Planning Commission Approves L.A. City Mobility Plan, Includes Vision Zero

The latest cover of the city of Los Angeles draft Mobility Plan 2035. Image via DCP [PDF]
The latest cover of the city of Los Angeles draft Mobility Plan 2035. Image via DCP [PDF]
At its meeting this morning in Van Nuys, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission unanimously approved Mobility Plan 2035. The Mobility Plan is the official transportation policy component of the city’s General Plan. Before taking effect, the new Mobility Plan will need the approval of the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) and Transportation committees and, then, the full City Council.

Department of City Planning (DCP) staff emphasized that the city “cannot widen our way out of congestion” and that this multi-modal plan will provide choices, by making a “conscious shift toward complete streets.”

The commission heard just over thirty people provide public testimony on the plan; the vast majority of speakers spoke in favor of the plan’s livability components. Speakers urging plan approval included representatives of L.A. Walks, Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST), Pacoima Beautiful, T.R.U.S.T. South L.A., the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, the L.A. City Bicycle Advisory Committee, Community Health Councils, Climate Resolve, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Business interests in favor of the plan included the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) and Lyft.

Livability proponents tended to emphasize the health and safety benefits of the plan, especially Vision Zero. The Vision Zero component of the plan would specifically “decrease transportation-related fatality rates to zero by 2035.”

One lightning rod issue that drew critical testimony was the inclusion of a half-mile of bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard between Wellworth Avenue and Le Conte Avenue, immediately south of UCLA. The Transportation Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz attended today’s hearing, testifying specifically for removing Westwood Blvd from the Bicycle Enhanced Network (BEN) in the plan. About a dozen speakers expressed support for the Westwood Blvd bike lanes, with one speaker in opposition. Commission president David Ambroz asked DCP staff their opinion regarding the Westwood bikeway; senior city planner Claire Bowin recommended that the Westwood lanes remain in the Mobility Plan, but that they not necessarily be implemented right away. Ultimately the disputed half-mile remained in the approved plan, although Councilmember Koretz may push to remove it when the plan is heard before the City Council. 

A few livability advocates, testifying in favor, said that they would have liked to see the plan be better and stronger, and go further. Though the plan greatly scales back the city’s wasteful and destructive practice of road widening, it stops short of taking the more fundamental step of simply ending all city road widening. The plan replaces and, to a small extent, scales back bikeway mileage approved in the city’s 2010 Bike Plan.

Most commissioners expressed nothing but commendation for the Mobility Plan, but one unlikely source expressed a fair amount of criticism before ultimately voting to approve. Former state lawmaker and long-time Los Angeles transportation leader Richard Katz expressed concerns over potential emergency vehicle response time delays and a lack of planned one-way street couplets. Katz questioned the plan’s inclusion of on-street bicycle facilities, stating, “I’m a supporter of expanding the bike network, but … we will never be Boulder or Davis.” DCP staff Bowin and Ken Bernstein both vigorously defended the Mobility Plan as not only having no adverse impact on already car-congestion-impacted response times, but as a positive affirmation of Los Angeles’ shifting multi-modal present and a future rich in transportation choices.

 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Koretz Motion Pushes Mobility Plan Mods To Planning Commission

|
L.A. City’s Mobility Plan 2035 suffered a potential setback at today’s meeting of the Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee. Today’s action likely sends the plan back to the Planning Commission for further decisions. Mobility Plan 2035 was approved by the City Council in August 2015, then challenged in court. Due to the legal case, the plan […]

Planning and Transportation Committees Approve Mobility Plan 2035

|
The city of Los Angeles’ progressive new Mobility Plan was approved by two City Council committees yesterday. The joint meeting of the Los Angeles City Council committees for Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) both approved the plan intact, postponing decisions on sabotage attempts by City Councilmbers Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo. Streetsblog readers may […]

Mobility Plan Modest Amendments Sail Through L.A. Planning Commission

|
The Los Angeles City Planning Commission approved a series of “modest” amendments to the city’s multi-modal Mobility Plan 2035. Commissioners uniformly praised the plan, calling it “forward-thinking” and “multi-faceted”, before approving it by a 7-0 vote. Mobility Plan 2035 is the transportation element of the City of Los Angeles’ General Plan. Mobility Plan 2035, while […]

L.A. Planning Commission Won’t Approve Mobility Plan Before April 2015

|
The Los Angeles City Planning Commission hosted its initial review of the city’s proposed new transportation plan, called Mobility Plan 2035. The meeting included Department of City Planning (DCP) staff presentations, public testimony, and discussion by planning commissioners. At the end of today’s hearing, the Planning Commission voted to direct planning staff to: incorporate planning […]

L.A.’s Draft Mobility Plan 2035: A Concrete Future Direction?

|
The city of Los Angeles Department of City Planning is kicking off a series of seven community planning forums starting tomorrow (Saturday, March 15th) and running through April 12th. They’re at various locations from Granada Hills to San Pedro. The forums are for public feedback on three citywide planning processes: re:code L.A., Mobility Plan 2035, and Plan for a Healthy […]

L.A. City Council Plans Re-Vote on Mobility Plan 2035

|
Earlier today, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Jose Huizar, Felipe Fuentes, and Joe Buscaino put forth the procedural motion 15-0719-s11 [PDF] to rescind and re-approve L.A.’s Mobility Plan 2035. The motion comes in response to a lawsuit claiming, among other things, that plan amendments violated City Council procedures. Councilmember Mike Bonin, a proponent of Mobility Plan 2035 […]