We call Melrose Village “the green heart of Los Angeles” because it is one of the most environmentally-conscious neighborhoods in the region. Many of our residents and workers walk, bike, and take transit to jobs, shopping, and entertainment. And many of us chose to live here because of the close and easy access to stores, restaurants, theaters, and parks.
The web site Walk Score lists Melrose Village as one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Southern California, with many of our blocks labeled as a “Walker’s Paradise.” To check out the score for your block, just go to the Walk Score site and enter your address.
Of course, there are still many people in Los Angeles who insist on driving everywhere – even just a few blocks. (Then they complain that it’s hard to find a parking space.) Fortunately, though, we are running into fewer of these environmentally-backwards people lately. There is a greater appreciation for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders – particularly in communities such as ours.
For those of us who don’t consider ourselves slaves to our cars, an excellent article appeared earlier this month in the travel section of The New York Times. Titled, “Los Angeles on $100 a Day,” it tells about a traveler from New York who spent a week visiting here, never renting a car, but instead biking, walking, and taking mass transit. He had a great experience.
I liked this article so much that I posted the following comment about it on The New York Times web site:
Wonderful article. When someone tells me they are visiting Los Angeles for the first time, I always tell them NOT to rent a car. It’s much better to book a hotel in a walkable area with good transit, such as Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Hollywood, or downtown. Then walk, bus, and cab wherever you want to go. Even if you take cabs everywhere, you will still spend the same or less than if you rented a car – and with far fewer frustrations. When non-Los Angeles people tell me they visited here and disliked it, they usually refer to how they hated driving, getting stuck in traffic, getting lost, having a hard time finding parking, and not feeling like they met enough real people. All of those things are connected to the car. Get out of the car, people! Believe it or not, there are millions of people in Los Angeles County who regularly walk, bike, and take transit – and enjoy living here more as a result. As a visitor, you will feel the same. Oh, and those people who sneer that “Nobody walks in LA”? Those are the same people who refuse to take the subway in New York – because it’s too “common.” Ignore them.