City Releases York Vision Plan to Public
The York Vision Plan includes descriptions of upcoming projects, as well as tools for implementing future plans.
By David Fonseca
Councilman José Huizar on Thursday released a 100-page document comprising two-years worth of community input and outlining a plan for the future of York Boulevard.
According to Huizar, the York Boulevard & Improvement Plan is the product of a series of community workshops facilitated by Living Streets L.A., which began in the fall of 2010 and culminated with the York Vision Plan Celebration on Sept. 29.
The plan outlines an overarching vision for York Boulevard, which includes pedestrian and bicyclist friendly streets complete with shade trees and a range of places to "shop, eat, sit and relax."
The plan has also resulted in several specific projects being put into motion.
In August, the Los Angeles City Council approved plans to implement a parklet on York Boulevard. Slated to be located in front of Do-It-Best Hardware, the parklet will convert a 30-foot-long strip of sidewalk and a designated no-parking zone into a pedestrian plaza.
The city has also received $2.85 million in grant funding from the California Department of Parks and Recreation to purchase the empty lot at the corner of York Boulevard and Avenue 50 and convert it into a public park. The park plans were also developed through York Vision Plan meetings.
While supporters of the York Vision Plan have lauded the extensive community outreach that went into developing the plan, the changes have been met with some criticism.
John Nese, owner of Galco's Old World Grocery on York Boulevard, has argued that the implementation of new bicycle lanes will slow traffic while not providing any real benefit to business owners.
Several Patch commenters have also raised concerns about the safety of the empty lot at York Boulevard and Avenue 50, which is slated to become a public park. Though the Federal Environmental Protection Agency has closed all environmental issues on the site, its report states that there are still traces of the toxic compound methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in the soil at 82 micograms-per-liter. Those levels are only unsafe if consumed.