Council Transportation Committee Moves to Remove Traffic Calming

5_6_09_holmby.jpgEndangered in Westwood.

At an early morning meeting, scheduled for 8:30 A.M. but not starting until close to 9:00, of the Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee, both sides in the contentious debate over the fate of temporary traffic calming measures placed in near the Palazzo development in Westwood.

The battle between the Holmby-Westwood community and the extended Westwood Village communities.  The result?  The Committee decided to back Councilman Weiss, the extended community and the LADOT and voted to remove the traffic calming so that the field will be clear for a new round of negotiations. For more on the politics of the struggle, click over to Streetsblog stories from yesterday and last month.

Yes, from the people that claim the best way to slow down traffic is to increase the speed limit and that the best way to protect pedestrians in unsignalized crosswalks is to remove the crosswalk comes the new theory that the best way to improve an imperfect traffic calming plan is to rip up the traffic calming and start from scratch.

While the 60% of the residential community that voted to support the current traffic calming measures when it went to a vote were represented by a majority of the speakers, they received a less sympathetic response than last time.  The representative from the City Attorney’s office rejected the resident’s claim that the neighborhood protection plan agreed to by the community didn’t rise to the level of a binding contract, and even if it did that LADOT has the authority to change the boundaries of the agreement.

As for the LADOT, they seemed content to rip out the current measures and start the public process over after a "cooling off period" so that the angry sides from the current disagreement can become friends again.  Once the kumbaya period is over the community can begin to put together a new traffic calming plan.

Probably the lowlight of the hearing came at the end when Councilman Tom LaBonge compared car traffic and traffic calming to damming a river.  Under his analogy, you can damm a river, but the water will flow somewhere else.  Of course, the goal of creating Livable Streets isn’t just to damm that water, but damm it and reduce it.

  • “According to Councilman LaBonge …” followed by b.s. about transportation is no surprise.

    I can’t believe how horrible this City can be. Can we install low-cost safety devices on the roads to encourage walking, bicycling, and livability? Yes we can. We can also rip them out for no goddamned reason at any time to suit a bunch of pointy headed bosses at the LADOT and a corrupt city leadership. I wish it took a constantly re-defined super-majority for these incumbent bums to get re-elected – then they’d see what it feels like to have a neighborhood that has been protected being re-opened to the speeding hordes based on totally arbitrary and illegal methods.

    The DOT’s policy is just that, a policy. The Neighborhood Protection Plan is a quasi-legal agreement between the developer and the community, which the City has violated the terms of. I think that a suit against the City by the public that voted for traffic calming is in order.

    Shame on the Transpo. Committee. Those clowns have sacrificed a neighborhood for their own inter-office relationships in city hall. They are clowns indeed.

  • Tom LaBonge sucks as usual.

  • wow. While they are definitely two sides to this story that need to be reconciled and traffic calming needs to be done in a more wholistic neighborhood approach than it appears here – it’s very disappointing that the infrastructure will be removed.

  • Glenn M

    There is no need for it near Palazzo. The apartments are only 20% occupied and this is on the side of the building that they enter.

    The entire project is a failure except Trader Joe’s. Even Rite Aid has lost more than 50% of their business since the move from Westwood Blvd..

  • Just heard Councilman Wiess, Mr. Would-Be-LA-Attorney, on KPCC. That guys pisses me off. He had this super freindly, “pro-bike” message a couple of weeks ago, and then he stands up in a public hearing to tear down traffic calming and increase car speeds. What the hell is pro-bike about that?

    Freakin’ hypocrite.

    I’m voting for Trutanich.

  • Nickjoh

    Traffic Calming is the most idiodic idea in the 21st century.  People who think that it actually calms drivers should be thrown in jail for extreme stupidity!!!!!!!!!!  It does nothing but piss people off and causes them to drive even more dangerously.   You suck!!!!!!

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