To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Los Angeles City Council approves plan to add bike lanes


August 11, 2015

A bike lane is shown in this file photo.

The Los Angeles City Council approved a 20-year mobility plan Tuesday aimed at encouraging Angelenos to walk, bike or use public transportation when getting around the city.

The Mobility Plan 2035, championed by Councilmen Mike Bonin and Jose Huizar, was approved 12-2. It calls for adding about 300 miles of protected bike lanes and increasing housing density, despite objections from some that it may worsen traffic and increase response times.

The plan is expected to help the city obtain grants to help pay for proposed changes. Future projects will still need to be individually approved.

"While the automobile remains a vital part of our transportation future, so too is our goal to make our roads safer, more efficient and accessible with increased public transportation, pedestrian and bike-focused options. Mobility Plan 2035 does just that," Huizar said in a statement.

About 47 percent of trips taken in the city are less than 3 miles. Of those trips, 84 percent are taken by car, according to city officials.

Vision Zero: LA embraces ambitious plan for road safety


By Meghan McCarty, August 10, 2015

 Logo for San Francisco Vision Zero initiative, launched in 2014.

 Logo for San Francisco Vision Zero initiative, launched in 2014.

As the Los Angeles City Council takes up a blueprint for the next 20 years of transportation projects, Mobility Plan 2035, part of the discussion will include  an ambitious concept for safety known as Vision Zero.

The zero refers to zero traffic deaths. The concept originated in Sweden and has expanded to the UK, the Netherlands and several U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Portland and San Francisco.
Vision Zero is a planning philosophy that makes protecting human life on roadways the top priority. All decisions about road modifications, design and enforcement must be made with safety as the guiding principle.

Biking and walking advocates have been pushing for its adoption, saying roads are too often designed to allow more cars to go faster, putting other road users at risk.

"It's really a paradigm shift," said L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, who chairs the Transportation Committee. "Los Angeles is a city strongly addicted to the automobile, but we have to make some of our streets with pedestrian safety in mind."

The Mobility Plan 2035 was approved by a joint meeting of City Council Committees last week with the goal of Vision Zero intact. The full City Council will vote on the proposal Tuesday.

Bonin cited statistics showing 36,000 people are hurt or killed by colliding with cars in Los Angeles every year.

To cut down that number, the city could employ a number of "traffic-calming" strategies for certain roads, including curb bulb-outs and protected bicycle lanes, which slow car traffic down.

Garcetti to Increase L.A. Traffic with ‘Green’ Transport Plan


By William Bigelow, August 10, 2015

 AP Photo

Los Angeles City Council have proposed a transportation plan they know will increase L.A. traffic, in the hope that drivers will abandon their cars and turn to other modes of transportation, such as bicycling, walking, or public transit.

The initiative proposed by the Council, called Mobility Plan 2035, would entail building 300 new miles of protected bike lanes, 117 miles of new bus-only lanes, and 120 miles of streets where the bus-only lanes would function during rush hour. Some of the major streets affected would include Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Sherman Way and Van Nuys Boulevard. Lankershim, Sunset and Venice Boulevards would receive bus-only lanes and protected bike lanes.

Critics point out that the reduced number of traffic lanes would only exacerbate traffic congestion, increase noise, and catalyze drivers to drive through residential neighborhoods to avoid traffic on the major thoroughfares.

Don Parker, a board member with Fix the City, told the Los Angeles Times, “Cars are just going to sit there. So labeling it a mobility plan is just not reflective of what the plan actually does.”

Connie Llanos, spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, who favors the plan, said, “A paradigm shift of this kind often causes growing pains. But the long-term benefits outweigh the impacts.”

Mobility Plan 2035 was approved by the city’s Planning Commission in April. The Council will consider Mobility Plan 2035 on August 11.

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