Councilmember Ryu Kills 6th Street Road Diet

Councilmember Ryu today sided against 6th Street road diet safety improvements that would curb traffic deaths and serious injuries. Map by Mehmet Berker based on SWITRS data
Councilmember Ryu today sided against 6th Street road diet safety improvements that would curb traffic deaths and serious injuries. Map by Mehmet Berker based on SWITRS data

Today, Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu announced that he will not be implementing road diet safety improvements proposed for Sixth Street in Mid-City West.

The proposed 6th Street road diet has been championed by the Mid-City West Community Council (MCWCC), and supported by the Park La Brea Residents Association, La Brea Hancock HOA, and L.A. Walks. It would have extended from Fairfax Avenue to nearly La Brea Avenue, a block north of two under-construction Metro Purple Line Subway stations.

In a statement, Ryu expresses concern for safety and for eliminating collisions, but goes on to downplay the role of drivers speeding as an important factor in causing deaths and serious injuries. Ryu’s statement focuses on addressing the “34 percent [of 6th Street collisions], including two of the three fatal collisions that occurred, [that] were caused by unsafe left turns.” Instead of a road diet, which would address these unsafe left turns along the entire corridor, Ryu proposes adding new left turns only at Hauser Boulevard, which Ryu mistakenly repeatedly calls “Hauser Avenue.” (Ryu’s statement also misidentifies Spaulding Avenue as “Spaulding Way.”)

Ryu states that the city is moving forward with a suite of improvements that are largely standard practices – including crosswalks and repaving. In addition, Ryu states that the city will further study a mid-block crossing at Spaulding and a new left turn signal at Hauser.

Ryu hosted a meeting in October which featured inaccurate presentation boards. Meeting attendees were requested to fill out a survey that did not include the two options presented, nor the road diet plan as designed by LADOT and disseminated by MCWCC. Though the survey did not mention the road diet, according to Ryu, the survey results showed that only “Roughly 37 percent expressed support for a proposed road diet.”

Detail of top of Ryu survey from October 6th Street meeting
Detail of top of Ryu survey from October 6th Street meeting

Misleadingly, Ryu’s statement, and his website’s summary of survey results, relate that the survey found “Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that a car is their primary mode of transportation,” though that question was not asked. Ryu’s survey asked respondents to “check all that apply” on a list of transportation modes that they use on 6th Street, so it is not mathematically possible to derive a valid percentage for car usage, much less whether a car is a respondent’s primary mode of transportation.

In a statement, printed in its entirety at the Larchmont Buzz, MCWCC president Scott Epstein reiterated MCWCC’s commitment to “the only comprehensive solution for safety on 6th Street: a redesign of the street to remove one vehicle lane in each direction and add a continuous center turn lane” and urged councilmember Ryu to reconsider his position.

Today’s news is full of climate change-driven catastrophic fires that are devastating communities. This year has seen rising numbers of deaths on Los Angeles streets. Notwithstanding, L.A. City Councilmember David Ryu is siding with backwards-looking car-centric Fix the City reactionaries who emphasize driver speed over human safety. Despite Ryu cloaking his tepid plans in safety justifications, his improvements would leave 6th Street’s deadly status quo largely unchanged, imperiling the safety and health of future generations.

 

  • David Newman

    “Though that question was not asked” perhaps it should’ve been asked you clown. Speeding at 40mph in a 35mph zone does not cause accidents, anyways, so wtf is your argument here? Nothing. Also, what do the fires have to do with road diets? Nothing.

  • David Newman

    “Though that question was not asked” perhaps it should’ve been asked you clown. Speeding at 40mph in a 35mph zone does not cause accidents, anyways, so wtf is your argument here? Nothing. Also, what do the fires have to do with road diets? Nothing. At least Ryu has the decency to ASK his community about things like this in order to make a calculated decision on how to move forward.

  • David Newman

    Glad Ryu had the decency to ASK his community about things like this in order to make a calculated decision on how to move forward, instead of just slapping crap all over the place like they did in Playa Del Rey.

  • Matt R

    Ryu did the same kind of questionnaire when he first started, asking us 5 things that were important. But, he didn’t ask us to RANK their importance in relation to each other. So homelessness got a 5 (very concerned), traffic got a 5, crime got a 5, etc. I called his office to ask why use such a worthless questionnaire. The person acknowledged it was statistically worthless, and I had to correct him- it’s worthless when they are all a concern.

    I just had an email with Ryu’s office about lack of sidewalks, and how I have to walk on streets because houses have built shrubs on the parkways where I’d walk, and his official said there’s no money for adding sidewalks, only fixing them. Gotcha.

    if you go here- http://cao.lacity.org/budget/summary/2017-18BudgetSummaryBooklet.pdf
    We are spending roughly $560 million on improvements, $31 million for sidewalk repair and a measly $2.4 million on “Bikeway and Pedestrian Improvements”. As the saying goes, don’t tell me what you stand for Mr Ryu, show me your budget and I’ll decide what you stand for based on where you spend our money. Obviously improving infrastructure for pedestrians and bicycles is not on the list. Considering we spend $10 of millions on bicycle accidents that could have been avoided, it is abundantly clear where he stands.

  • Stvr

    The ghost of Tom LaBonge shall rise again

  • Jason

    Why do we even bother electing anyone if we’re not going to let them do anything without us micromanaging them?

  • David Newman

    You’re right. Why do we bother telling sandwich makers what we want on our sandwich? They’ll just do their job, guess, and hope it’s right, regardless whether or not if affects us. Matter of fact, let’s just start going behind the counter and make the sandwiches ourselves.

  • chairs missing

    He’d make an excellent “ghost of Christmas past”… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0zvX6AGd7Q

  • It always amazes me when people defend the four-through-lane road with no continuous left turn lane and parking lanes. It would be so much better with two through lanes a continuous left turn lane, two bike lanes and parking lanes.

    Even as a driver, who wants to get stuck in the left lane behind a left-turning car? Get rid of that awkward and dangerous street design.

  • Andrew

    This was the missing link in a safe cycling route through that part of town. Thanks Mr Ryu for keeping my bike commute unsafe – more exciting this way – adventure!

  • neroden

    So Ryu is being dishonest.

    Also, when did LA City Councilmembers start acting like Chicago Aldermen — tyrannical dictators with sole and total unchecked power over any project in their own district?

  • neroden

    Ryu didn’t ask. He made up a fake questionaire and then lied about the results!

  • neroden

    The “Department of Transformation” is “making the sandwiches ourselves”.

  • Oren

    The dead pedestrians and cyclists were not available to answer the survey.

  • Taylor Nichols

    A very disappointing decision from the council office when so many neighbors who live and travel in the affected chose a more comprehensive redesign. A loss of the “Road Diet” plan, which is about maintaining traffic flow while reducing overall traffic speed, will force people who wish to visit LACMA, the new Academy Museum or the future Purple line subway station to dive a car. 6th street is very unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists and Ryu’s proposed safety measures do not address vulnerable road users. Sad.

  • Kenny Easwaran

    That’s been the status of the LA City Council as long as I’ve known anything about it.

  • Reverend Dak

    I’ll be sure to remember your name the next time a pedestrian gets killed on either of these streets.

  • David Newman

    Ummm okay

  • Whyarewefighting?

    who designed the options if not LADOT? cd4 said Kimley Horn did not provide any consulting for this project,only some graphic design work. did the councilmember design these options?

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