The Sidewalks of Hollywood. A blog by Kerry Morrison, Executive Director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance

Last weekend, one of my board members sent me a link to a list: “The Biggest Tourist Traps on Earth.” He was apologetic, but as I read it, I sighed. The Walk of Fame is listed there with the Blarney Stone, Graceland, the Taj Mahal and 23 other locations. Hollywood’s description suggests a neighborhood that has been forgotten by the city of Los Angeles and our tourism officials. It’s hard to not acknowledge the truth in their claims.

If you go to Los Angeles on vacation, don’t go to the Walk of Fame unless you like walking past . . .  abandoned buildings while . . .  fending off buskers, the homeless and people trying to sell you their mix-tape. Read more...

Jeff Lee Selected as Ambassador of the Year

From left to right:  Terrence McIntosh, Martha Lee, Jeffrey Lee, Win Davis, Steve Hillard

From left to right:  Terrence McIntosh, Martha Lee,
Jeffrey Lee, Win Davis, Steve Hillard

Town Green Special Services District (TGSSD) celebrates the selection of Jeffrey Lee as the 2016 Ambassador of the Year.  The celebration was part of the TGSSD annual meeting held on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.  Jeff is a supervisor with Streetplus Company, LLC (Streetplus) and is responsible for ensuring the daily mission of the clean, safe and friendly program is accomplished to exceed the expectations of the downtown stakeholders and those that live, work, and visit the district.

Jeff has been assigned to the TGSSD for over six years and during the past year he displayed a consistent level of commitment, professionalism and work ethic unmatched in the industry.  He brings a sense of calm while leading a group of ambassadors as they strive to keep the district clean, safe and friendly. 

During 2016, Terrence McIntosh, Streetplus Program Manager, significantly increased the level of expectations for the ambassadors and Jeff was instrumental in delivering the message and ensuring the high standards were exceeded.

Jeff also provides a historical perspective since he’s worked at the account for six years.  This knowledge has assisted Terrence in bringing forth new ideas that improved operations.  One of those ideas was the modification of the trash pick-up route. 

Congratulations to Jeff and thank you for your commitment and hard work!

Downtown Alliance to fund 'street team' to help relieve homeless issues

By  Katie McKellar  |  Posted Apr 7th, 2017 @ 10:06pm

By  Katie McKellar  |  Posted Apr 7th, 2017 @ 10:06pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Determined to help reduce issues associated with Salt Lake City's overwhelmed homeless shelter, downtown business leaders are stepping in.

Their plan: a paid "street team" with backgrounds in social work roaming the streets of downtown Salt Lake City — some on bikes, others on Segways — doing everything from scrubbing graffiti to asking the nearby panhandler, "How can I help?" Read More

Arts District bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly projects around LA will get millions from the state

Nearly $15 million awarded to make the neighborhood safer for walkers and bicyclists

Last week, the California Transportation Commission awarded more than $100 million to 62 active transportation projects around the state, including $14.85 million for a host of bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly improvements in the Arts District. 

The grant money, which will be delivered between 2019 and 2021, represents a sizable chunk of the $56 million awarded to Southern California cities and agencies to deliver projects focused on making the state safer for walkers and bicyclists. Read More...

See how our Chicago Loop Alliance “Street Team” is making a difference on State Street

(Above) A homeless Chicagoan outside a fast food restaurant on State Street talks with two members of a Chicago Loop Alliance “Street Team.” 

(Above) A homeless Chicagoan outside a fast food restaurant on State Street talks with two members of a Chicago Loop Alliance “Street Team.” 

By Steven Dahlman

25-Jun-16 – During their three-and-a-half mile journey up and down State Street, 44-year-old Edmund Garcia and 27-year-old Terrence Shelton pass thousands of people – workers at the retail stores for which State Street is famous, shoppers, and tourists. But it is a handful of Chicagoans in which they are most interested, people whose only home is a doorway or a chair outside a restaurant or any spare spot on the sidewalk. Click here to read more

Chicago Loop Alliance Works Hard and Plays Hard

The Chicago Loop Alliance’s next ACTIVATE celebration promises to bring art, music, refreshments, and, according to its online invitation, more than 4,000 guests to the alley that intersets the State St. Target store on June 9th.

By all accounts, it will be another successful installment in a meticulously curated series that has become known for generating good times in underutilized public spaces for the past three years. But the soirees represent just a small part of the CLA’s much grander mission: to create a Renaissance in downtown Chicago.

“The ACTIVATE stuff wouldn’t work if people didn’t feel safe,” says CLA Executive Director Michael Edwards. “If a downtown is cleaner and safer, people will come back.” Read More...

Chicago Loop Alliance Street Team Recertified

Streetplus understands the importance of equipping ambassadors with the right tools to be successful on the streets and training is the most effective way to get those resources to them.  All ambassadors employed by Streetplus are required to be certified in Basic First Aid, CPR, AED, and Bloodborne Pathogens.

