Infrastructure & Policy Updates 3/08/2023
LA Metro Deploys 300 Transit Ambassadors
After its board approved a pilot transit ambassador program in 2021, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority deployed 300 transit ambassadors on its trains and buses this week. The program is part of an effort to increase alternatives to policing in the transit system following widespread protests against racism and police violence after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police in 2020. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles City Council voted to extend the LAPD’s contract with the transit agency (see next section).
LA City Council Approves LAPD Contract Extension With Metro
The Los Angeles City Council voted 10-2 last week to extend the Los Angeles Police Department’s contract to patrol Metro’s buses and trains. The extension increased the size of Metro’s contract by an additional $54 million. The sole dissenting votes were Council members Eunisses Hernandez and Hugo Soto-Martinez, who advocated for Metro funding outreach workers, unarmed response teams and life affirming support systems.
LA Seeks To Curb Street Racing In Angeleno Heights
Following protests organized by Streets Are For Everyone in Angeleno Heights, the city of Los Angeles is working to implement changes that would deter street racing in the area before the release of “Fast and The Furious X” on May 19. The area has become a hub of street racing after being featured in the franchise’s films.
LA City Council Passes Motioned Aimed At Ending Spot Street Widening
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion introduced by Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Bob Blumenfield – and former Councilmember Mike Bonin – to reform the city’s spot street widening program. BikeLA joined several other organizations last. month voicing our support for the motion, which was introduced by Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Bob Blumenfield, along with former Councilmember Mike Bonin.
As many of you already know, wider roads make the city more dangerous, polluted, congested, and costly to maintain. Requiring developers to spot widen roads also contributes to our housing crisis by adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost of a housing development. It also often converts greenery to impermeable asphalt.
Spot widening also creates streets designed for drivers, not pedestrians, with crossing distances lengthened, causing streets to be more dangerous and confusing to walk along and across.
Finally, spot widening leads to poorly designed, incoherent streets. The city’s streetscape should be intentionally planned block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood, not parcel by parcel with no vision other than widening. Ending spot widening will lead to a better designed city that works better for all who use it.
South Bay Cities
Long Beach Police To Stop Responding To Routine Collision Reports
The Long Beach Police Department will stop sending motor officers to routine collision reports and will instead only respond to fatal collisions or those where drivers are suspected of being under the influence. The department said the change is aimed at allowing officers to focus on specific intersections and areas that have repeat traffic collisions or other safety issues.
South Los Angeles Area
LA's Most Dangerous Intersections Concentrated In South-Central
The top five most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles are concentrated in South Central Los Angeles, according to a report by MoneyGeek. The worst intersection is South Vermont Avenue and West Florence Avenue, where there were 19 crashes between 2020 and 2022 that resulted in injuries.
Street Surfacing Begins On Florence Avenue Ahead Of Bus Priority Lane Installation
StreetsLA began resurfacing work on parts of Florence Avenue this week as part of a plan to create bus priority lanes. Metro hopes to finalize the project design and open the new lanes in the Fall.
Streets For All To Conduct Feasibility Study Into Extending Ballona Creek Bike Path
Streets For All is conducting a feasibility study into extending the Ballona Creek Bike Path through the remainder of Culver City and into the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Baldwin Hills and West Adams. The bicycle infrastructure advocacy organization is working with SWA Group, a firm specializing in landscape architecture, planning and urban design.