Calling All Transit Users: LA/2B Needs Your Feedback (That Means YOU, South L.A.)
At the end of 2012, LA/2B, the project to revamp the Mobility Element of the General Plan for L.A, announced they had narrowed down the feedback gathered during more than a year’s worth of public engagement to six draft goals and their corresponding policies.
The six goals include finding ways to put street Safety first, building a World-Class Infrastructure, providing better transit Access for All Angelenos, helping people, agencies, and businesses make better transportation decisions through Informed Choices, choosing policies that help us achieve a Clean Environment & Healthy Communities, and finding the best approach to promote Smart Investments in our transportation system.
Angelenos are invited to vote on the policies they feel will best move each of the goals forward. More importantly for South L.A. residents, perhaps, there are opportunities for people to add their thoughts on the goals or policies. Last August, I wrote about how LA/2B had struggled in their efforts to reach out to South L.A. Considering how much higher transit use is among South L.A. residents — almost 18% vs. 11% city-wide — and the fact that many users don’t have other means of transportation at their disposal, ensuring these voices make it into the mix is important.
Of greatest interest to area residents might be the opportunity to suggest improvements to the Draft Transit-Enhanced Network for North-South and East-West streets. Streets intended for enhancements that fully or partially run through South L.A. include:
Broadway (near Chinatown Cornfield Park to I-105 Green Line Station)
Crenshaw Blvd (Wilshire Blvd to Florence Ave)
Florence Ave (West Blvd to to Metro Blue Line)
La Brea Ave (Hollywood Blvd to Rodeo Rd)
La Cienega Blvd (Santa Monica Blvd to Expo Line Station)
Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (Rodeo Rd to Central Ave)
Slauson Ave (Crenshaw Blvd to the Metro Blue Line)
Vermont Ave (Los Feliz Blvd to Vermont Green Line Station)
Vernon Ave (Crenshaw Blvd to Blue Line Station)
Western Ave (Santa Monica Blvd to Florence Ave)
On the surveys, participants are asked to identify whether they might like to see No change, Moderate, or Comprehensive enhancements to each of the particular streets. According to the website, moderate enhancements might include transit stops along mixed-flow curb-adjacent lanes; the peak-hour frequency of buses at less than 8-minute intervals (all routes on street combined); enhanced late night and weekend service; signal priority and queue jumps for buses; shade, benches, lighting and shelters beyond existing standard; real-time passenger information; intermodal connections (bike and car-share, taxis and local circulators); safe pedestrian and universal access; or secure long-term and short-term bike parking.
Comprehensive enhancements might include exclusive corridors for buses along busy streets, off-board fare collection, a peak-hour frequency of buses at less than 3-minutes (all routes on streets combined), turn prohibitions to promote the free-flowing of traffic, level boardings, or multiple-door boarding of buses.
If, like me, you are not a planning wonk, terms like “mixed-flow curb-adjacent lane” might take you a minute or two to figure out. Some definitions are available here, in the Complete Streets Glossary. “Mixed-flow curb-adjacent lane” is sadly not among them. To the best of my understanding, however, it is a fancy way of indicating a bus stop is at the curb along a street where buses, cars, and bikes all move unrestricted through a lane together. If that is not the case, I’m sure that someone wonkier than I will correct me below.
As with the other topics available on the online town hall, comments are welcome. Just please make sure you do it soon! Comments on the six goals close in approximately 40 days and in 83 days on the transit-enhanced networks. If you’d like to know more about the plans for the South L.A. region in general, please check here for an overview of the draft plans released for South L.A., Southeast L.A., and West Adams-Baldwin Hills-Leimert Park at the end of 2012.
On a planning-related note (but not linked to LA/2B), as part of the effort to turn the Slauson Corridor into a pedestrian-friendly destination hub for local merchants, Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office has been hosting a series of workshops aimed at helping residents re-envision the area. They are asking that you participate in renaming of the area as part of the re-branding process. More information about that effort is available here.