The following testimony was delivered by Damien Newton to the City Council concerning the potential closure of one of the Ballona Creek Trail Entrances.
Good afternoon, my name is Damien Newton, and I am testifying on behalf of LA Walks, a 10 year old pedestrian advocacy group for the Greater Los Angeles area.
We believe that closing this entrance for Ballona Creek is a mistake. In our research, we've found no instances where restricting access to a trail has resulted in lower crime in an area. We also believe that closing an entrance/exit will make the trail dangerous for those who use the trail as a walking trail. While one can argue a cyclist would have an advantage to speed away from danger towards the nearest exit, the walker will have no speed advantage that the cyclist might have.
Eyes on the street is our best way of providing safety in a neighborhood or along a path like Ballona Creek. Without the eyes of pedestrians and cyclists along the path, criminal activity can occur unnoticed.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.