First of all, crossing Whittier Boulevard, a four-lane arterial road, where cars drive quickly, as a pedestrian, between Philadelphia Street and Five Points, is extremely dicey. There are no crosswalks on this 0.8 mile (1.3 km) stretch, despite the fact that there are two signalized intersections, at Mar Vista Street and Pacific Place where there definitely should be opportunities for people on foot to cross. This results in absurd situations where people who live on the east side of Whittier Boulevard would be forced to drive to reach destinations right across the street or walk way out of their way to the actual crosswalks. The crosswalks that exist at Philadelphia and Five Points aren't great due to the width and speed of the streets, but at least they exist.
I beat the odds and walked to the other side of the street. On my way back, I walked down to Five Points. On the way, I noticed that Whittier Boulevard doesn't even have complete sidewalks.
|The west side of Whittier Boulevard lacks complete sidewalks just north of Washington Boulevard. This situation causes blight and makes the street inaccessible to the disabled.|
This would be a logical walking route from the future Gold Line terminus, but the pedestrian infrastructure is nonexistent. While an able-bodied person can walk across the dirt and trash, an elderly person, or a person with a disability, would be hard-pressed to navigate the obstacles created by the clear devaluing of pedestrians that has occurred here.
Getting closer to Five Points, I noticed that there are also missing curb ramps in the direct path that would lead people from the Gold Line to Uptown.
In short, Whittier has a lot of work to do before people will be able to get off the Gold Line and actually access the most interesting part of the city. That work needs to start as soon as possible.