Celebrating a Safer Westlake-MacArthur Park

Between Monday, June 5 and Saturday, June 10, LADOT partnered with Central City Neighborhood Partners (CCNP) to present “20 Miles Saves Lives — 20 Millas Salva Vidas,” a traffic-safety campaign to publicize and celebrate improvements to the MacArthur Park-Westlake area. A week of art, music, education, and participatory planning culminated in a street festival on Saturday, featuring traditional Latin American dancing, an appearance by Council Member Gil Cedillo, and a march down 6th Street led by the famous activist Peatonito. When the improvements are finished, 6th Street between Rampart and Beaudry, Wilshire Blvd. between Rampart and Valencia, and Alvarado Street between 6th and 7th, will feature new designs that improve visibility and safety for all road users.

Council Member Gil Cedillo addresses the crowd.

All week long, neighborhood residents had access to a newly created pocket park at 6th Street and Columbia, where there was a daily art workshop with recycled products. Daily walks through the neighborhood alerted residents and business owners to the exciting changes coming to the area. On Saturday, a daylong festival and resource fair brought civic organizations, neighborhood groups, and local artists to MacArthur Park. Attendees could look at plans to improve the streets and pick the kind of crosswalk they wanted to install at the intersection of 7th and Alvarado, and a dance troupe performed traditional dances from various regions of Mexico.

At the end of the day, the famous pedestrian superhero Peatonito also came by, to participate in a telenovela about street safety and ten lead a march through the neighborhood. Residents walked from MacArthur Park to the pocket park at 6th and Columbia, waving signs and chanting “20 Millas Salva Vidas! 20 Miles Saves Lives!” to the cheers of onlookers.

Thank you to our partners at CCNP and all the local community organizations that helped to make this event a success!

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This post was written by Jordan Fraade.