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LA To Temporarily Ban Cars From Some Streets So Pedestrians Can Maintain Distance

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As Angelenos continue to work from home with their children underfoot, the city of Los Angeles is taking steps to make streets safer and give people room to give each other space.

Mayor Eric Garcetti in his Wednesday briefing said that cars would be banned from certain streets this weekend so people would have more space to ride their bicycles and walk in their immediate neighborhoods, while still maintaining a distance of six feet from their neighbors to keep from spreading the coronavirus.

The changes have been sought in neighborhoods like Del Rey, where LA City Councilman Mike Bonin cheered the impending change.

"Family friendly streets are — finally — coming to some Los Angeles neighborhoods," Bonin tweeted. Bonin said that details are coming and that his constituents in Del Rey and West LA have been "clamoring" for the change.

Kelsi Violet, a bartender who is currently out of work, has been riding her bike in her Del Rey neighborhood.

"The path gets really crowded, and it's sometimes like there's groups of 10 or 15 people and swarms of bikes," she said.

The combination of narrow streets, speeding drivers and people and children needing to exercise and play in neighborhoods fueled interest in the safer streets initiatives. Last month, Pasadena did not close off streets, but put up new signs urging drivers to slow down so residents could walk and exercise safely.

A-frame signs similar to the ones placed by Pasadena would be temporarily placed in streets selected by the council and the Department of Transportation. Del Rey signs would discourage cut-through traffic, and emergency and delivery vehicles won't be impacted.

The city of Ventura says they will also put up "Local Traffic Only" signs on certain streets this week to make more room for pedestrians and cyclists.

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