LACBC's Response to Great Streets Lankershim Not Going Forward

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We are deeply disappointed by Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s decision Friday to take the Lankershim Boulevard Great Streets Initiative “back to the drawing board” due to what he calls inadequate public outreach. However, this is far from the truth. The Mayor’s Great Streets team and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) have done extensive outreach since 2014, from numerous community meetings, design charrettes, community surveys, and pop up events, in order to better understand the needs and desires of the community and integrate it into a plan that would make the corridor safer for all people traveling by car, bike, foot, or transit and improve businesses through beautification enhancements.

We firmly believe that this is not an approach that is consistent with Vision Zero’s goal of saving lives.  Want to help? Join us in calling Councilmember Krekorian (818-755-7676) and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (213-972-8470) today to tell them you don’t think this project needs to go back to the drawing board.

Lankershim Boulevard (between Magnolia Blvd and Vanowen Street), a Vision Zero Corridor, is listed as one of the most dangerous corridors to navigate as it has a high number of collisions that have occurred as a result of being a wide street with inadequate infrastructure for people who walk and people who bike. According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, from 2009 - 2014 there have been 54 pedestrian / bicyclists collisions and 88 vehicle-to-vehicle collisions on this one portion of Lankershim Boulevard. Up until last Friday, there was a well-vetted plan by the community that would have provided safety and mobility improvements to the corridor. We need your help to put this plan back on track!

 

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LACBC testing out Protected Bike Lanes on Lankershim for the Great Streets Pop-Up

 

LACBC has been working on improving safety on Lankershim Boulevard for years.  We have actively been listening to residents’ concerns which has helped inform our position. We’ve integrated the feedback we’ve received into our engagement and educated the public about the benefits of installing bike lanes on Lankershim Boulevard since 2012. To better connect with residents and develop community supported solutions we have led multiple bike rides that have drawn over 100 people each, conducted over a dozen tabling events at the North Hollywood station and Farmers Market, hosted events on Lankershim and distributed bike lights to commuters who were not visible at night through our Operation Firefly program. Through our outreach, we have collected signatures of over 2,000 local stakeholders and over 30 businesses who support installing bike lanes on Lankershim. What LACBC found was that the community’s support for the proposed improvements, such as a protected bike lane, has been overwhelming.

Due to the great amount of community outreach that has been done on Lankershim Boulevard over the past five years by LACBC, the Mayor’s Great Streets Team and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation we do not believe that taking this project “back to the drawing” board will yield a solution that will truly enhance the safety of all people traveling through or to the corridor. However, the planning and transportation engineering research shows that for this particular type of corridor, collision reductions for people on bike, foot, or in a car cannot happen unless car speeds are slowed and that some space on a very wide street is used for facilities such as bike lanes and other speed reduction elements. Minor changes to the corridor that do not reduce the speed of vehicles or adequately provide for infrastructure that improves the safety of people biking or walking, such as façade improvements or other corridor beautification enhancements, would not be meeting the goals of Vision Zero and should not be eligible for this funding. 

Many residents are supportive of the changes the City was planning in this dangerous corridor, which were originally set to completed by 2018, that included the following:

  • Reducing travel lanes to improve safety

  • Improving bike and pedestrian connections

  • Calmer traffic for a safer drive, walk and ride

  • Trees, landscaping and green infrastructure

These proposed improvements could have had serious benefits for residents, visitors, and businesses alike. According to LADOT, new protected bike lanes on Lankershim could reduce injuries by 28% and increase retail sales by 9%. Additionally, slower travel time that would only add 36 seconds to someone traveling through the corridor by car could dramatically increase the survival rate of someone getting hit by a vehicle from 10% to 80%.

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The community has been thoroughly engaged and many residents and business owners support the improvements. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Great Streets Initiative has dedicated staff time and resources to develop and design a corridor plan to significantly improve Lankershim Boulevard. The City has also dedicated funds to implement this plan and have it completed in 2018. However, what is lacking is political leadership and will. Lankershim Boulevard will continue to be one of the City’s most dangerous corridors if the lack of political support continues to block meaningful progress.

Join us in calling Councilmember Krekorian (818-755-7676) and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (213-972-8470) today to tell them: 

  • You do not want this project to go back to the drawing board;

  • You support the proposed improvements for Lankershim Boulevard; and

  • You would like to see the current proposed plan implemented by no later than 2018.

 

Also please email Councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org, jackie.keene@lacity.org, ladot@lacity.org, and bcc: monique@la-bike.org

 

Sample Email:

 

Dear Councilmember Krekorian,

We are deeply disappointed by your decision Friday to take the Lankershim Boulevard Great Streets Initiative “back to the drawing board” due to what you calls inadequate public outreach. However, this is far from the truth. The Mayor’s Great Streets team and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) have done extensive outreach since 2014, from numerous community meetings, design charrettes, community surveys, and pop up events, in order to better understand the needs and desires of the community and integrate it into a plan that would make the corridor safer for all people traveling by car, bike, foot, or transit and improve businesses through beautification enhancements.

We firmly believe that this is not an approach that is consistent with Vision Zero’s goal of saving lives.  

Many residents are supportive of the changes the City was planning in this dangerous corridor, which were originally set to completed by 2018, that included the following: 

  • Reducing travel lanes to improve safety

  • Improving bike and pedestrian connections

  • Calmer traffic for a safer drive, walk and ride

  • Trees, landscaping and green infrastructure

These proposed improvements could have had serious benefits for residents, visitors, and businesses alike. According to LADOT, new protected bike lanes on Lankershim could reduce injuries by 28% and increase retail sales by 9%. Additionally, slower travel time that would only add 36 seconds to someone traveling through the corridor by car could dramatically increase the survival rate of someone getting hit by a vehicle from 10% to 80%. 

We urge you to:

  • Not send this project back to the drawing board;

  • Support the proposed improvements for Lankershim Boulevard; and

  • Implement the proposed plan by no later than 2018.

 

Sincerely,

 

Name

Address

Email

 

 

 

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