When I think about the future for Los Angeles, I envision a city with more walkable neighborhoods. I live in West Los Angeles, a very walkable neighborhood compared to most here in Southern California. But still, the area is lacking in green open space. Everyday I walk past a park on my way to the bus stop – the Ohio Bundy Triangle Park located on the corner of Bundy Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. – it’s been permanently fenced and locked up by the city. It’s essentially a lost opportunity for open space in a densely populated neighborhood where open space accessibility is a valuable communal commodity for residents.
A community park shouldn’t be caged from its residents.
But there are so many challenges connected with this park. How do you make this open space safe for residents, ease concerns about homelessness, entice visitors, promote pedestrian traffic through the park, yet still provide a park experience while masking the fact that the small park exists within a busy vehicular traffic intersection? A challenge, to say the least!
One side of the park is bordered by a Metro bus stop, and across the street is the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus stop. It’s a busy pedestrian corner. One idea is taking the street back and having the park bleed into the public sidewalk rather than being kept as an isolated floating island.
One side of the park is bordered by Ohio Street which essentially can be closed off since it’s still accessible via Santa Monica Blvd. from Bundy. Programming and community involvement will be a key factor in keeping the park active and well use. There’s already been support to open the park, and it was actually open for one day during Earth Day.
As Los Angeles is moving towards more walkable and densely populated communities, it’s important to continue to fight for open space where communities can gather, play, and breath even if those spaces are smaller and challenging, like the Ohio Bundy Triangle Park.