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L.A. considers controversial traffic calming measures

Goal is to encourage alternative transportation

August 13, 2015 |
L.A. considers controversial traffic calming measures

Photo: JGKlein/Wikimedia Commons

The Los Angeles City Council aims to improve road safety and calm traffic by encouraging residents to give up their motor vehicles or reduce usage through its controversial Mobility Plan 2035.

The plan calls for hundreds of miles of new bus-only lanes, bicycle lanes, and traffic calming measures over the next 20 years. It would use existing roads for 300 miles of bike lanes and 117 miles of bus-only lanes. Major corridors such as Van Nuys Boulevard, Sherman Way, and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard would be redesigned. But critics doubt the plan will have the intended effect.

"Taking away lanes, which creates congestion, to try and force people to choose a different method of transportation other than the car, is a horrible way to solve a congestion problem," said Richard Katz, a planning commissioner. "People don't respond well to being forced to do things.”

Supporters say the mobility plan is an acknowledgment that the city can't build its way out of congestion problems. Widening streets is no longer feasible, and new freeways not viable because of the cost and difficulty in acquiring rights of way, they say.

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