After 3 lunchtime meetings, the student leaders decided to take a closer look at the first alley they plan to revitalize. Joining them on their walk were people from Cal State Los Angeles, UCLA, USC, the Cesar Chavez Foundation, the Museum of Tolerance, and LAPD.
During the walk they observed the current conditions and looked for opportunities for art, gardening, and improved safety.
The students in the Low Rider Bike Club looked for a safer route for their mode of transportation.
Included here are some of their observations.
Many of the walls are made of cinder block, some with and without additional security bars. Some of the south facing walls may be more appropriate for plantings and some of the north-facing, shady walls may be better for art. Students are sensitive to the abundance of taggers in the neighborhood and are seeking ways to integrate a variety of creative expressions on the walls.
Although this is a more extreme example of the fences, it does remind us of the opportunity to reclaim/reuse the material and of the abundance of dirt along the edges, available for planting. We will need to reclaim water from improved paved surface (remember cars/bikes use this alley). Planting should help reduce overall pollution and enhance the transportation experience along the route.
Bananas and Citrus plants behind another example of fence material along the alley.
Several residences have chain link fences that separate the parking area from the alley. These will need to be maintained and integrated with the design.
Dogs were observed in the alleys too. Some were cute and playful, some more intimidating, some were ill and we did see two deceased pooches left in bags. We're hoping our efforts at bringing the community together will allow us to address some of these humane issues with dignity and make the alleys safer for all the inhabitants.