LOS ANGELES– In time for tomorrow’s Art Walk, the City’s Downtown Art Walk Task Force, formed by City Councilmembers José Huizar and Jan Perry, unveiled new policies to ensure that the event continues to be a fun and safe monthly gathering.
Starting this month, the City Fire Department and County Health Department will no longer issue any permits for vending between 3rd and 7th street and Spring and Main, areas identified to be overly congested by art walk activities. Instead, both agencies will work with interested vendors to expedite permits for tomorrow’s art walk in areas outside this zone, with the hopes of supporting the growth of the event outside the four-block area.
“Art Walk is an organic event that has grown in attendance and popularity alongside the revitalization of our urban downtown. Our number one priority is to support public safety efforts and ensure that Art Walk continues as a sustainable, positive event for the entire Los Angeles community,” said Council President Pro Tempore Perry, Ninth District.
“Art Walk is a fantastic event that draws thousands downtown and we want to ensure that it remains active and viable,” said José Huizar, Councilmember for the 14th District. “We’re hopeful that the safety changes we’re implementing for tomorrow’s Art Walk will allow us to reduce large crowds drawn to non-art related activities.”
Additionally, the City will continue to provide an extensive police presence as they have done at previous Art Walks. The City will:
- Continue turn restrictions on Main for northbound traffic at 3rd St. and 4th St.
- Continue turn restrictions on Spring from southbound traffic at 4th St. and 6th St.
- Continue assisting in maintaining pedestrian traffic flow on sidewalks
- Street Services inspectors will attend to keep sidewalks clear of unpermitted items such as DJ equipment, craft vendors, carts, etc.
- Fire Inspectors and LADBS will be out to monitor permitted food/craft lots and shut down unpermitted lots
Analysis by the task force also revealed that the LAPD has had an extensive history of supporting public safety efforts at Art Walk. Bike officers from throughout Central Bureau are deployed monthly, including Central Division Senior Lead Officers who patrol the area alongside their fellow officers to keep the community safe and lend familiarity and support to the event.
The official City-agency Task Force was formed by Councilmembers Huizar and Perry to address and develop short and long-term plans to address traffic, crowd control and other safety measures at the monthly Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, which routinely draws 30,000. The task force is led by the Bureau of Street Services and includes various City departments (Public Works Bureaus, Transportation, Police, Planning, Fire, Building and Safety, City Attorney, representatives from Council Districts 9 and 14, and a the Los Angeles County Health Department).
Following the July 14th Art Walk, which tragically left a two-month old infant dead when a motorist jumped a curb while attempting to park, striking several pedestrians standing on the sidewalk, Council members Huizar and Perry led several informal meetings, bringing together police, fire, transportation officials and other agencies to discuss ways to increase safety at the event. The task force was a result of these meetings. They reached consensus that a plan needed to be developed to better address crowd control for an event that has grown from a few hundred people to tens of thousands of people.
The Task Force will continue to meet and work on long-term strategies for future Art Walk events.