U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Los Angeles
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Thread summary:

Considering moving from Washington DC to Los Angeles, seeking information about walkability of Los Angeles, want close proximity to shops, dining

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-19-2009, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Downtown LA
1,192 posts, read 1,226,542 times
Reputation: 848

Advertisements

I finish grad school in a couple of months, and thought it might be time for a new coast in my life, so I've been applying to jobs in Los Angeles. The culture and weather really appeal to me, as does the fact that its such a different animal from DC.

One thing I really like about DC though is the fact that I can walk everywhere. I live in a centrally located neighborhood called Shaw, and from there I'm within 20 minutes walk of other neighborhoods like Logan Circle, U Street, Adams Morgan, Penn Quarter, Dupont Circle, and the museums on the National Mall. I can walk to 3 different grocery stores. For farther excursions like Alexandria, Bethesda, or Arlington, there's the Metro or my trusty Vespa.

I know that LA has a reputation as a driving city, but I also know things are changing for the better recently, with Metro expansion and infill and revitalization projects downtown. My question is, is there any area of the city where I can live to get anything like the walkability I have now in DC?

I started a thread with the same topic over at SkyscraperPage and got suggestions to check out Santa Monica, Pasedena, Hollywood, and Long Beach. Any other thoughts? Thanks in advance!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-19-2009, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,751,010 times
Reputation: 17410
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictDirt View Post
I've been applying to jobs in Los Angeles.

is there any area of the city where I can live to get anything like the walkability I have now in DC?
Unless you have the luxury of picking the location of your job in Los Angeles, you might want to repost when you find out exactly where you will be working. Yes there are some walkable areas, and people can present them here, but what good is that if your job is more than 20 miles away (and necessarily too far to commute to)?

What line of work are you in?
What did you earn your degrees in?
What might you expect your budget for housing to be?

Do you have any potential employment locations so people can at least not shotgun responses out without having some general idea?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-19-2009, 09:42 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,028,691 times
Reputation: 1884
the most walkable and livable urban area to me is coastal Long Beach, and the rail takes you into LA if you need to go that route
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-19-2009, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,074,761 times
Reputation: 1595
I agree with Charles. It would be best to know where you would work before we start recommending places thirty miles from your job.

Also, be ready to meet some Californians that think you must drive everywhere. Honestly, you would think they are the most lazy people on planet earth. The most odd one is watching people drive from store to store in a shopping center, all about three football fields apart:

Example of "car culture" behavior: Guy parks in front and walks into Target. Guy comes back, gets in car, and drives to Starbucks three storefronts to the left of Target and parks car. Guy goes to Starbucks, comes back, gets in car, and drives to a barber two store fronts on the other side of Target and parks car. Guy goes to barber, gets back in car, and drives to his apartment adjacent to the Target shopping center.

^^^ Was all that driving within a shopping center really necessary. NO. But you will find many people that won't walk farther than fifty feet in CA and automatically get in the car for things even, yes, 300 feet away.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2009, 12:08 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,748,468 times
Reputation: 6687
Yes! You can definitely live a walkable life in LA. I agree that it will be easier to decide where to live AFTER you find a job, though. We moved to Hollywood from DC (we'd been living in Woodley Park) and I ended up working in Pasadena (and later living in South Pasadena); I took the Rapid bus to work every day, about an hour commute each way. It was a straight shot and I got to read the whole way. If I'd worked downtown it probably would have only taken about 15 minutes or so on the Red Line.

I absolutely loved Hollywood. It's extremely well-served by public transportation, has some beautiful old historic apartment buildings, has good street life, and behind the Walk of Fame actually manages to retain a sense of neighborhood. There's a fabulous Sunday morning farmer's market, too. You can do your shopping in the neighborhood, and if you need to go to Target you can either walk (longish walk from our place, but doable) or hop on a bus to quickly get over to the West Hollywood Target. Many people in our neighborhood didn't own a car, so it wasn't like I was the one weirdo walking and taking public transit. If you want a more upscale neighborhood that's also walkable and has very easy public transit you could look at nearby Los Feliz.

Pasadena would be easily doable without a car, too, especially if you were either working in downtown Pasadena (or along Colorado Blvd) or downtown LA and therefore accessible via Gold Line. Pasadena is a great city. In general it's a little more expected that you're driving in Pasadena, though; you could see it in the little things, like the fact that my Hollywood-area grocery stores tended to pack bags more compactly, while in Pasadena they'd be more likely to give you a million little plastic bags and expect that you'd be heading straight for the car.

For what it's worth, I also discovered that older people tended to think it less odd that I didn't drive; they were more likely to remember back when LA actually had a good streetcar system, and were in general less indoctrinated in the idea that you "have" to drive everywhere.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2009, 01:14 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,748,468 times
Reputation: 6687
I realize that my post has more to do with public transportation than walkability; just wanted to add that while much of LA is "walkable", some parts are more attractive than others. Hollywood's sort of in the middle. There are some unattractive, not particularly pleasant streets (Sunset Blvd through Hollywood fits that description in my mind, even if there are worthwhile destinations located there), along with other interesting, vibrant streets, like Hollywood Blvd from the Vine metro station and west. Hollywood has people out walking at all times of day and night, with more tourists later in the day and more residents out in the morning.