Our Street Team Ambassadors assigned to the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) recently went through recertification.  Street Team Ambassadors are responsible for building professional relationships with those in need (homeless persons and panhandlers) within the boundaries of the CLA.  They refer those in need to shelter, clothing, food, medical services, and counselling, just to name a few.  During 2015, the Street Team was successful in getting 57 individuals that were homeless on State Street off the streets into transitional housing, employment and treatment facilities. 

Historic Core BID and Streetplus Sponsor Gathering to Discuss Mental Illness

Blair Besten, Executive Director of the Historic Core Business Improvement District (HCBID), located in downtown Los Angeles, certainly understands the impact of mental illness in individuals on the streets and how it affects the environment in her District.  Streetplus safety hospitality ambassadors have witnessed an increase in the number of individuals displaying symptoms of mental illness on the streets.   There are so many aspects to this increasing issue and the HCBID decided to take action.  The first step was to educate the various private security personnel assigned to protect property in the HCBID.

On April 28, 2016, The HCBID and Streetplus co-sponsored a gathering of private security personnel for the purpose of beginning a dialog on the issue of mental illness.  Under Ms. Besten’s leadership, representatives from the Los Angeles Police Department, City of Los Angeles Mental Health Department, and the Los Angeles Police Department Mental Evaluation Unit presented approaches on how private security personnel can safely deal with individuals who may have mental illness issues or are unstable.  Those attending the meeting left with a better understanding of the issue and how to approach those who may have a mental illness or are unstable.

The HCBID and Streetplus will continue to get the word out and take an active role in providing resources to those that are directly affected by this issue.  A big thank you to the LAPD and the LAPD MEU and the City of Los Angeles Mental Health Department for seeing the value in this gathering and for supporting our efforts.  

Blair Besten, Executive Director of the Historic Core Business Improvement District (HCBID), located in downtown Los Angeles, certainly understands the impact of mental illness in individuals on the streets and how it affects the environment in her District.  Streetplus safety hospitality ambassadors have witnessed an increase in the number of individuals displaying symptoms of mental illness on the streets.   There are so many aspects to this increasing issue and the HCBID decided to take action.  The first step was to educate the various private security personnel assigned to protect property in the HCBID.

On April 28, 2016, The HCBID and Streetplus co-sponsored a gathering of private security personnel for the purpose of beginning a dialog on the issue of mental illness.  Under Ms. Besten’s leadership, representatives from the Los Angeles Police Department, City of Los Angeles Mental Health Department, and the Los Angeles Police Department Mental Evaluation Unit presented approaches on how private security personnel on how to deal with individuals who may have mental illness issues or are unstable.  Those attending the meeting left with a better understanding of the issue and how to approach those who may have a mental illness or are unstable.

The HCBID and Streetplus will continue to get the word out and take an active role in providing resources to those that are directly affected by this issue.  A big thank you to the LAPD and the LAPD MEU and the City of Los Angeles Mental Health Department for seeing the value in this gathering and for supporting our efforts.  

Streetplus in Arts District Los Angeles

Streetplus Selected by Arts District LA Business Improvement District to Provide Safety Ambassador Services

BROOKLYN, NY (February 5, 2015) – Streetplus, a premier provider of customized solutions for improvement districts, was selected last summer by the Arts District Los Angeles Business Improvement District in downtown Los Angeles, CA to provide safety ambassador services for the district.

Since June 1, 2014, Streetplus has provided safety patrols throughout the Arts District. These officers provide a uniformed, unarmed presence of “goodwill ambassadors” on the streets in the Arts District, serving as the “eyes and ears” of the police, offering a helping hand, giving directions and generally enhancing the public’s experience and perception of safety while in the Arts District. The Safety Ambassadors act as security for the Arts District as well as “walking concierges” providing information about the ArtsDistrict. The Safety Ambassadors are a walking, bicycle, segway and vehicle patrol unit, operating seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The Safety Ambassadors work with Arts District businesses, residents, the Police and Fire Departments and social service agencies to mitigate problems with panhandling, drug dealing, public intoxication, or any other criminal or anti social behavior.

Aaron Aulenta, Interim Managing Director, interviewed multiple local and national firms who specialize in providing contracted services to the improvement district industry. Said Aulenta, “Streetplus has a stellar reputation in Downtown LA and throughout the BID industry. The Streetplus system for training and deploying ambassadors was huge and their electronic work order and statistical reports was a big plus in choosing them.”

The Arts District, spread over about 55 blocks east of Little Tokyo and west of the Los Angeles River, has grown into a thriving mecca for young professionals in creative industries, including L.A.’s huge TV and film industry. The communities are beginning to see new investment, and it stands to reason that activity will pick up there quickly, particularly on the residential front. This activity means more people, more businesses, more jobs and more nightlife.

“All of us at Streetplus are very excited about partnering with the Arts District LA Business Improvement District,” said Steve Hillard, President and Principal, Streetplus. Our primary role is to patrol the streets, engage pedestrians, offer assistance and interact with those committing quality of life infractions. The Arts District has seen a significant decrease in crime since our safety ambassadors started patrolling.”

