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Transportation Committee Approves Green New Deal Motion for Bus, Walk, Bike Network Improvements

4:50 PM PST on February 26, 2020

Downtown L.A.’s new Flower Street bus-only lane. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

This afternoon the Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee approved a motion that lays the groundwork for improving L.A. City's networks for getting around by bus, bicycle, and on foot. The motion will now go to the full City Council, and, if approved, will generate an implementation plan report in July, 2020.

The motion (council file 20-0187) was authored by City Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Krekorian, and seconded by Council President Nury Martinez. The motion preamble identifies transportation as "the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles" and frames transportation improvements as central to both "a Green New Deal that aggressively responds to the climate crisis with the urgency and scale that it warrants" and to Mayor Eric Garcetti's recent Climate Directive.

Then the motion goes on to direct city departments to plan to implement green transportation improvements:

I THEREFORE MOVE that LADOT, in consultation with Metro and with the support of the Bureau of Engineering and StreetsLA, be directed to report back by July 1, 2020 with a proposed network of bus priority infrastructure that improves travel speeds on transit corridors by 30 percent consistent with the Metro Vision 2028 Strategic Plan. LADOT shall prioritize infrastructure serving high-need communities identified by the Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles’ Community Equity and Health Index. The implementation plan shall include projected mobility benefits and emission reductions.

FURTHER MOVE that LADOT, in consultation with the Bureau of Engineering and StreetsLA, be directed to report back by July 1, 2020 with an implementation plan for a comprehensive Citywide network of active transportation corridors for walking, bicycling, and micro-mobility. The implementation plan shall complete at least one major regional project and one neighborhood-oriented network per year and be prioritized based on the Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles’ Community Equity and Health Index. The implementation plan shall include projected mobility benefits and emission reductions.

It is great news that city departments will be developing plans for more bus lanes and more active transportation. More please!

Cynics will recall that the city already has some multi-modal plans on its shelves, including Mobility Plan 2035 and lots of Vision Zero projects. The city plans have been blocked by numerous councilmembers - including the motion's co-author Krekorian, plus Gil Cedillo, Paul Koretz,  Mitch O’Farrell, Curren Price, and David Ryu. Perhaps, with out-of-control global warming burning Australia and California these days, some of those recalcitrant councilmembers will take a fresh look at much needed improvements.

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