The notion of “complete streets” has spread nationwide over the last several years, with policies enacted to accomodate all users: motorists, bicyclists, transit vehicles and their riders and pedestrians.
Safe street design for those using roads and sidewalks sounds rather “pedestrian” today, but it wasn’t always that way — including in Los Angeles.
In 1946, a proposal was made to remove all the street-level sidewalks in downtown and move them up to the second-story of buildings.
The idea was to provide “ultimate traffic relief” in the congested central business district, eliminating the need to wait for traffic signals to change while appealing to the business community in providing an extra floor of display windows.
The full story, along with some eye-popping illustrations can be found on the Library’s Primary Resources blog.