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

The latest cover of the city of Los Angeles draft Mobility Plan 2035. Image via DCP [PDF]
Under a procedural motion filed today, the Los Angeles City Council plans to rescind and reaffirm 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 who chairs the council’s Transportation Commitee, explained today’s motion as follows:

When the City Council adopted the Mobility Plan in August, we made it clear that we wanted to give people convenient and safe options other than single-passenger cars so we could reduce traffic in our neighborhoods and protect the environment. That commitment remains firm today, and the action we proposed is a simple procedural step that was recommended by the City Attorney out of an abundance of caution. Nothing has changed in our commitment to multi-modal transportation in Los Angeles, and we will adopt the exact same Mobility Plan that was approved by the Planning Commission and championed by mobility advocates as soon as possible.

Readers will recall that during the committee and council approval processes, councilmembers proposed multiple amendments to the plan that had already been approved by the Planning Commission. Many proposed amendments were deemed to require additional deliberation and were held for future meetings.

Three fairly straightforward friendly amendments were added to the plan during the approval process. Amendments adopted by council included Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s push for equity and Councilmember David Ryu’s push for community input. An additional amendment explicitly made the City Council a part of plan implementation. Arguably, each of these amendments drew attention to things already implicitly in the plan.

Soon after the Mobility plan was approved, the non-profit Fix the City challenged it in court. The lawsuit asserts that the City Council was not permitted to amend the plan during the approval processes. Today, in order to respond to the legal challenge and to re-affirm the vision outlined in the plan, city councilmembers started the process for removing the disallowed amendments.

Initial notice of the re-do sparked some questioning on Twitter, but livability advocates are affirming that the process is necessary. L.A. County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Tamika Butler told SBLA, “When implemented, Mobility Plan 2035 will give everyone better options for getting around Los Angeles whether biking, walking, using transit, or driving. Making this procedural correction reaffirms the City Council’s commitment to providing safe and dignified transportation for all residents, whether or not they have access to a car.”

Theoretically, with no amendments to debate, the rescind and re-vote process should be straightforward. More likely, it will be an opportunity for plan opponents and proponents to communicate their views to a City Council that already approved the plan on a 12-2 vote.

From today’s Bonin/Huizar/Fuentes/Buscaino motion [PDF]:

As part of Council deliberations, Council approved three amendments to the plan. On September 9, 2015, a lawsuit was filed challenging the Mobility Plan, and, among other things, specifically contending that the Council’s approval of the amendments did not comply with the procedures prescribed in Los Angeles City Charter Code Section 555. In order to cure the alleged procedural defect, Council would first need to rescind the Mobility Plan 2035 as amended.

It is equally important for the Council to reaffirm its commitment to the Mobility Plan 2035 and to continue to build multi-modal transportation options for Angelenos.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the Council take the following actions:

1. Rescind the August 11, 2015 resolution adopting the Mobility Plan 2035 as amended by the City Council; and

2. Adopt a resolution adopting the draft Mobility Plan 2035 as considered and recommended by the City Planning Commission and the Mayor on May 28, 2015, and June 5, 2015, respectively

Also today, a notice [PDF] was emailed informing interested parties that the rescind-adopt motion will be heard at a special joint meeting of the Planning and Land Use Management and Transportation Committees to be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at 2:30 p.m.

(Article modified 6 p.m. October 30 to include statement from Councilmember Bonin.)

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