Flax begins by outlining Manhattan Beach's "hysteria" over rush hour traffic, families and businesses harmed by delays, and even speculation by the mayor that Manhattan Beach home values might sag. He goes on to write:
The battle over this project has little to do with bikes and everything to do with safety.
I’ve heard unrestrained laughter greet a reference to fatalities on Vista del Mar as “thinning the herd.” On Twitter, an attorney who works part time in Manhattan Beach shrugged off pedestrian deaths on the thoroughfare, comparing them to lightning strikes. The consensus appears to be that pedestrians and cyclists dying is acceptable collateral damage, as long as the route these commuters use runs as fast as possible.
In the rush to create opposition, Manhattan Beach folks aren’t just being insensitive, they are wrong about the level of their inconvenience. Studies have shown that road diets slow speed but allow about the same number of cars to move through an area over about the same time period, because slower traffic is more compact. In L.A., once wide and chaotic roadways like Abbott Kinney in Venice and Main Street in Santa Monica have been reshaped into vital neighborhood assets, without causing regional transit nightmares.
I moved to Manhattan Beach for its award-winning public school system and its exceptionally livable environment. I let my 10-year-old walk to the public library downtown and encourage my older son, 12, to bike with his buddies down to the beach. The streets are safe by design; the city’s general plan contains explicit language minimizing cut-through traffic for the sake of residents’ quality of life. That L.A. wants to extend that sort of safety to Playa del Rey makes perfect sense to me.
When cars race through neighborhoods where people live, shop and play, speed kills. Taking steps that force us to slow down isn’t an outrage or a conspiracy, it’s making L.A. a better place to live.
Metro staff are recommending the board approve funds to support two 91 Freeway expansion projects located in pollution-burdened communities in Southeast L.A. County - in the cities of Long Beach, Artesia, and Cerritos
Move Your Way open streets in San Fernando, South Bay C Line, LADOT finalizes recommendations for unarmed traffic response, a Leimert Park book launch, Arroyo Seco, Ballona Creek, Metro K Line extension, and more.