Temple Street Slow Jams Celebrate Improvements, Though No Road Diet
This morning, community stakeholders performed Temple Street Slow Jams to bring attention to needed safety improvements for Temple Street. The city of Los Angeles is implementing “complete streets” improvements on Temple between Beadry Avenue (in downtown L.A.) and Beverly Boulevard (in Koreatown.) This 2.3-mile stretch of Temple has been hard hit by car crashes which have killed or seriously injurred 34 people in eight years.
Parents and students – from VISTA Charter Middle School and Camino Nuevo Charter Acadamy – along with community nonprofit representatives, marched multilingual signage along Temple urging drivers to slow down. Signs announced that “safety changes are coming to Temple Street.”
The “Temple Street – Beverly To Beaudry Project” includes extensive resurfacing, curb and sidewalk repair, painted curb extensions (“intersection tightening”), flashing beacon crosswalks, pedestrian head-start signals (“leading pedestrian intervals”), and new traffic signals.
What’s missing from the project is the road diet that was initially part of city plans shared in 2017. A road diet would be cheaper and more effective than the project underway. Unfortunately, city leaders, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, and councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Gil Cedillo, backed away from lane reconfiguration based on a backlash largely from outside the community, including interference from the litigious “Keep L.A. Moving” (KLAM) based in Manhattan Beach. KLAM sent Manhattan Beach traffic safety denier Karla Medelsohn to speak at the Rampart Village Neighborhood Council’s forum on the Temple Street project. The city’s failure to reconfigure Temple Street is now cited in the international press as an example of L.A.’s failure to address its traffic violence epidemic which kills an Angeleno every 40 hours.
Bureau of Engineering construction is anticipated to last from October through June 2019, with Department of Transportation implemented safety upgrades from November through June 2019.