Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), like a number of larger and older airports in the country, was not originally designed for the pedestrian experience, whether the pedestrian is a visitor or one of the thousands of employees who keep people and goods moving. Today, pedestrians find it challenging simply to navigate around the airport. That’s why the City Planning Department and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) are working to address these issues through a variety of planning and infrastructure efforts.
As we try to create more sustainable and resilient communities, we look at ways to become more transit dependent to get around. Some would say that this future starts at LAX. The City has invested billions of dollars to modernize the airport. In fact, the City Council just approved a people mover. Thanks to Metro, more Angelenos will also soon have a direct connection to LAX through the Crenshaw Line, which will connect our southern Los Angeles neighborhoods to Inglewood and the airport. These investments will be transformative if we can address what’s called the "first/last mile" through roadway improvements and land use policies designed to encourage people to use active transportation to access transit.
City Planning and LAWA recently presented a pair of plans to the City Planning Commission, proposing a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly corridor along Century Boulevard called the "Gateway to LA."
The Century Boulevard Streetscape Plan will improve sidewalks and create a higher quality space for all users. The Westchester-Playa del Rey Community Plan Implementation Overlay will work hand-in-hand with that plan. It will strengthen use and design of new structures. For example, pedestrians and motorists will have more access to a building through a number of entrances and there will be windows on the street level instead of walls. The overlay also works to ensure buildings include pedestrian-friendly features like shops or restaurants with outdoor dining.
We are proud to collaborate with LAWA to ensure LAX continues to be a welcoming, safe, walkable, green, and memorable place of entry for a diverse, global set of visitors.
Written by Andrew Jorgensen, Planning Associate with Transit Neighborhood Plans