By Damien Newton, September 7, 2015
GUEST WORDS-On Sept. 2, 2015 the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted to “reconsider” its support of the recently-passed Mobility Plan 2035 for the City of Los Angeles.
plan, which places safety at the center of all transportation decisions
instead of vehicle travel speed, has been a favorite target for conservative talk radio hosts, “Fix the City,” and now some Neighborhood Councils who favor the reverse.
The LACBC has made bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard connecting to Expo and to UCLA a priority for years.
Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, located in newly-elected David Ryu’s
4th Council District, isn’t the first Neighborhood Council to reconsider
support for the Mobility Plan. The Mar Vista Neighborhood Council
considered, and rejected, a motion from one of its transportation
committee chairs to change its position from support for the mobility
plan to opposition. Mar Vista’s vote, which occurred hours after the
City Council passed the plan, was good politics given that their
Westside City Councilmember was one of the leading forces in getting the
However, there is still an opportunity for mischief.
Councilmembers are pushing amendments that would gut the plan in their
Councilmembers Curren Price and Paul Koretz are each
proposing removing planned bike lanes from Central Avenue and Westwood
Boulevard. Both of these streets are designated as “Great Streets” by
the L.A. Mayor’s Office. Taking bike infrastructure off the table on
Westwood and Central seems a direct challenge to Vision Zero and Great
Streets and the soaring rhetoric of Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Councilmember Gil Cedillo has slipped into self-parody and is actually
proposing to remove all planned infrastructure in his northeast Council
amendments were tabled in August, but a report on their projected impact
is due later this month. Because the last City Council Transportation
Committee meeting in September has been cancelled, and its schedule
falls on the first night of Yom Kippur, these proposals will likely be
debated again in October.
is where the Neighborhood Council opposition could become important. It
is unlikely that Ryu will take a stance against the plan in his
district. But, if he hears enough noise against the plan, might he
consider backing Koretz, or Price, or even Cedillo.
that Silver Lake and Mar Vista have the only neighborhood councils that
are either reconsidering support for the plan or looking at it for the
first time and having some concerns. Will this be enough to see any
changes to the vision outlined by Garcetti and supported by the City
Council for a safe multi-modal future?
Time will tell, but the first test of the city’s resolve could come before the end of the fall.