Los Angeles Tests the Power of 'Play Streets'
Elisha Cohen

LOS ANGELES - The temporary transformation of Fickett Street in Boyle Heights began with yellow shades resembling huge kites suspended over the sun-scorched asphalt. Soon, a thoroughfare known for its speeding vehicles and gang activity became something else entirely - a "play street" in which women gathered for Lotería, or Mexican bingo, and kids fashioned seesaws out of giant snap-together plastic shapes in colors inspired by local Mexican-American murals.