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

LA's Mobility Plan 2035 Image via DCP [PDF]
L.A.’s Mobility Plan 2035 weathered another hearing today but still faces legal challenges
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 not going quite far enough for some livability advocates, plans network improvements for driving, transit, bicycling and walking. It also adopts Vision Zero as citywide policy.

The Mobility Plan was first approved by the same commission last May. It was then amended slightly during the subsequent City Council approval processes. Under a legal challenge, the council rescinded the amendments and re-approved the plan last month.

Mobility Plan amendments [PDF] approved today were “provisions related to equity, Council oversight, public safety, community input, and flexibility in implementation, as well as technical corrections and language cleanups related to nomenclature and map corrections.” There are additional hostile amendments proposed where Councilmembers are pushing to remove planned bike facilities, but those will not be heard until at least January.

Public testimony today in support of the plan included T.R.U.S.T South L.A., Los Angeles Walks, AARP, FAST, the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition., and others.

Anti-Mobility Plan public testimony included only Fix the City and the Reason Foundation. Fix the City board member Laura Lake announced that, yesterday, her organization filed a second lawsuit against the plan. According to Fix the City’s website, the new lawsuit alleges that City Council missed an August deadline to pass an amended plan back to the Planning Commission, so the plan is therefore deemed to be denied. Fix the City asserts that the council violated the law in its recent “improper” rescind/re-approval process.

If Fix the City’s legal challenge is determined to be correct, today’s re-approval by the commission hopefully lays the initial step in the groundwork for a challenge-proof approval process. The next steps in that process would be mayoral approval, council committee approval, then full council approval.




  • Dennis_Hindman

    Implementing any of the bus only lanes and most of the protected bike lane miles on the Mobility Plan will require the approval of the councilmember in whose district in which this would occur. That is simply due to the unwillingness of the LADOT to remove mixed use road space without councilmember approval. This essentially means that the fight over where and what lines are drawn on the Mobility Plan map are much ado about nothing. The Mobility Plan has no teeth for forcing the implementation of bus only lanes or bike lanes. Its just a bunch of ideas of what could be that are drawn on a map.

  • Alex Brideau III

    If the head of LADOT supports the lanes, isn’t is possible that the lanes could be implemented independently of councilmember approval? (Granted, this is not a common occurrence, but is it permissible?)

  • Dennis_Hindman

    You have to understand that the LADOT considers themselves employees who try and follow the wishes of councilmembers and the mayor. Only if there is excess capacity or enough left over space will LADOT act on their own to install bus only lanes or bike lanes. LADOT has just about run of places to install bike lanes under that scenario.

    Since the dominant mode of transportation for travel in most areas of the city is by car, it will be difficult to install bus only lanes or bike lanes if the councilmember insists that it has to have overwhelming support of the community. Councilmembers Englander, Ryu, Koretz and Cedillo have already indicated an unwillingness to take away space from car drivers without their support. Councilmember Englander had told me at the grand opening of the protected bike lanes on Reseda Blvd that a through lane for cars couldn’t be taken away on that street.

    There are two potential projects for creating transit only lanes on streets in the near future. Vermont Ave is being studied by Metro to possibly have bus only lanes and since that is heavily used by buses it might happen. Van Nuys Blvd from the Orange Line north and then continuing north along San Fernando Rd to Sylmar has been selected as a transit upgrade Measure R project that Metro and its consultants are in the process of completing a study of. That would involve either curbside bus only lanes or a center running BRT or rail. Whichever one is selected for this east side valley project it will eliminate any possibility of a separated bikeway along Van Nuys Blvd as there is zero possibility that more space can be taken away from motorists to install a separated bikeway. In fact the original plan was to study upgrading transit only on Van Nuys Blvd to Ventura Blvd. The numerous car dealerships south of the Orange Line on Van Nuys Blvd vehemently objected to taking any space away from motorists and so that idea was scrapped.

    The Van Nuys Blvd transit upgrade has about $170 million committed to it so far. It would be difficult to see how that would be turned down with that much potential investment to be made towards an upgrade. Its a matter of whether the upgrade would be peak hours only curbside bus lanes as was done on Wilshire Blvd or a deeper commitment to take away two lanes of traffic and severely limit left turn lanes in order to install a center running transit line. Metro probably can’t get enough money for rail along this corridor without another half-cent sales tax and center running BRT may not have enough appeal to take away two car lanes.

  • Walt Arrrrr

    All that work, and the City of Los Angeles ends up with something as meaningless as the 2010 Bike Plan.

  • Joe Linton

    it’s highly unlikely


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