On a recent trip to Los Angeles, California, I noticed many things about the area that were appealing to me. The walkable neighborhoods, the bicycle lanes, and the clear skies are very attractive to someone who lives on east coast. Los Angeles is known for their traffic, but they have made efforts to eliminate it.
This picture of the Santa Monica neighborhood is one that I like. It does not capture the entire idea, but as the pedestrian walks one block to the right, they reach the main boulevard. It has shops, supermarkets, and leads to a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The residential area within walking distance of the commercial area creates a sense of community. People living in that area use all of their stores and space for their daily lives.
Venice Beach has some of the most interesting walkways similar to those of the Garden City. These small paths outlining the canals are for pedestrians only, separating automobile traffic from foot traffic. Residents who live along the canals use the paths most frequently.
These two pictures are of the walkway from the cliff overlooking the ocean. There is a long and steep staircase that leads to the footpath over the highway. The path puts the pedestrian right onto the beach. This connectivity is great for pedestrian and the people living in the Santa Monica area. It makes for a nice walk for visitors who want to see the town and the beach in a matter of a few minutes. The footbridge separates pedestrians from the busy street. It makes for a beautiful afternoon walk.
Red Bank, New Jersey is a lovely town with a nice downtown area with small shops and restaurants. It is a walkable town, but there are some issues regarding it. The streets as seen above are wide and the cars driving on it are moving fast. This deters pedestrians from walking the entire town. Another issue is that there is limited mixed-use zoning. There is a lack of residential homes and buildings in this specific area, meaning that the people coming to enjoy the town are visitors. The economy in Red Bank is not very prosperous because it takes travel time to actually get there. Parking is limited and it gets very congested with vehicles.
This is one of my favorite spots on the College Avenue campus, but it is plagued by the noise of the street. College Avenue itself is swarmed with busses and cars, which makes it dangerous for pedestrians to even cross the street. During rush hour or when classes let out, the street practically stops because it has to let groups of students cross. The College Avenue campus to heavily focused on College Avenue, making it hectic and lacks a place of serenity.
Most of the things I like and do not like have to do with walkability. Los Angeles accommodates pedestrians in their small towns and also has almost perfect weather, which might be why I am so enticed by it. New Jersey has some smaller towns, but are not completely focused on pedestrians and bicyclers.