There have been WalkLAvia and CicLAvia.
The objectives of these two events were to encourage alternate transportation and open streets, making them pedestrian-friendly.
Whether they will change the culture of car-centric Los Angeles remains to be seen, but even their harshest critics would have to admit these people-oriented events are effective tools for making a point. So much so, it has inspired another group to adapt the concept – developers.
Without a doubt, developers are the movers and shakers of the city. Their money rivals that of the public unions when it comes to influencing City Hall.
To many, developers are greedy and out to destroy the character of our neighborhoods. The biggest ones have long struggled to change that image, but it is a challenge to put a smiley face on their activities. How can they connect with the residents on a human scale? Shopping centers and high-rises do not exactly provide a warm and fuzzy image.
Several of the largest developers quietly engaged the services of a marketing consulting firm to tackle the image problem.
The firm appears to have identified a commonality that all Angelenos are intimately familiar with and is associated with development.
The lowly porta-john, those blue booths of relief, are a required element of any project, from a major remodel of a single-family home to an office tower. No porta-john, no project. A recent study by Johns Hopkins University proved a tight correlation exists between porta-john rentals and construction activity.
Those same potties are the very ones we see at any major street fair, carnival or CicLAvia. They are familiar and comforting to us. It makes sense that they could help form a bond between developers and residents.
With that in mind, the mayor’s office authorized JohnLAvia to honor the development community.
A stretch of Magnolia Boulevard in Valley Village will be closed to motor vehicle traffic at a date yet to be determined. No parking will be permitted in order to line both sides of the street with porta-johns.
There will be entertainment, featuring Olivia Newton John. Food will be donated by Jons.
Popular carnival rides will be adapted to fit the theme. Can you imagine the thrill of spinning wildly on a tilt-a-whirl while strapped in a porta-john?
To raise funds for developer political campaign donations, kissing booths will be established in some of the johns where guests can pay to lock lips with whomever is on the other side of the door. You might call it a crap shoot.
Traditional family games will be offered as well – bobbing for apples is sure to be popular.
Unlike other crowded outdoor venues, no waiting in line when nature calls.
However, a concern has been raised that might kill the event. Some local residents believe such a large street party could attract prostitution. The LAPD quelled the concern by assuring officers will be ready to crack down on johns and bust all of them.
“That’s a deal-breaker,” exclaimed the organizers in response.
I’ll stay on top of this developing story.
Remember – you heard it here first….and maybe last.