Every Monday, @dwell and @designmilk invite experts and fans to weigh in on trending topics in design. Recently, the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Seleta Reynolds, as well as architect and activist Elizabeth Timme of LA-Más joined #ModernMonday to share their thoughts on how cities can become more pedestrian- and bike-friendly. Check out a few of our favorite responses, and use the hashtag #ModernMonday to join the conversation next week at 1pm EST / 10am PST. Reynolds and Timme will continue this conversation at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles at 2pm on May 30.

How do you commute to work? What change to your city would encourage you to take public transit?

  • @thisisheatherc: I take the subway to work and walk home. I’d gladly ride a bike if parking were easier. I’m a big @CitiBikeNYC fan.
  • @Allie_Weiss: Though more lines are needed, the extensive NYC subway system is a success because it reaches & is used by the whole city.

For cities that were built for cars, what are ways that we can easily make the streets more pedestrian-friendly?

  • @SomfyUSA: Create more open and green spaces to encourage commuting outside the car.
  • @LADOTofficial: Our goal is to create beautiful, safe, well-organized streets quickly.
  • @erikaheet: Here in L.A., where “nobody walks,” we’d love to see safer buffer zones between cars and pedestrians.

Many people are unwilling to give up their cars. What would it take for alternative methods of transport to catch on? 

  • @livingwhit: Car sharing is catching on and helping to wean people off of car reliance.
  • @erikaheet: If you build it, they will come. In car-centric L.A., yes, we have a rail system, and it’s catching on, big time.

What kind of community-building is made possible from pedestrian-friendly streets? What do cars limit?

  • @Mas4LA: Cars made our city easy to use, but by making our city easy to use we created an environment that was hard to live in.
  • @LADOTofficial: Think about your favorite streets/places. They’re probably not wide, fast, loud roads. They’re probably full of people.
  • @PegasusLighting: Pedestrian-friendly streets promote health, interaction, tourism & supports the small business owner.

How can technology improve the kinks in the transit system? 

  • @LADOTofficial: Tech + transport has great promise if done right. Success still rests on walkable, affordable, bikeable cities for people.
  • @Mas4LA: At least 58% of public transit users have smart phones, let’s create targeted apps that are waze-like solutions for transit.

What do you think the future city will look like? What do you hope L.A. will look like in 100 years?

  • @mercurywaters: All cities will look more like custom transport solutions, rather than mass transport cookie cutters.
  • @Mas4LA: L.A. will look like it did in the 1920s; people using our streets as extensions of our living rooms.

Elizabeth Timme and Seleta Reynolds will discuss their plans to reimagine Los Angeles at Dwell on Design at 2pm on May 30. 

Originally submitted by Luke Hopping