job fairs, the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch and gathering resources for earthquake readiness he has his hands full.

That morning we discussed the follow-up ideas we had put together since the CPCP convening in August. We were thinking of calling it PathHack: A day of "hacking" the Los Angeles Greenway Trail to create a slow-zone in direct reaction to the lack of action by the City to institute safety measures on the path.

During 4 hours we will hold multiple activity stations:

-A station with the Bike Coalition and the EVNW were they can give away bells and discuss the safety guides created in Elysian Valley along the EVNW. (How not to yell left and use a bell, where to slow down, etc.) -A station were kids can draw their dream monster bike (which then Shawn and I can try to translate into the Monster Barricade bike). -We can have an hour within the event were EVNW, SuperCommunity and the Bike Coalition talk bike safety: discuss the rules step by step even as the other stations keep working. -A station were people can sign a petition advocating for a slow-zone on the path.

Still organizing the intervention tho but excited to be well underway.