This week, Here LA kicks off the Transit to Parks Strategic Plan for LA Metro. The physical and psychological benefits of urban parks are well documented. Benefits range from reduction in obesity, depression, and air quality-related health issues, to support for healthy brain development and overall healthy living. But for so many people living in the LA region, accessing a park is not easy. Most of our neighborhoods aren't built around a local park; we can't walk out of our front doors and bike or walk to meet our friends for a pick-up game at a nearby basketball court or the like. Fewer than one-third of Los Angeles children live within walking distance of a park or playground.
The Transit to Parks Plan investigates how we, as a region, can get better access to parkland and open space areas, including the 75 miles of LA County coastline. Solutions will likely include a full range of access improvements, like public shuttles, bike lanes, greenways, programmatic incentives, creative partnerships, non-traditional or shared ride possibilities, and others. The focus will be on providing solutions for car-less, transit-dependent Angelenos and on getting people to the specific types of parks that they want to explore.
Map from the recent LA County Park Needs Assessment.