The other day I wrote about a series of locked pedestrian gates just north of Pico Blvd in LA’s Country Club Park neighborhood which create some serious accessibility and equity issues. The locked gates on St. Andrews Pl., Gramercy Pl., Wilton Pl, and Van Ness Ave. block access for much of the neighborhood resulting in significantly longer travel times to get to major corridors, especially cumbersome for pedestrians, persons with disabilities, and transit riders.
The gates, located only at the south end of Country Club Park, are a remnant of city policies and practices that excluded South L.A. Black communities from accessing other parts of the city. Current locks on the pedestrian access gates appear to be non-city issued, possibly placed there illegally by nearby residents.
Please contact Councilmember Herb Wesson to demand that these streets remain open to people on foot. Below is a sample email to send Councilmember Wesson with copies to Mark Ridley-Thomas and Grace Yoo (the candidates vying for Wesson’s seat in November), the Country Club Park Neighborhood Association, and Olympic Park Neighborhood Council. Please bcc me when you email these entities. A sample social media post is also included. Feel free to use your own words. Please be courteous.
Herb Wesson councilmember.Wesson@lacity.org
Mark Ridley-Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace Yoo email@example.com
Country Club Park Neighborhood Association firstname.lastname@example.org
Olympic Park Neighborhood Council Board@OPNC.org
Honorable Councilmember Herb Wesson (cc: Mark Ridley-Thomas, Grace Yoo, CCPNA, OPNC)
I urge you to do all in your power to ensure pedestrian access to streets in the Country Club Park neighborhood. Pedestrian access is currently blocked at gates at Van Ness Avenue, Wilton Place, Gramercy Place, and St. Andrews Place, resulting in hardships for pedestrians, persons with disabilities, and transit riders.
Located only at the southern end of Country Club Park, these gates are a remnant of city policies that exclude Black South LA residents from accessing other parts of the city. Please have the city open these exclusionary gates as soon as possible, and take actions necessary to ensure they remain open.
SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POST
Herb Wesson @HerbJWesson
Mark Ridley Thomas @MRTempower
Grace Yoo @GraceYooCD10
Councilmember @HerbJWesson please open the exclusionary pedestrian access gates to Country Club Park #OpenCountryClubParkGates – and @MRTempower & @GraceYooCD10 are you committed to keeping them open?
This post is made in collaboration with Joe Linton. Thanks for your activism, Joe!
[…] Sample Letter To Open Country Club Park Neighborhood Gates (Hoff the Beaten Path) […]
Thanks for doing this.
Hello I am the person from the Tiktok video @missmckc. This gate doesn’t exclude Black LA residents because Black LA residents live in the area. As for the transit issue upon further research, the city works together with the residents to ensure their safety. Google maps and other navigation apps are supposed to reroute travelers. Sometimes it glitches like it did with me, but other than that it is fine. Never in the video did I advocate for the removal of the gate. I only complained how hard it was as a transit rider. Some of my information was inaccurate and I apologize for that. I am not originally from Los Angeles. I spoke with a resident from the neighborhood. I urge you to do the same. It is imperative that when advocating for accessibility we include everyone including the original residents. Otherwise you are exhibiting the behaviors you are preaching against.
Hi Kacey, thank you for your comment and the original post. I want to clarify that I’m not advocating for the removal of the gates. I actually support traffic diverters that restrict access on local streets. The issue that I and others have that live nearby is the restricted pedestrian access. This creates issues to transit dependent Angelenos and folks who get around in ways other than a car. LA’s built environment is notorious for excluding the needs of non-car commuters and I’m glad there is a dialogue about this. I appreciate your perspective and that of everyone who has reached out.
There are other nearby areas with gates also, but in many cases they block cars, not pedestrians.
The ones that I am thinking of are in Laffayette Square basically blocking side streets west of Crenshaw, from vehicular access to Venice Blvd and Washington Blvd.
Here is an example. Notice that the fence only blocks the street, not the sidewalk.
Something similar should happen in Country Club Park [and Victoria Park].
[…] are many more examples – from the Country Club gates off Pico Boulevard to bollards off Hoover Street in Pico Union. For the most part, these diverters keep drivers from […]