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With the arrival of the Exposition Line providing a rail connection from Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean for the first time since 1953, the Downtown Plan will guide the next phase of the pedestrian-oriented evolution of this beachfront city. The plan encompasses roughly forty city blocks, six of which, front the iconic Third Street Promenade. The plan seeks to capitalize on the energy and vitality of the Promenade and seeks to expand and extend this energy to the east and west.
Recognizing that no matter how one arrives to the Downtown area, sooner or later, everyone becomes a pedestrian, the plan lavishes attention on the public realm through streetscape improvements and roadway reconfigurations to prioritize pedestrian comfort, utility, and safety as well as multimodal accessibility. By planning for both a range of public spaces of varying scales and by treating the street network as the Downtown’s greatest public space the plan provides for an immersive pedestrian experience. ‘Signature sidewalks’ are strategically incorporated throughout the plan area, created by enhanced building setbacks, or road diets depending on the opportunities present. Meanwhile, design and development standards focus on the design of the sidewalk and building facades that front them in order to create humanscale, attractive and inviting frontages. The use of Town Information Modeling® (TIM®) allowed Torti Gallas to test various land use and development alternatives to arrive at design standards that are predictable and flexible to promote creative and elegant buildings and public spaces.
Even with its focus on the pedestrian, the plan provides strategic parking enhancements, aimed primarily at using existing parking assets more efficiently, while also providing for short and long term actions to increase the overall capacity of the circulation network including an enhanced bicycle network, and new street connections over the freeway. Incentives for desperately needed affordable housing, and a greater range of cultural and arts amenities are also feature prominently in the plan.