Monday, September 14, 2015

LA, California: Opinion Re Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035

The City Council of Los Angeles approved a Mobility Plan 2035, which would reshape the streetscape of Los Angeles, "adding hundreds of miles of bicycle lanes, bus-only lanes and pedestrical safety features as part of an effort to nudge drivers out from behind the wheel" according to a New York Times article.

The following is an Opinion article written by Alex Brainard, a Los Angeles resident, stating his reasons why he disapproves of the Mobility Plan 2035:

Five Reasons why Los Angeles’s Mobility Plan 2035 will not work:  

1.      It will cause even more traffic than we already have.  The Mobility Plan 2035 will double the number of intersections where traffic crawls most slowly in Los Angeles according to city estimates.  Some of the streets which will lose lanes include Sunset Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Van Nuys Boulevard , Sherman Way, Venice Boulevard, and Huntington Drive to name a few.  Doubling the bad intersections means it’s going to take twice as long to get anywhere. 

2.      It'll be horrible for seniors. The city’s Environmental Impact Report concluded that “the plan’s projects, if completed by 2035, would result in “unavoidable significant adverse impacts,” including additional noise, cut-through traffic and diminished access for emergency vehicles.”  

        How many seniors will be in serious trouble because it will take emergency vehicles longer to respond?  It will also make places less accessible for seniors.  Mr. Garcetti said “We have to have neighborhoods that are more self-contained.  People want to be able to walk or bike or take transit to a movie.”  It doesn’t sound so bad if you’re young; unfortunately older people can’t walk or bike very far or very often. Further, many (especially older folks) don't want to ride the bus specially at night. It’s too dangerous and there are health risks involved in taking public transportation.  Look at the bed bug outbreak on the New York City Subway line last year.  And heaven forbid somebody who is really sick gets on the bus.

3.      It will make us use even more gas.  Most people will still prefer driving   Currently nearly 80 percent of Los Angeles commuters get to work by car, with most of the others taking buses and only 1 percent riding bikes.  According to the LA times “Planning officials say they relied on "conservative, vehicle-centric" projections in evaluating the mobility plan's potential effects. Put another way, they assumed that the percentage of drivers who choose to give up their cars and start bicycling, walking and taking public transit will remain in line with current traffic patterns.” I know I am still going to drive all over town.  I don’t have a choice.  Once Mobility Plan 2035 is implemented all the extra time sitting in gas guzzling stop-and-go traffic will cause us all to use more gas and put more toxic exhaust into the atmosphere.  

4.      More traffic congestion can be dangerous.  Look at Atlanta last year when a winter storm caused gridlock and people were stuck in there freezing cars overnight.  This is earthquake country; the last thing we need is more gridlock in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.  The difference between Los Angeles and Atlanta is that if we have a major earthquake and there is damage done to our water infrastructure or trucking routes there could be a mass exodus and the extra congestion from Mobility Plan 2035 could be devastating.

5.      It will make the city more segregated.  Part of the plan is to discourage driving is to make people become more localized.  Mr. Garcetti has encouraged residents to instead stay local and shop at nearby businesses.  Doesn’t sound too bad if you live in the Marina Del Rey, but not so if you live in Watts.  Also, if it ends up taking 3 hours to drive from downtown LA to the beach on a Sunday morning what’s the point of living in Los Angeles?   People will say, “Well you’ll be able to take the train!” To that I say, “Have you ever tried to get your family, a wifem and 2 or 3 kids, across town on the bus or train? With all the beach stuff like an umbrella and a cooler and sandals on and the beach towels?  It’s a nightmare.” I ask you Mayor Garcetti , would you take your family to the beach on a train as you would have us do? I doubt it!

Please call and or write Mayor Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council Members and tell them not to implement this nonsense.  FYI Cedillo and Koretz voted NO!

 Tags: Los Angeles, LA, California, Southern California, Mobility Plan 2035, streets, traffic, planning, urban planning

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia

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