The city of Los Angeles' progressive Mobility Plan 2035 was re-affirmed yesterday at a joint meeting of the City Council Transportation and Planning Committees.
In August, the plan was approved on a 12-2 vote of the L.A. City Council. Under the scrutiny of a lawsuit challenge, the city is in the process of removing some allegedly improper amendments and re-approving the plan. The plan's critics have opined against the "luxury" of "lane-stealing" bus and bike riders. Supporters have rallied to keep the plan intact and to see planned bike lanes implemented on Central Avenue.
The committees heard nearly sixty public speakers commenting on Mobility Plan 2035, with sentiment split roughly 50-50 for and against.
Plan opponents, many mobilized by Fix the City - the group suing to undo the plan, criticized the plan for various reasons, including for "forc[ing] people to bike," and for not prioritizing safety (which it very seriously does via its Vision Zero policy.) Opponents made dubious assertions that "bikes belong in the parks and are not a way of transportation in L.A.," that "people over 65 cannot ride bikes," and that bike lanes "are driving everybody crazy" and will "kill people." One critic urged the council to overturn the plan on the basis of "overwhelming opposition" in the comments section of the L.A. Times website. A block of plan opponents, representing organizations in Councilmember Gil Cedillo's First District, uniformly urged against plan approval on the basis that outreach had been insufficient.
Plan proponents testifying in favor included T.R.U.S.T. South L.A., Pacoima Beautiful, L.A. County Business Federation, L.A. Walks, L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, FAST, AARP, and others. Supporters emphasized the plan's commitment to a "balanced network" with numerous mobility choices, plus improved safety, health, and equity.
Some councilmembers spoke against aspects of the plan, including Paul Koretz who dubbed it "for some areas an 'immobility' plan." Committee chairs Jose Huizar and Mike Bonin held off calls for delays. When the votes were taken, the rescind and re-approve motion was approved.
The vote broke down by committee as follows:
Planning and Land Use Management Committee - passed 2-3
- For: Jose Huizar (chair), Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Felipe Fuentes
- Against: Gil Cedillo, Mitch Englander
Transportation Committee - split vote 2-2
- For: Mike Bonin (chair), Jose Huizar
- Against: Paul Koretz, David Ryu
- Not Present: Nury Martinez
The single committee approval sends the plan to a vote of the full council. That has not been scheduled yet, but is expected to take place after next week.