It's been awhile since our last update on Mobility Plan 2035, but that doesn’t mean that nothing has happened. Since November, a number of friendly amendments went through City Planning Commission and the full Mobility Plan, with these friendly amendments, was re-adopted by City Council on January 20th with a 12 to 2 vote. Changes to the plan included:
Adding equity as a core principle (by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson)
Adding the City Council as an implementing agency (by Councilmember Jose Huizar)
Emphasizing community outreach and public safety (by Councilmembers David Ryu and Mitch Englander)
Reiterating flexibility in implementation to fit the neighborhood context (by Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz)
Emphasizing the importance of pedestrian safety, particularly in low-income communities (by Councilmember Gil Cedillo)
All of these amendments clarified or strengthened Mobility Plan 2035 as a guiding document for transportation decisions in the City of Los Angeles and were compatible with the plan’s overarching themes of putting safety first and creating a balanced transportation system. We are especially grateful to Councilmember Cedillo for working with us to find common ground on multiple policy amendments, with the result being a stronger plan that more members of the City Council could support.
With all “consensus” amendments now adopted, what's left are the two amendments that directly undermine the balanced network approach by cutting out two critical segments of the bike network. The entire Mobility Plan is premised on the idea that all modes deserve complete, functional networks so that people have a range of good mobility options. That principle is under attack with these two remaining amendments:
Councilmember Koretz's amendment would remove Westwood Blvd from the Bicycle Enhanced Network, which provides direct access to UCLA for hundreds of students, faculty, and staff who ride this route every day. This segment has approximately 800 bike riders on an average weekday.
Councilmember Price's amendment would remove Central Ave from the Bicycle Enhanced Network, which runs through the heart of historic South Central, serving businesses, youth centers, schools, and the Constituent Services Center (CD9's district office). This segment had approximately 60 bike riders per hour during our 2013 bike count.
Because these amendments are not consistent with the overall goals of Mobility Plan 2035, city staff is recommending against them. However, each council office is expected to lobby vigorously for the removal of these bike lanes from the plan.
We need your support to uphold the Mobility Plan's balanced approach and to avoid piecemealing the carefully designed networks. Next Thursday, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on these amendments and make a final decision on whether to keep these critical bike lanes in the Mobility Plan.
Los Angeles City Planning Commission Public Hearing
When: Thursday, February 11, 2016, at approximately 8:30 a.m. or soon thereafter
Where: Los Angeles City Hall, Public Works Board Room 350 (3rd Floor) - 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, 90012
Can’t make the meeting? You can still support bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave!
Subj: Support Mobility Plan 2035 with bike lanes on Westwood and Central
I strongly support the Department of City Planning’s staff recommendation, which keeps Westwood Blvd and Central Ave in Mobility Plan 2035. This plan takes a balanced approach to providing high quality transportation options by providing complete, functional networks for people using all forms of transportation. It would be inappropriate to piecemeal these networks, which would undermine the overall goal of the plan to provide safe, accessible, and reliable transportation for all people. Both Westwood and Central have high numbers of people biking who deserve safe infrastructure to ride on. Keeping them in the plan is a commitment to study them and engage the community about the future of these streets. Taking them out at this time would cut off much-needed community dialogue about how to make these streets safe for everyone who uses them.
I urge you to support the staff recommendation and maintain a balanced Mobility Plan 2035.