ADLA’s Aaron Aulenta adds, “Streetplus had direct BID experience, which is unique in the Security industry.”

Arts District Los Angeles
The Arts District Los Angeles is a non-profit business improvement district (BID) where area property owners assess themselves additional fees to pay for maintenance and security services above those provided by the city. The organization operates a clean team to remove trash and graffiti and a safety ambassador crew to help deter crime. The collective power of bringing together all businesses, non-profit institutions, and service organizations has helped the district work very effectively with community and local government organizations. Learn more at artsdistrictla.org.

Streetplus Tackles Ailing Sidewalks in South Park

Los Angeles, CA (February 26, 2015)  South Park BID partners with the City of Los Angeles to successfully tackle the BID-led effort to eliminate 800 sidewalk trip hazards and repair of 50,000 square feet of sidewalks

In a pioneering effort to provide a cleaner and safer pedestrian environment, the South Park Business Improvement (BID) presented the City of Los Angeles with a new approach to aggressively address the backlog of problems with city sidewalks, returning safety and accessibility to city residents and visitors. With dedicated assistance from Councilman José Huizar, the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, and the Bureau of Engineering and Bureau of Street Services, the BID was able to fund an entire pilot program, bringing 800 sidewalks locations up to City safety specifications and meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“The South Park neighborhood is now a safer and more accessible place to live, work and play,” said Jessica Lall, Executive Director of the South Park Business Improvement District. “South Park is a unique neighborhood that attracts thousands of visitors, accommodates a hospital and an elementary school, and houses people of all age demographics. Because of these improvements, everything from strollers to wheelchairs are now able to move more easily; pedestrians can have a more enjoyable walking experience; and local businesses are more accessible.”

Outlining sidewalk repairs as a top priority in 2014, the South Park BID set out to find an affordable and sustainable approach that would have significant impact across the 32-block district. The BID discovered a program that utilized the latest technologies to identify sidewalk problems and quickly fix the sidewalk without complete demolition and replacement. The program used state-of-the-art software with GPS mapping, and patented technology to repair the existing infrastructure, reducing the amount of costly reconstruction. After commissioning and evaluating an in depth analysis of the district, the BID presented the City with a project description and scope.

“Once the South Park BID presented my office with their sidewalk project, I wanted to make sure we did everything possible to support this effort,” said Councilmember José Huizar of District 14. “The resulting public-private partnership is a powerful demonstration of what can be accomplished when the City and property owners work collaboratively toward a common goal. In facilitating this groundbreaking method, the BID has made a huge impact in one of Downtown’s fastest growing neighborhoods.”

The BID worked with the City on agreed upon standards and inspections for the repairs, as there was no existing permit for this kind of work. Additionally, the City Council waived excessive permit fees to ensure the project was affordable. A final report was approved by the Board of Public Works in December 2014, and work began in January 2015. The entire project was completed without closing sidewalks in less than 14 work days, and the BID received zero complaints during that time. The program resulted in an estimated cost savings of over $180,000 compared to other repair methods or replacement.

As the City looks for new avenues to repair 4,400 miles of broken and hazardous sidewalks, this model is one that can be replicated, if not used by the City itself. “The South Park BID’s sidewalk repair program is sustainable, with scheduled periodic inspections and repairs to keep the sidewalks from falling back into disrepair,” said Board of Public Works President Kevin James.

South Park is one of Downtown’s fastest growing neighborhoods, being rejuvenated by new hotels, residential, and commercial developments. With over 20 projects in the pipeline to be built in the next 2-5 years, the BID aims to continue facilitating key projects that promote a vibrant, sustainable neighborhood. These projects include progressing a thriving public art program, installing parklets, greening of alleys, and planting more street trees.

About: 
The South Park Business Improvement District (BID) is a coalition of residents, property owners, and business who are deeply committed to the ongoing improvement of the district. Since 2005, the South Park BID has worked to make South Park safer, cleaner and more vibrant for the people who live, work and visit South Park.

For more information, visit www.southpark.la

Senate Democrats propose $2 billion plan for homeless

In an opening to this year’s budget negotiations at the Capitol, Senate Democrats on Monday proposed a $2 billion bond to build homes for homeless people with mental illnesses.

The measure would be funded by Proposition 63, the existing, 1 percent income tax on Californians earning $1 million or more per year to pay for mental health services.

Read more here

Chicago Loop Alliance’s Michael Edwards discusses the work of his organization

The Future of Downtown Management

Michael Edwards, CEO Chicago Loop Alliance

The Chicago Loop Alliance creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. The future of downtown management includes targeted placemaking, enhanced hospitality & data-driven economic development.

NYC’s homeless skeptical of programs intended to help them

A surge in homelessness is bedeviling New York City, and dozens of homeless people made it clear in interviews that it will take more than outreach programs by the mayor and governor to bring them in from the cold.

Not one of them told The Associated Press they had been approached by outreach workers Mayor Bill de Blasio promised last month would be out on the streets, with an ambitious goal of canvassing every block, every day, in a 7-mile stretch of Manhattan, aiming to persuade street people to come indoors.