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Business improvement district to apply for Great Streets Challenge Grant

The Westwood Business Improvement District will be applying for a grant, issued by the L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, to improve infrastructure on Westwood Boulevard. (Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin)

By Sujung Hahn

May 18, 2015 2:09 a.m.

The Westwood Business Improvement District announced Friday it would apply for a $10,000 grant to improve Westwood infrastructure, said Andrew Thomas, the executive director.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the Great Streets Challenge Grant on Tuesday, a program that would award up to $200,000 in grants from city funds to community groups and up to $20,000 for individual applicants intending to improve infrastructure on 15 predetermined roads.

The grant challenge is part of the Great Streets Initiative, which aims to make Los Angeles’ most popular streets more dynamic, Garcetti said in a press release in June last year. City officials chose to include Westwood Boulevard in the project, said Vicki Curry, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office.

City officials partnered with ioby, a fundraising website for neighborhood projects, to create the grant challenge program. Applicants can also raise money on ioby, and the program will match donations dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.

If the grant application is successful, BID board members will work closely with Westwood business owners and city officials to determine what changes should be made, Curry said.

Thomas said the grant would help improve parking infrastructure, increase signage and reduce traffic to create better conditions on Westwood Boulevard.

Brandon Wu, a graduate student in computer science, said he supports the program. He added he would like to see improvements that encourage students to spend more time in the village, such as increased parking availability.

Sixth-year ethnomusicology student Kim Brueckner said he thinks the initiative would improve his experiences in Westwood. He added he thinks it makes sense to add parking structures because he thinks Westwood already has good traffic signage and road lines.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the California Department of General Services installed new bike corrals on Broxton Avenue in Westwood Village in February as part of the Great Streets Initiative, Curry said.

Applicants may apply for the grant challenge on until June 30.

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