Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched his "Great Streets initiative" June 3 by announcing the first 15 streets that will be targeted for improvement.

The city's $8.1 billion fiscal 2014-15 budget includes $800,000 of seed money for this program, according to the mayor's office.

The initial funding will pay for temporary treatments, including plazas and parklets. Over the long term, the program will fund permanent changes to curbs, street lighting, street trees, and street furniture.

Some of the streets already have existing funding either through grants or through current city work plans. Once a street is designated as a "Great Street," city council offices and community stakeholders can leverage existing investments for additional grant funding and begin mapping out an implementation timeline, according to the mayor's office.

"The Great Streets Initiative is about strengthening neighborhoods one 'main street' at a time," Garcetti said in a prepared statement. "Angelenos are looking for dynamic and safe places to meet, to shop, to spend time with their families. This is what the Great Streets Initiative is all about."

The city's 6,500 miles of streets make up about 13% of the city's land mass, according to the mayor's office. Through the initiative, he hopes to transform "this underutilized asset to support thriving neighborhoods.

"Our streets are our largest public asset, forming and reflecting the character of our neighborhoods, our people, and out city," Garcetti said. "By reimagining our streetscape, we can create transformative gathering places for Angelenos to come together, whether they travel by foot, transit, bike, or car."

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