David Yoon and Narrow Streets Los Angeles

Pacific Coast Highway, before. From narrowstreetsla.blogspot.com.

Pacific Coast Highway, after. From narrowstreetsla.blogspot.com.

A few days ago I came across this post on Mas Context. It details the work of David Yoon, a photographer, among other things, living in Los Angeles. Yoon is a self-described “urban planning geek” who maintains a blog where he takes pictures of oversized streets in Los Angeles and uses Photoshop to narrow them and show what Los Angeles would look like with a more intimate street scale.

6th Street, before. From narrowstreetsla.blogspot.com.

6th Street, after. From narrowstreetsla.blogspot.com.

After reading the Mas Context post, I immediately went on his blog and looked at every paring he’s ever done. I love it. to me, the afters sort of remind me of Rio de Janeiro; another subtropical city, but with more intimate streets.

Sunset Boulevard, before. From narrowstreetsla.blogspot.com.

Sunset Boulevard, after. From narrowstreetsla.blogspot.com.

And Yoon isn’t trying to protect his methods, either. He actually made a video showing how he does it.

Spring Street, Los Angeles, narrowed. from David Yoon on Vimeo.

Inspired by this, I went about trying to do it for myself. Unfortunately (in a manner of speaking), Philadelphia doesn’t have as many super-wide streets as L.A. But there was one broad street in my neighborhood that I thought I could try. Namely, Broad Street.

North Broad Street at Arch.

Here is my transformation:


Want to see a street in your city narrowed? If you live in L.A., contact David Yoon and he’ll do it for you! If you live anywhere else, do it yourself! And post a comment here with a link while you’re at it!


About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

2 Responses to David Yoon and Narrow Streets Los Angeles

  1. Karen says:

    Interesting about the narrowed streets. One person’s “intimate” is another person’s “claustrophobic.”

    One effect of even normal streets and lots of high rises is the wind tunnel effect. It makes the cold feel colder and the hot hotter. I imagine it’s even more pronounced with narrow streets.

    In my opinion, narrow streets are harder to drive safely.

    • toholio says:

      Narrow streets are actually better for the cold because they naturally block the wind. I think your complaint is more about straight streets than narrow ones.

      As for safer driving, the statistics show the exact opposite of your opinion. Narrow streets cause drivers to go much slower and discourage cruising.

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