Downtown is walkable, too. There's some interesting neighborhoods and housing options, and would certainly be convenient if that's where you end up getting a job.

LA's a weird city, at least for those more accustomed to the East Coast-style cities, but I grew to love it. It's exciting and interesting and very urban in its own distinct style.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2009, 07:46 AM
 
830 posts, read 2,505,297 times
Reputation: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictDirt View Post
I finish grad school in a couple of months, and thought it might be time for a new coast in my life, so I've been applying to jobs in Los Angeles. The culture and weather really appeal to me, as does the fact that its such a different animal from DC.

One thing I really like about DC though is the fact that I can walk everywhere. I live in a centrally located neighborhood called Shaw, and from there I'm within 20 minutes walk of other neighborhoods like Logan Circle, U Street, Adams Morgan, Penn Quarter, Dupont Circle, and the museums on the National Mall. I can walk to 3 different grocery stores. For farther excursions like Alexandria, Bethesda, or Arlington, there's the Metro or my trusty Vespa.

I know that LA has a reputation as a driving city, but I also know things are changing for the better recently, with Metro expansion and infill and revitalization projects downtown. My question is, is there any area of the city where I can live to get anything like the walkability I have now in DC?

I started a thread with the same topic over at SkyscraperPage and got suggestions to check out Santa Monica, Pasedena, Hollywood, and Long Beach. Any other thoughts? Thanks in advance!

If you're within a 20 minutes walk, then you're talking no more than a couple of miles. That won't get you very far. Los Angeles, particularly the metro area, is huge.

DC is 61 square miles. The City of Los Angeles is 498 square miles, and the metro LA area is 1,667 square miles (all according to Wikipedia).

It sounds like you don't have a car, which you will need in LA. Public transportation is very limited. You can get places, but not always very conveniently.

There are walkable areas, but it will depend on your budget, where you end up working, etc. You have to be able to afford it and you don't want to have a ridiculous commute.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2009, 07:55 AM
 
Location: SoCal - Sherman Oaks & Woodland Hills
12,977 posts, read 28,803,617 times
Reputation: 10491
OP, more information would definitely be helpful for us to give you the info you want.

Just like Charles asked, where will your job be? What is your budget?

All you're going to get with the little info you provide are people just posting here saying how great the area is in which THEY live or WANT to live but cannot afford.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2009, 09:24 AM
 
Location: La Crescenta, CA
418 posts, read 1,526,905 times
Reputation: 333
Many different neighborhoods are walkable in and of themselves -- Los Feliz, Pasadena, Hollywood, Santa Monica, etc. The problem is that you frequently need to get from one area to the other, which you can't generally do by walking.

You're in DC. Imagine that you've got your walkable Adams Morgan/DuPont Circle area; great. Now for other purposes you need to get to Rockville. Then you need to get to Columbia. Sometimes you need to get to Baltimore. You can use the Metro or MARC for some of this, but it has its practical limits. Well, that's pretty much LA. (BTW, this comes from a Baltimore native who's navigated the various '95s for most of his life.)

As in most big cities, living near your work will drastically cut back how much driving you need to do. Also, some neighborhoods are more central than others. But eventually you do have to make some awful commutes. A car (or at least a Vespa) is necessary.

The good(ish) news: while traffic is bad here, it's not nearly as aggressive as the East Coast. Sure, you have some jerks, but it's not the whole "this is my lane and I will kill anyone who tries to merge anywhere within 6 car length of me" thing. And really, even though the highways suck, I'll take the 10 over 495 or 695 any day.

Also, "lane-splitting" is legal here for motorcycles and scooters -- you can drive between lanes of cars. While you should never take a Vespa on the highway, using city streets to get from one neighborhood to the other may not be so bad. You can basically cut to the front of every block of traffic and greatly decrease your commute time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2009, 11:02 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,417,215 times
Reputation: 3323
I've had a vespa in LA for nearly a year and a half and have no interest in going back to a car. I don't ride it in the rain, but i can ride throughout the year because it never gets too cold. On rainy days i take the bus, which is annoying compared to zipping through traffic, but atleast it's an option. I'm married though and my wife has a car so we do have that option when needed. However, renting a car for a day is not that expensive either if you really need to get out of town.

As for walkability, much of Santa Monica is very walkable, especially if you are north of santa monica blvd and/or west of lincoln. venice it nice and parts of marina del rey aren't too bad either. there really are plenty of walkable neighborhoods in LA, the thing is that most are not connected by anything other than 5-6 lane thoroughfares with 45mph speed limites which are not conducive to walking. ultimately though, you'll need to decide to live based on where you work, because coming from DC, you're certainly not going to want to live further than 10 miles from your office.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Los Angeles
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top