2016 Impact-Maker to Watch: Valerie Watson

On Tuesday, January 19, 2016 in the Tom Bradley room at Los Angeles City Hall, 25 members of the Los Angeles community were honored for their foundational work to make a positive impact in our city.

Valerie Watson

...is one of the most hard working people in city government and has already demonstrated an incredible impact on the City of LA, with much more to come.
— Nat Gale, City of Los Angeles

Valerie Watson works for the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) as an urban designer and transportation planner. Valerie, along with her colleagues in the LADOT Active Transportation Division, works to promote implementation of pedestrian-focused design, develop active transportation plans and policies, establish effective partnerships within the City and with advocacy and community organizations, and secure funding opportunities to enhance safety for people who walk, bike and access transit. Her work has created the foundation for the City’s first ever Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan, shoring up a Complete Streets Engineering Toolbox, infusing a data-driven approach into the department’s activities, and – most recently – launching Mayor Eric Garcetti’s citywide Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025. From 2012-2015, Valerie led the inter-disciplinary team effort resulting in the formalization of People St, a city-wide, application-based program that offers communities a process for installing plazas and parklets, low-cost and quickly installed design treatments that reallocate road space as public open space and demonstrate the benefits of investing in the public realm.